Ireland

All Things Ireland: Nollaig Shona!

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Welcome to All Things Ireland

All Things Ireland is the LGIU’s way of bringing you all the latest local government reports and updates from the week so far.

This week we heard from Clare County Council on how a local authority can respond to an international crisis. Jason Murphy, Director for Ukrainian Affairs at Clare County Council, writes how the Council is playing its part in accommodating the some 70,000 refugees from Ukraine that have come into the Country since March 2022. You can find the full briefing here.

The week in Irish Local Government so far

Climate

Ireland’s ambition to protect 30% of its maritime area by 2030 advanced with new protected marine sites and government approval of the General Scheme of the Marine Protected Areas Bill. You can find out more here.

This week, the AILG has announced its renewed partnership with the University College Cork (UCC) in supporting the Climate Learning Program which was launched last year. The QQI Level 7 course will equip Local Authority Elected Members with practical and up-to-date environmental, social and political knowledge which will help them to implement climate-related plans, policies and legislation within their local authorities. Find out more here!

Find out more on climate training in this LGIU Publication on how Involve’s Local Climate Engagement programme provides three key lessons for public engagement on climate from recent work with local authorities.

Rural

Over €27 million in funding has been released to combat dereliction and breathe new life into rural towns and villages. 75 projects received €17 million in funding under the standard Town and Village Renewal Scheme and  29 projects are to be funded under the €6 million Building Acquisition Measure. Find the full list of projects here.

Interested in town regenerations? This LGIU policy briefing provides an overview of the Town Centre First policy, and important lessons possible lessons from Scotland for local and national Irish policy-makers.

Planning

This week, the Draft Planning & Development Bill 2022  received Cabinet approval. The bill, which you can find here, aims to being greater certainty, clarity& consistency to our planning system.

From Institute of Public Administration, the last Local Authority Times edition of the year provides a useful forward looking focus on the the future public transport, inclusive politics, funding of local government and delivery of its services, and tackling biodiversity loss. Find the Winter 2022 edition here.

Inequality

David Minton, Director at Northern & Western Regional Assembly, published a short post explaining how “The Power of Data Helps Regions Become Smart Regions”. Read the post here!

Make sure you check out this LGIU blog post from David Minton on the need more local and regional leadership to address climate change!

Elections

Recent funding of €215,594 aids seven political parties and two independent groups in their bids encourage an increase in the number of women candidates and people of diversity running in the next Local Elections. Read the funding breakdown here.

Check out this swift-read from Dr. Aodh Quinlivan on the considerable challenges associated with improving the participation rates of women in Ireland’s political arena.

Culture

Legislation is currently being prepared legislation to give effect to a new approach in relation to how the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta is appointed. In place of seven members being nominated to the board by local authorities that have a Gaeltacht region, 10 of the members will be elected on behalf of Gaeltacht areas and a further six members will be appointed on foot of a public competition. Read the full changes proposed here.

Northern Ireland

Newry, Mourne and Down’s UNESCO Global Geopark bid is within reach. The Global Geopark Council has approved the final submission for the area; for it to be ratified at the UNESCO Executive Board meeting in Paris in May 2023. Find out what this means for the Mourne Gullion Strangford area.

Key insights from Scottish Local Government

At LGIU we know that places are unique; but so many of the challenges faced by local governments are shared with their colleagues across countries and across continents. To promote the sharing of local government best practice and innovation, this week we have picked two key policy briefings from Scotland that are relevant to Irish local authorities. 

Working at home or in the office? The growth of hybrid working in local government. Use case studies from two Scottish local authorities, this briefing looks at home and hybrid working, exploring how local governments face this evolving and change landscape.

The ‘Housing First’ approach to homelessness. This briefing looks at the Housing First approach to homelessness. It highlights how, with its focus on rough sleeping, it has changed the approach of the Government and local authorities in tackling the problem of people with high and complex needs.

Nollaig shona duit!

As this is our final All Things Ireland for the year, the LGIU Ireland would like to give our best wishes to all of our members over the winter holiday’s, especially as our local authorities are out in force and working hard to support our communities during this difficult winter.

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