Ireland Communities and society, Democracy, devolution and governance, Finance, Health and social care

All things Ireland: Warming up for Halloween

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Welcome to All things Ireland

Welcome to All Things Ireland, the new weekly overview brought to you by the LGIU Ireland team. Our second edition updates you on the week at LGIU Ireland, followed by the most comprehensive weekly breakdown of All Things local government in Ireland.

From the LGIU Ireland team

The week in Irish Local Government

Planning

The much-covered Reform of Licensing Laws means 9 new pilot cities and towns have been selected by an independent review panel, led by the City and County Management Association (CCMA). The selected pilot locations are Dublin City, Cork City, Limerick City, Galway City, Kilkenny, Drogheda, Sligo, Buncrana and Longford Town.

Department of Rural and Community Development announced a 2023-2027 LEADER Programme to support thousands of locally-led rural development and enterprise projects over the next 5 years. With a total of €180 million available to support rural communities and enterprises, interested parties can now apply by visiting the department’s website and downloading an application form.

Government approval means two European Regional Development Fund programmes are set to deliver €853 million. The programmes are to be managed by the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA), Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly (EMRA).

Housing

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage released the 2023 Local Property Tax (LPT) Allocations to Local Authorities. You can find the full breakdown here.

The Independent.ie provided a detailed breakdown of the number of Ukrainian refugees awaiting housing in local authority districts and provides detail on the difficulties of using vacant properties in remote areas. Read the full article here.

Homeless Report 2022. The Department’s official homelessness statistics are published on a monthly basis and refer to the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities during a specific count week, typically the last full week of the month. Read the full breakdown here.

Transport

In transport developments, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Limerick are announced as the destinations for a new 9 month study into new cost-efficient Zebra crossings.

Climate

The Community Climate Action Programme saw 18 successful recipients benefit from the new €5 million fund. Selected from 72 applicants, you can find more information about the projects from the Pobal website.

Cork County unveiled its Reuse Republic event. The first to be held since the pandemic, this year’s event took place at IRD Duhallow and brought together national and local reuse initiatives to exhibit their services and showcase how individuals and communities can take action to reduce their consumption and positively impact climate. Cork County Chief Executive Tim Lacey commented, “We welcome the return of our popular Reuse Republic event, which will showcase some inspiring examples of initiatives in Cork County that are leading the way in the move to a circular economy.” Find more out here.

Further developments were made on prioritising a Circular Economy. Government policy is moving towards achieving a ‘circular economy’, where resources are re-used or recycled as much as possible, and the generation of waste is minimised. Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications announced a call for applications for the 2022 funding round of the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS). This €650,000 grant scheme supports innovation and circular economy projects by social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations, and businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Northern Ireland

Deadline day in Northern Ireland. At 12pm, the Assembly meets one last time in an attempt to re-start devolution. At 12am, Executive Ministers will leave office and civil servants take over departmental runnings. At 12:01am, the NI Secretary of State pledges to call a Winter election. Read about how local governments in NI navigate deadlock at Stormont here.

Welcoming the upcoming All Island Rail Review, the Department of Infrastructure is exploring the feasibility of new rail routes between Derry and Portadown, re-opening the line to Belfast International Airport, electrifying the Belfast to Newry line and increased connections to Belfast City Airport.

Greater collaboration over Active Travel and Greenways will see local government involvement in a new cross-departmental working group. Whilst a delivery model remains in the works, SusTrans and Council’s received praise for progress on Active Travel.

Conferences and Culture

Cork City hosted the fourth Public Service Innovation Conference 2022. With the theme of this years conference Championing Innovation and Transformation in the Public Service, click here to find out more about what Cork City Council’s Chief Executive Ann Doherty said about user-centred services.

Dublin City Council is working with the new Baile Átha Cliath (BÁC) le Gaeilge project. With €325,000 of funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the main goal of BÁC le Gaeilge is to promote and strengthen the language in Dublin, among the business community and in the community as a whole. Click here to find out more.

Housing Agency’s Annual Conference for 2022 is announced for the 26th November in Trinity College Dublin. A hybrid event, over half-a-day the conference will explore the sustainability of Ireland’s housing finance models, sustainable communities and environmental sustainability. To register click here.

Three Ordinary Members were appointed to the Charities Regulator which was established in 2014 to register and regulate all of Ireland’s charities, with the mandate to promote good governance practice.

Supported by Cork City and County Council, the Pride in Our Community Awards 2022 celebrated the efforts of groups in Cork city and county that work to develop and maintain community based amenities or projects, to raise awareness of their local environment, to work to eliminate litter in their areas and to conserve and enhance habitats in their area to support local biodiversity.

On a lighter note…

Congratulations are in order following the SuperValu TidyTowns awards ceremony at the RDS in Dublin. The big winners this year are…

  • Rosscarbery, Co. Cork (Ros Ó gCairbe, Co Corcaigh) awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Village.
  • Clonakilty, Co Cork (Cloch Na Coillte, Co Corcaigh) awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town.
  • Trim, Co Meath (Baile Átha Troim, Co Mí) awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town.

Accompany this, the Department of Rural and Community Development announced €1.4 million announced in grant aid for over 930 SuperValu TidyTowns groups nationwide.

Coming up…

Looking into next week, the LGIU is bringing you the latest housing update as well as content from Galway City Council on their Active Travel projects.

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