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All Things Ireland: Council’s Performance Under the Spotlight

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Photo by Jason Murphy on Unsplash

Welcome to All Things Ireland

As COP-27 kicks off and we watch the US mid-term elections from afar, this week the LGIU Ireland brings you all the latest in local government.

Despite November traditionally being the month of looking forward, this LGIU Ireland briefing provides some much needed reflection. This briefing overviews a very busy Oireachtas period, parts of which were dominated by the implosion of the UK Government under Liz Truss, which had attempted, with some apparent success, to reset relations on the issue of Brexit and the NI Protocol after the turbulence of the Johnson years. Find the full briefing here.

The week in Irish Local Government

Local Government Performance

The National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), the independent body with oversight of local government, has examined the performance of the State’s 31 local authorities in 2021, across 42 separate indicators covering 11 areas. Established under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 to provide independent scrutiny of local government performance in fulfilling national, regional and local mandates, you can find out how local authorities performed in 2021 here. 

Read this LGIU Ireland briefing which examines NOAC’s most recent effort to appraise both attitudes towards local authorities and the level of services being provided by Ireland’s 31 local authorities. You can find the full briefing here .

Housing

The first Youth Homelessness Strategy in two decades, the Youth Homelessness Strategy 2023-2025 sets out 27 distinct actions to prevent young people entering homelessness, to improve the experiences of young people in emergency accommodation and to assist young people to exit homelessness. You can find the full report here.

The government is rolling out a rapid build housing programme to provide accommodation for families fleeing the war in Ukraine. The programme aims to provide short-term accommodation to 2,000 Ukrainians across Cavan, Cork, Tipperary, Sligo and Mayo. Find out more here.

The publication of Draft Residential Zoned Land Tax Maps last week by local authorities forms part of the implementation of the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT). The RZLT measure is an important component of the pathway to increasing new housing supply, contained in the government’s Housing for All plan to 2030. Find the local authority breakdown here.

To understand the complexity of Irish housing policy, this LGIU Ireland Research briefing is imperative to understanding policy making and housing in Ireland and asks the important question: is there an effective approach to housing in Ireland? Read the full briefing here.

Planning

Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project received €170.6 million of investment. This government approval of Waterford City and County Council’s final business case enables the council to appoint a contractor. Read more about the 3 transport-focused infrastructure sub-projects here.

€115 million has been released for 23 landmark Rural Regeneration Projects nationwide. Cork, Kildare, Clare, Mayo, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Laois, Cavan, Donegal, Westmeath, Roscommon and Leitrim all set to proceed in two phases. Read the full list of approved projects here.

Kildare County Council secures funding of over €4.2 million for the Athy Food, Drink & Skills Innovation Hub. Kildare County Council’s plans, spearheaded by the Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office are to convert the historic Model School in Athy into a centre for educational and entrepreneurial excellence for the food sector, providing a dedicated space for enterprise development, job creation and training in the region. Find the full report here.

This briefing from the LGIU examines the background to the Action Plan and outlines the major reforms which have been approved by the Government and announced by the Minister. Read the full briefing here.

Climate

A working Paper released this week examines the challenges in relation to the supply of peat and peat alternatives to the professional horticultural industry in Ireland.

A new sustainability report produced by Microsoft Ireland and University College Cork revealed that Irish businesses are significantly underprepared when it comes to making the transformative changes required to transition to a net zero future. The report found that one in five (19%) businesses are yet to start their sustainability journey, while less than one in ten (9%) consider themselves to be well-advanced or truly sustainable. Read the full report here.

With headlines focusing on COP-27, this LGIU briefing examines the state of play and what lies ahead at the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference. Read the full briefing here about how COP-27 impacts actions under the Climate Action Plan 2021.

Society

Funding worth €115 million has been allocated to 23 landmark rural regeneration projects across the country as part of the Government’s Our Rural Future policy. Successful councils include Cavan, Clare, Cork County, Donegal, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath and Wexford. Find the full list of projects here.

Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, published its annual report for 2021. The report shows that Peter McVerry Trust worked with over 10,000 people in 2021, an increase of almost 30% on the previous year. The charity which is now active in 28 local authority areas and you can find the full report here.

Northern Ireland

A Stormont election could be called in late February to allow time for the EU and UK to strike a deal over the protocol, according to reports. Read more about the Northern Ireland Secretary of State manoeuvrings here.

To understand the background and Brexit’s role in NI’s latest political crisis, check out this LGIU analysis of NI’s May 2022 election and the brewing political crisis. 

On a lighter note…

Mayo County Council is set to host an art exhibition with the Atlantic Technological University from November 16th-December 5th. Mayo County Council has been collecting art for many years and has acquired a substantial collection of almost 200 works. The exhibition will form part of Mayo County Council’s Excel Youth Arts Programme and you can find more here.

Coming up…

Looking ahead into next week, LGIU Ireland will bring you all the latest with our Global Local on COP 26: One Year On as well as an LGIU briefing on local government finance.

Sign up today and stay connected with local government policy briefings, news, leading-edge research, training and more. 



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