Headlines: May 11th, 2001

Civil servants in England might be feeling the pressure of the modernising government regime, but in Northern Ireland the service is seeing new energy and dedication – according to Mr Gerry Loughran, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.He was speaking at a conference of a mutual health society at the Waterfront Hall, and told delegates:’We have a new, energetic and locally accountable democracy, which is inclusive and responsive to the needs of the people. There is a new energy and dedication within the public service, and not least within the government departments for which I have responsibility. We are proud of our role, as public servants, in creating a more vibrant economy, and developing health, education and environmental services, and promoting the cultural life of our community. Northern Ireland is at the door of an exciting future.’

The Benenden Healthcare Society is open to staff from Government Departments and their dependents. It holds its biennial conference at venues across the UK but it is the first time it has visited Northern Ireland. It is one of a number of organisations making Northern Ireland their conference location for the first time. Mr Loughran said they were helping make the country a significant conference provider.