All Things Ireland – Conferences and new government measures for housing and air quality

This week, the LGIU Ireland team were out in the field attending both the CARO Economic Opportunities from Climate Action conference in Tullamore and the Academy of Urbanism conference in Galway. Both conferences provided a great chance to touch base with the wider sector and share international local government learning – read all about it and more in this week’s All Things Ireland, bringing you all the big updates and developments in Irish local government. 

LGIU Ireland updates you may have missed!

Analysis of the National Climate Action Plan 2023 – Part 1: Changing the public sector landscape

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

This briefing provides an analysis of the National Climate Action Plan 2023 (CAP 23) and highlights implications for the wider public sector. Due to the extent, nature and detail of CAP 23, the briefing is provided in two parts.

Analysis of the National Climate Action Plan 2023 – Part 2: Issues and challenges for the local government sector

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

This briefing continues with the sectoral analysis in respect of land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), just transition, transportation, agriculture, and adaptation. It concludes with a comment and discussion on the broader CAP 23 issues, challenges and opportunities.

Local Government Festival of the Year – Ennis MELA

Open to everyone 🟢 

Next up in our series of articles showcasing the latest local government innovation from the Chambers Ireland 2022 Excellence in Local Government Awards, Clare County Council tells us about the success of Ennis MELA.

New funding calls!

The state of the private rental market: Accommodation availability

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

Accommodation availability and affordability are the main overarching issues in the private rental market, the first of which is considered in this briefing, which reviews how the market has evolved, factors underlying factors, and questions regarding future prospects. The related issue of rents and affordability will be considered shortly in a further briefing.

Reports and updates for local authorities

Oireachtas report: Feb to March 2023

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

This is the latest briefing on parliamentary affairs impacting local government. It includes references to key legislation and issues in the Oireachtas between mid-February and mid-March. It should be of interest to everyone keeping an eye on Irish Parliamentary matters and how they can impact local government. A special briefing on the new planning legislation will be published shortly.

Ireland’s First Clean Air Strategy! Aligning Ireland to WHO guidelines for 2040, this new strategy “identifies and promotes the coordinated measures needed – across government”.

New Government measures have been agreed under the Housing for All Plan to make it cheaper to build and refurbish homes, speed up home building and drive down building costs across the board. For example;

  • Scrapping the development levies required to connect new homes with roads, water and other services, and subsidising development levies;
  • Beefing up grants to cut the cost of restoring empty homes and making it easier to apply;
  • Government financing of the construction of affordable apartments under Cost Rental.

Also, this week we saw the ‘Connected Hubs Showcase Day’ at the Creative Spark Downtown Hub in Dundalk, County Louth where over 50 Connected Hubs are hosting events around the country displaying the regional diversity of the digital hub network.

A draft bus network revealed by the National Transport Authority is to increase bus service provision by 50%!

The full programme for the Housing Practioners’ Conference, to be held in The Strand Hotel, Co. Limerick on the 11th and 12th May has been published.

Finally, new research from the Housing Agency research team explores two challenges that are facing Irish families and communities with the cost of living – housing costs and energy prices.

Advance your knowledge of Irish local government

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International local government learnings

Vacancy in Scotland

In this article, Andy Moseley, Policy and Projects Manager at the Scottish Empty Homes Partnerships shines a spotlight on the true scale of vacancy in Scotland and how local government can be forefront in tackling this critical issue head-on.

How vacant offices could offer a solution to Brussels’ housing crisis

A new report by Perspective.Brussels examines whether the city’s housing crisis could be swiftly addressed by converting vacant office space into new homes.

The city currently has a vacant office floor space of over a million square metres. However, not all of it is usable and much of it is located in the city’s more remote industrial areas.

Sharing lessons from Ireland and Spain on actions to tackle child poverty

This LGIU briefing explains the fundamentals of the EU Child Guarantee, compares the national plans from Ireland and Spain, and suggests some areas of action for local authorities to address child poverty. This will be of interest to everyone working in children and family services as well as those responsible for forward planning services.

Gaelic football in Cambodia?

We have all seen Tipperary and Mayo jerseys trickle down from Trócaire and St Vincent De Paul’s to all corners of the globe, but this week, BBC Sport this week delivered a great piece on how 2 Irish man started a GAA club in Bangkok and now 90% of the Cairde Khmer ranks are Cambodian (BBC Sports).