The Local Government Reform Act 2014 (Putting People First) has been put forward by Minister Hogan as a means of “reinforcing Local Government as a primary means of public service at local level, building a stronger more cohesive local government, giving it a greater capacity to promote local community, social and economic development, and collectively to maximise the strengths of our country as a place in which to live, invest and work. The “Putting People First” action plan will empower local government in an entirely new way enabling it to lead economic, social and community development locally.
So what does this mean ….?
One of the key reforms will be the establishment of a new Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) in Tipperary which will be under the jurisdiction of the Local Authority. The LCDC will have an oversight and responsibility for local development and community related funding in the county. It is clear that the intention is to have the maximum level of publicly-funded programmes under the oversight of the LCDC.
What is unclear is: to what extent, and how this funding will be allocated to the delivery of local development programmes such as the Rural Development Programme and the Local and Community Development Programme in South Tipperary.?
Will vital community related programmes such as the Rural Development Programme and Local and Community Development Programme get lost in major programming areas such as roads, planning, housing, traffic management, etc?
How will the LCDC act for, and address the needs of communities across the county.?
How will the current principle and ethos of Community Led Local Development be integrated into the working philosophy of the LCDC?
What degree of autonomy will there be in making decisions?
When the LCDC comes into effect in mid-2014, it is essential that the full programme budgets continue to be allocated to the South Tipperary Development Company (STDC) which is an independent, community led local development company that has a proven track record in delivering a range of programmes that have major impacts across the county
For the past 20 years, the key local development programmes such as the Rural Development Programme (RDP), the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) Rural Social Scheme (RSS), TÚS Programme and the National Countryside Recreation Strategy (NCRS) have been delivered by the South Tipperary Development Company (STDC) utilising the Community Led Local Development model. This model of work has provided for the creation of employment, sustainable communities and the investment of significant resources in local communities in an integrated and transparent manner.
STDC is an independent company, with a proven track record of effectiveness, efficiency and providing value for money.
Do you feel that the Local Government Reform Act 1014 really “Puts people first”?
If your answer is “No” or “Not sure”, then make it an issue in the run up to the local elections. Ask your candidate how (s)he will “Put You First”.?
To find out more, come to the Public Meeting being hosted by the Board of the South Tipperary Development Company in the Clonmel Park Hotel on Friday next April 11th at 8 pm sharp.