Minister Commits To Policies With A 'Real And Meaningful Impact'

At the first meeting of the Communities Committee, Minister Gordon Lyons has committed to delivering policies that make a 'real and meaningful impact'.

Whilst acknowledging the scale of the challenge facing all departments in terms of budget, the Minister outlined his ambitions for getting the most from available funds.

The Minister updated the Committee on the broad range of strategies, programmes and services delivered by the Department including social housing and residential building safety; anti-poverty measures; sports infrastructure and participation, social inclusion and employability, culture, heritage and arts and support for the voluntary and community sector.

Speaking during the Committee meeting, Minister Lyons said: "My ambition is to deliver policies and programmes that will have a real and meaningful impact. I want them to be deliverable, I want them to be sustainable and I want to make sure that we provide tangible and lasting benefits for people right across Northern Ireland.
News Image
"In short, I want to help people to improve their lives and wellbeing, and I believe that in this department we have the building blocks for a safe and healthy lifestyle for our people."

Acknowledging the difficult budgetary situation Minister Lyons said: "The budget position remains exceptionally challenging, but this is about doing the best that we can for people and communities within the available funding envelope".

Speaking after his first Committee appearance, the Minister said: "We need to be radical when it comes to housing; that means building more quality, efficient and affordable homes, supporting people to live independently and helping working families.

"I'm also mindful of the need to deliver on the statutory obligations that we have and those, together within an inescapable spend, contributed to about 90% of last year's budget allocation. That doesn't leave much room for manoeuvre, but it won't stifle my ambition.

"It does however mean that we need to look carefully at how every pound is spent and make sure it goes to those who need it most."

The Minister added that he would push for support with Ministerial colleagues: "There are going to be difficult choices to be made, but I can assure people that I will be making the case for the value and importance of all my department does."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 May 2024
Balmoral Show 'Highlight Of The Farming Year'
The Balmoral Show has been described as the "highlight of the farming year", by First Minister Michelle O'Neill and deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly. Around 110,000 people are expected to visit during the four-days of the Show.
08 March 2024
Additional £3m Announced For Supporting People Programme
An additional £3 million in funding for the Supporting People programme, which aims to the quality of life for vulnerable people through appropriate housing-related services, has been announced by Communities Minister Gordon Lyons.
27 September 2018
Report On Children And Young People's Mental Health Services Welcomed
The Department of Health (DoH) and Health and Social Care Services (HSC) are "committed to delivering real and meaningful improvements" to child mental health services. A spokesperson for the DoH made the commitment following the publication of a report by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY).
18 October 2010
Politicians Help 'Kick Hate Into Touch'
An innovative campaign, the 'Unite Against Hate' sporting weekend has been launched. Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and his Junior Minister Gerry Kelly (pictured) joined forces to support the campaign which highlights all forms of hate crime and challenges people here to unite to stop it.
14 February 2022
New Abuse And Violence Strategy Consultations Extended
The development period of two new Executive strategies aimed at tackling violence against women and girls and domestic and sexual abuse have been extended until 21 March. Justice Minister Naomi Long and Health Minister Robin Swann made the announcement as part of the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.