Planned changes to how the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) and the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP – Social Inclusion) are delivered nationwide could have a detrimental effect on Local Development Companies such as North Tipperary LEADER Partnership (NTLP) and the communities and individuals that they serve.
NTLP Board Chairman Jim Finn states that “plans to contract the LEADER Programme nationally to newly established Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) under the auspices of each County Council could seriously undermine the bottom up, integrated approach to working with communities to further sustainable social and economic development.
“This approach has been the hallmark of programme delivery over the past twenty years by Community and Voluntary Sector Companies such as North Tipperary LEADER Partnership”.
A further threat to the community development approach to service delivery, are plans, now at an advanced stage, to hand over administrative responsibility for delivery of the Local and Community Development Programme (Social Inclusion) to newly established LCDCs at county level. The new LCDCs will be required to undertake a procurement process for the future delivery of social inclusion activities.
Michael Murray, CEO of NTLP, commented: “this process could see the delivery of community development and social inclusion activities shift away from the community and voluntary sector to private for profit companies. If this happens it will certainly not be in the best interest of disadvantaged communities or individuals”.
In order to raise awareness of these issues a public meeting will take place on Thursday, April 10th at 8pm in the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh.