Alliance Councillor Karen Douglas has proposed that in the absence of a functioning Assembly and Executive, Ards and North Down Borough Council should establish a group to monitor health and social care issues.
Councillor Douglas said: “The provision of health and social care services across Northern Ireland currently cost around £4.6 billion every year. It is estimated that just to stand still an increase of around 6% will be needed each year.
“There will always be pressures on budgets, so it is vital that public money is used as effectively and efficiently as possible. While we have seen great improvements in the provision of health and social care over the years, much is still to be done to develop longer term solutions to provide the levels of care our citizens will need.
“Health is one of the key issues regularly raised by constituents, which is why I have proposed that Ards and North Down Borough Council establishes a cross party working group to monitor issues of health and social care in our area. While the Assembly and Executive are currently not functioning, Councils are the only elected bodies our constituents can turn to for support.
“With such critical matters as Health and Social Care, there should be a cross-party consensus to address the important issues. The public like to see politicians working together for the best of the community. A working group would offer members the opportunity to develop a localised understanding of the issues within our community and the chance to scrutinise and advocate on locality-sensitive matters.
“I am pleased my proposal has received support at Council Committee level and look forward to receiving the support of the full Council.”
Councillor Douglas’s motion reads: ‘That this Council agrees to establish a cross-party working group of elected members to attend to issues of Health & Social Care which impact the residents of our Borough with the view of promoting their needs.’