A crowd of 250 people packed the Clonmel Park Hotel on Friday to hear how new local government reforms will affect South Tipperary’s Development Company.
Following emotional pleas by the Chairman of South Tipperary Development Company, MartinQuinn, and a selection of people and community groups that have benefited from the “bottom-up” approach implemented by the local development company, speaker after speaker from the general audience spoke out passionately against the changes proposed by Minister Phil Hogan. Phil Prendergast MEP and Mattie McGrath T.D. spoke in favour of the retention of the current local development model. Simon Lynch, IFA Chairman also spoke in favour of retaining STDC.
Organisers say the proposed changes will result in commercial for-profit companies being allowed to tender for some of the programmes operated by South Tipperary Development Company. This may result in a privatisation of the operation of the main Social Inclusion Fund in this country, presently called the Local & Community Development Programme. A new committee called the Local and Community Development Committee will be established by Tipperary County Council and the Minister intends that this new committee will become the Local Action Group for the county, thereby taking control of the LEADER funds in the next round of funding 2014-2020.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.