District Council
Community Relations Programme

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District Council Community Relations Programme

In July 1989, all 26 District Councils were invited by the Central Community Relations Unit (CCRU) to engage in a Community Relations Programme. Each council was asked to consider developing proposals that would improve community relations in their respective areas. Several conditions applied in order to participate in this scheme:

  • The decision to take part had to be agreed on a cross-party basis within each Council;

  • Councils had to draft and endorse a community relations policy statement. This statement, along with the specific projects to be run under the scheme, also had to be agreed on a cross-party basis;

  • Councils had to appoint one or more Community Relations Officers (CROs) who would administer the programme; and

  • Projects were required to:
    • increase cross-community contact and co-operation;
    • promote greater mutual understanding; and
    • develop appreciation of different cultural traditions.
Funding agreements run for 3 years at a time and have been extended to date. The CCRU provides grant-aid for approved programmes at a rate of 75% of the total programme costs within an agreed limit.

The development of the programme has been very successful with 25 of the District Councils now participating, partly due to the strict monitoring arrangements established by the CCRU. The 26th District Council is currently considering participation in the future. Monitoring and evaluation is an important element of the programme and Councils are required to submit detailed monitoring returns and an annual progress report which provide feedback on the results of the expenditure and ensure that the projects have had the intended emphasis on community relations.

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