All Things Ireland: Outcomes from COP-27

Welcome to All Things Ireland.

LGIU Ireland’s weekly collation of everything local government in Ireland. This week we bring you the latest reports and updates to kick start your 2023 in Irish local government.

Containing all the key reports on housing, planning and good practice updates, find out everything you need for your next week in Irish local government.

While the 2023 Henley Passport Index ranks the Irish passport one of the most powerful in the world, LGIU Ireland brings you two key updates;


Check out this LGIU Ireland briefing which examines the background to An Bord Pleanála Action Plan and outlines the major reforms which have been approved by the Government and announced by the Minister.

In a rush? Check out this blog which explains the role of the OPR in Ireland’s planning system.

A Christmas gift for frustrated planners, on the 20th December the Office of the Planning Regulator published the second part of its review of An Bord Pleanála. Welcomed by the Irish Planning Institute, the report contains 23 recommendations ranging from organisational decision-making, communications, and governance arrangements of case files. Read the full report here!

Updates for local authorities

Digitising Local Government- Build to Share in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council shares the details a recent Build to Share (Bts) project which aims to establish an approach to the development of digital systems.

With a proposed hotel room tax due before Dublin City Council’s Finance Committee this week, Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney commented that any required legislation would entail appropriate assessment.

Cork City Council and the Cork LGBTI+ Inter-Agency Group hosted the Global Rainbow Cities Network Policy Conference from the 17th to 19th of January 2023, with 28 delegates from the 20 Rainbow Cities Network across the world in Cork.

‘Northwest in the City’, a Dublin-based event on February 9th, aims to promote the Northwest and spotlight the many positive transformational changes made in recent years. You can register here!

Creative Ireland are delighted to announce that applications are now open for the Creative Ireland Creative Economic Fund 2023. The Creative Communities Economic Action Fund 2023 seeks to continue the work undertaken in the first round of funding to develop creative economies at local level.

Regions in Focus 2023. Hosted by the Association of Irish Regions (AIR), this is the first Regional Seminar and Training Event and aims to explore the role of regions in navigating present and future challenges. Click here to register for the 2 day conference in Monaghan between February 7th-9th.

Westmeath County Council hosted a seminar aiming to increase the number and diversity of women in Irish local government. Find out more about the See her elected here.

The most important private collection of Irish history material in public hands, with over 100,000 items spanning 400 years, read more about how Mayo County Council exhibits the Jackie Clarke Collection.

Locals Encouraged To Drop Into Community Living Rooms. To help provide a network of friendly drop-in locations for people across north Dublin, Fingal County Council has today launched a pilot initiative at three key centres that will give a welcoming and comfortable environment where people can feel at ease and at home.


House price developments and prospects

This briefing explores the topic of house prices and over valuation in further detail and analyses the possible trends for the near future.

For more on housing in Ireland, find out how the LGIU Research Team assesses the Housing for All plan one year on. 

In a wide-ranging interview with the Irish Times, Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan starts his final 9 months as Chief Executive with an intense focus on housing, outlining plans for the Council to acquire surplus land from institutional/religious groups, and rezone further land for housing. Read the full interview here!

Read the ICSH Social Housing Autumn/Winter 2022 newsletter, which includes coverage of our Biennial Finance & Development Conference 2022, the Building on Success: A Financial Roadmap for the AHB Sector publication.

Housing Finance Agency (HFA) is set to fund Mayo County Council to begin a pilot, in collaboration with housing solutions platform, Homebuyer’s Hero, aimed at turning some of Mayo’s 9,166 vacant properties back into homes. Starting with a pool of 30-50, you can read more about the pilot from the HFA here.

A further bundle of projects under the social housing Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme is expected to deliver almost 600 new social homes across nine sites in Cork, Kildare, Monaghan, Sligo and Wicklow.

November 2022 Homelessness Report sheds light on the concentration of adults in emergency accommodation in the greater Dublin area.

Climate and the Environment

COP-26: One Year On – Global Local Executive Panel

Composed of Council Chief Executives from Ireland, the UK and Australia, this panel summary highlights all that has happened in the last twelve months and the ongoing implications for local government from the COP-26 discussions and resolutions.

Newly published, the Historic and Archaeological Heritage Bill 2023 modernises laws underpinning the protection of our archaeological heritage.

Two senior county council officials hammered home the impacts of climate change on Cork County’s roads, as rainfall in the last three months has had a severe impact on the condition of Cork’s 12 000km of roads.

Published this week, the Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022 – 2025 will see €100 million spent on public charging infrastructure over the next three years, with a pool of high-powered chargers every 60 km on our motorway network.

Finally, according to an analysis from energy consultants Baringa, just over a third of Irish electricity was generated by wind last year, new data shows.

Finance and funding

Local government response to an international crisis: Ukrainian refugees

Since March 2022, approx. 70,000 Ukrainian refugees have come to Ireland. This briefing looks in particular at how Clare County Council has managed the various national and local refugee initiatives (such as Offer A Home) and the challenges they’ve faced in the resettlement process.

A €4m cross-border research partnership aims to address structural and societal imbalances across the north west of Ireland. The four-year Atlantic Futures Project, focuses on sustainable regional development in the North West Atlantic Innovation Corridor region.

€9.5 million has been approved for payment as part of Budget 2023 to help businesses cope with the recent rises in energy costs. TBESS provides qualifying businesses with up to 40% of the increase in electricity or gas bills up to €10,000 per month.

A $100m North Ireland Growth Fund aims for business investments that will generate employment and prosperity in the region whilst at the same time providing attractive economic returns for the Fund.

Annual results for Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for 2022 showed that LEO’s supported companies to create 7,870 new jobs in 2022, a 10% increase since 2021.

Northern Ireland

For more on the politics of NI, check out this recent LGIU blog looks at why is Northern Ireland so jolly? 

March 5th is the new deadline for whether Ministers will call a fresh election, as the Democratic Unionist party continues to block power-sharing at Stormont in protest at post-Brexit trading arrangements.

Belfast City Council launched a new consultation on whether the city needs a dedicated building for organisations representing the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Executive Office will receive the £10,500 tariff (£5,900 from 1 January 2023) and ‘thank you’ payments from DLUHC and will distribute this funding to Northern Irish councils.

Transport and Infrastructure

Cork County Council: A month in the life

In this briefing, Cork County Council provides an insight into their October of 2022, including their work on infrastructure projects, environment and sustainability initiatives, housing and community.

With Dublin City Council recently establishing an Active Travel Network Office to deliver a programme of improved walking and cycle infrastructure across the city, this blog from Dublin City Architects explore the potentials of Active Travel infrastructure. 

Local Government insights from Scotland

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.

Stay tuned!

Shaping up to be another year where Ireland’s planning system is in the spotlight, for those looking to navigate their way through the planning system, check out these short informative videos from the OPR.

Next week LGIU Ireland will bring you a Oireachtas report for January 2023, where we look at all the major developments in the House of Oireachtas in the end of 2022 and what this means for local government.

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