January 10, 2020

Carnegie UK Trust welcomes commitment to wellbeing in Stormont Deal

by Carnegie UK Trust

The Carnegie UK Trust has welcomed the renewed commitment to put wellbeing at the centre of the Programme for Government in the deal published by the UK and Irish Government last night, New Decade, New Approach.

The Carnegie UK Trust is an organisation with global influence whose aim is to improve wellbeing across the UK and Ireland. The Trust played a seminal role in the incorporation of wellbeing at the heart of the draft Programme for Government in Northern Ireland, and is now supporting local councils and their partners with embedding wellbeing at a local government level.

Sarah Davidson, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:

“Wellbeing is about creating the conditions for people and communities to thrive. It is about prevention rather than the cure. It is about being equipped to make the difficult decisions about priorities in a time of austerity, but most importantly, it’s about people and the future they want.

“The Programme for Government that was developed by the previous Executive set out a commitment to ensure that societal wellbeing is at the heart of everything it sought to achieve. This represented a change in the way government delivers on its priorities, and how it engages with its citizens.

“The Carnegie UK Trust was delighted to play a seminal role in helping the Executive develop this approach, and we have since been working with local government and its partners to embed wellbeing within Community Planning.

“In the past three years, Community Planning Partnerships have led the way in demonstrating the benefits of putting wellbeing at the centre of local government policy, and this experience and example can help inform a new Executive and new phase of the Programme for Government.

“We are delighted that the proposed deal renews the commitment to the wellbeing approach, as well as to co-design, citizen engagement and multi-year budgeting. However in order to achieve the ambitions outlined in the draft Programme for Government, as has been the case in Scotland and Wales, legislation could ensure that statutory partners are enabled to deliver on the outcomes-based approach.

“We stand ready to support a new Executive and Assembly in the delivery of a new and exciting vision for Northern Ireland that places the wellbeing of its people at the heart of everything it seeks to achieve.”