All things Ireland: The first edition


Image by Claire Tardy from Pixabay

Welcome to All things Ireland

Welcome to All Things Ireland, a new weekly overview brought to you by the LGIU Ireland team. This first edition focuses on what the LGIU Ireland team has been up to as well as a tailored local government focus on reports and updates from across Ireland.

From the LGIU Ireland team

Whilst the rest of the LGIU team set off to Bath for the LGIU’s 13th year of Councillor awards in England and Wales, the LGIU Ireland team has three new briefings for local governments.

  • Reform of Ireland’s Planning Appeals Board. This briefing examines the background to the Action Plan and outlines the major reforms which have been approved by the Government and announced by the Minister.
  • Mixed-methods area profiling and reflections urban regeneration. This briefing paper recounts experiences of compiling a socio-economic profile of neighbourhoods that were included in an area-based urban-regeneration initiative in Tralee, County Kerry. It was commissioned by the local development company and involved a mixed-methods approach.
  • Levels of satisfaction and attitudes towards local authorities. This is the latest briefing in our series dealing with the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) reports. We examine this most recent effort to appraise both attitudes towards local authorities and the level of services being provided by Ireland’s 31 local authorities.

Reports and updates

Fingal County Council has been given the go ahead for a €10 million transformation of the Balbriggan town centre to deliver a unique public civic space in the heart of Ireland’s youngest town. This is the first and largest signature project to be brought forward under the Fingal County Council’s Our Balbriggan 2019-2025 Rejuvenation Plan. Find out more here.

The Simon Communities Ireland Locked Out report for September 2022 showed only 392 properties were available for rental, with September also seeing the lowest number of HAP properties ever recorded in the Locked Out of the Market reports. Read more from the Simon Communities here.

Pivotal’s newest briefing paper provides information about how Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government is working and that will change in the coming weeks. Find out more about what happens after NI’s October deadline here.

The week in Merrion Street…

  • On October 14th, Cork provided the forum for the Minister for Foreign Affairs attendance at the Ireland-Wales Forum in Cork. The event brings together Irish and Welsh ministers to exchange views and learning on key issues from trade, economic cooperation to renewable energy. In addition to the Ministerial Forum, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Forde, welcomed the Welsh First Minister and his delegation to City Hall.
  • Following the Minister for Transport’s call to local authorities over the summer to submit their most innovative approaches to transport, the Department of Transport’s Pathfinder Programme announces 35 exemplar transport projects to be delivered by local authorities in 19 counties and 5 cities. Click here to find the full list of project summaries.
  • Following statements from the Chief Executives of Dublin City Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council last week, this week we saw Chief Executives from Cork City Council and Galway City Council discuss Implementing Housing For All at the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine published a report exploring the need for increased pan-European collaboration on peatlands restoration, conservation and sustainable management. The report summarises the findings of an exploratory study to discover how a European network could help overcome action and policy barriers for peatlands. You can find the full report here.
  • In housing, the Residential Tenancies (Deferment of Termination Dates of Certain Tenancies) Bill 2022 will defer no fault tenancy terminations that are due to occur during the coming winter months from taking effect until after 31 March 2023.
  • Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced the allocation of grants totalling €2 million to successful applicants from the Community Safety Innovation Fund. 22 community projects across the country are set to benefit from grants ranging from €5,000 to €150,000, which will support the delivery of innovative projects to improve community safety in their local areas.
  • In planning, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has commenced Section 22 of the Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022, which amends the judicial review provisions in Sections 50A of the Planning and Development Act 2000.
  • In Offaly, Minister Peter Burke launched a new initiative in Offaly County Council, aimed at increasing the number of women involved in local politics in Offaly which currently stands at 19.
  • Finally, looking forward to next week keep your eyes peeled for the Heritage Ireland conference. A free event, and open to all, the Heritage Ireland 2030 conference is set for Monday (24th October) at Trinity College. Heritage Ireland 2030 is Ireland’s national plan for the protection of our heritage. Find out more about this event here.

On a lighter note…

Crowned the “Halloween Capital of the World”, check out what Derry and Strabane Council have planned for 2022’s halloween weekend. To find out more about Halloween Celebrations in Derry, read this short piece from Tourism Ireland on the Irish origins of the Samhain festival and check in next week where the LGIU hears from Derry and Strabane Council.

Coming up…

Next week briefings from the LGIU Ireland will focus on COP-27 and we will hear from Derry and Strabane Council how they came to be the “Halloween capital of the world”.

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