|Belfast City Council welcomes ALfA Learners to City Hall|
Over the past few months, ALfA has been developing successful collaborations with different Councils in order to better empower potential lobbyists to know more about the workings of Council business and how to best get local issues heard by their elected Councillors.
At one such collaborative workshop in June, ALfA learners from different Council areas were given a unique opportunity to come together to Belfast City Hall to learn from Democratic Services Manager Stephen McCrory and Adele Faulkner about how things work in the Belfast City Council area.
The session not only aimed to familiarise participants with how BCC operates and deals with issues, but also to better equip participants with greater knowledge of comparative practices when raising issues with their own local Councils.
The participants highly praised the informative and participatory discussion with Stephen & Adele, in which they were able to become more informed about the processes involved in electing local government members; the political breakdown of Belfast City Council; the inner workings of Council meetings and Committees; implications of the potential RPA changes expected in 2015; and online resources available to the public.
According to one participant, this was:
“A brilliant opportunity to see how the leading Northern Ireland council operates and given a valuable insight into what the supercouncils may look like in the future”.
In addition, the workshop provided an excellent opportunity for ALfA learners to be able to focus questions on issues of particular concern to them. They received good, very practical advice and as a result, most of the participants intend to follow up on a number of resources highlighted in the session such as the ‘Reference Group for Older People’, and ‘City Matters’ to help in their lobbying activities. The session also prompted learners to investigate the Council processes and operations in their own areas more closely. “Now I would like to find out if Councillors in Craigavon are interested in older people’s issues”,
If you have a burning local issue but are not sure how to take it forward, why not take advantage of our FREE training workshops through the ALfA project and tailor a similar workshop for your groups.