Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., launches local authority Local Economic Community Plans at the National Ploughing Championships, Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, (20/09/2016) officially launched the first round of six-year Local Economic and Community Plans, at the National Ploughing Championships, in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
The Plans are the product of more than 12 months hard work by local authorities, the new Local Community Development Committees and other agencies and development bodies. Having been developed in consultation with communities, the plans describe how different strands of local economic, social and community development work will be brought together to best serve local areas.
Reflecting on the importance of local partnerships, the Minister highlighted that the Plans already show what can be achieved when people talk to each other and work in partnership. They are underpinned by extensive consultation with communities, community groups, business interests and other important stakeholders, and they show a great willingness by all involved to engage openly and constructively.
The Minister continued by commending the quality and ambition of the plans saying, they deal with priorities that are important to all communities - be it education, youth services, the environment, integration, health and well-being, tourism, or employment...They all reflect an impressive breadth of ambition for their areas. They are all underpinned by a shared vision. They are all products of meaningful engagement and participation by all. And they all draw on the wealth of assets in their communities, around which personal, social and economic opportunities can be stimulated, and if managed well, enhance quality of life and community well-being.
In concluding, the Minister acknowledged the hard work and commitment of those involved in bringing the plans to completion but also stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum built-up over the last 24 months: all of this has been embraced and delivered with professionalism, commitment and vigour, there are still challenges ahead, the need to maintain the momentum of recent years and to continue to build and exploit local relationships and realise a truly integrated approach to public service delivery.
Note for Editor
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides for the development of 6-year Local Economic and Community Plans to promote and support the economic development and the community and local development of each local authority area. They are plans of added-value that seek to promote the well-being and quality of life of people and communities by bringing key stakeholders together to work in partnership and facilitating integrated service planning and delivery.
The Plans comprise two elements - economic elements, developed the Strategic Policy Committee for Economic Development and Enterprise, and community elements developed by the new Local Community Development Committees. The Plan as a whole is adopted by the local authority.
Local Community Development Committees have been established (in accordance with the Local Government Reform Act) in all local authority areas for the purposes of developing, co-ordinating and implementing a coherent and integrated approach to local and community development in those areas. There are 33 Local Community Development Committees, one in each local authority with the exception of Cork County where there are three.
The Local Economic and Community Plan is key mechanism through which these Committees will seek to bring about greater integration in the planning of and delivery of local and community development services and interventions.
Each Committee has between 15 and 21 members drawn from the public and private sectors. The majority of members on each Committee are drawn from the private sector. Public members include local authority elected members and officials and representatives from locally-based State bodies. Private members include representatives from local development companies, nominees from the new Public Participation Networks, business interests, farming interests and other community and local interests.
Kilkenny Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) is chaired by Fergus Keane, Manager of the Good Shepherd Centre, Kilkenny
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