Focus on Ireland – Funding calls and local elections in Northern Ireland

Welcome to the LGIU's Focus on Ireland!

Focus on Ireland highlights a few key items of local government news from our members-only Daily News service and provides links to key resources to help you address the issues of today and opportunities for the future.

Feature of the week – Local elections in Northern Ireland

To never miss a beat, you need access to our exclusive resources and our full Daily News service – one email, every morning with everything you need:

  • breaking news;
  • briefings;
  • reports;
  • training;
  • events;
  • and, so much more.

Only available to members – find out more about LGIU membership here.

Over the weekend, Northern Ireland’s 11 councils returned historic results with far-reaching consequences for the island of Ireland as they elected 462 councillors. At a glance, here are some of the highlights of NI’s 2023 local elections:

  • Sinn Fein is formally the largest party in local government in NI, followed by the DUP and Alliance.
  • Derry and Strabane returned the first black councillor in Northern Ireland.
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council saw an 18-year-old elected days before his politics A-Level.
  • Big names departed the scene, such as Green Party leader Mal O’Hara and PUP leader Billy Hutchinson.

Check out some pre-election thoughts on local government in NI in Part 1 and Part 2 of our coverage.

LGMA's new corporate plan

Open to LGIU members only 🔒

Corporate Planning in local government in Ireland

This is only one of the several LGIU Ireland briefings that examine the work of the NOAC (the National Oversight and Audit Commission) in Ireland. Report number 46 was published in November 2021 and was based on a review of local authorities and regional assemblies’ corporate plans for 2019- 2024.

Publishing a new corporate plan for 2023-25, this plan aims to ensure our work continues to meet the needs and ambitions of local authorities over the next three years and to position the Agency to continue developing for the future, with a key focus being the development and delivery of the Local Government Digital and ICT Strategy. (You can find the report here).

On top of this, a new LGMA Research publication covers population increases by local authority areas.

Updates from LGIU Ireland

The Land Question – Implications of the LDA report

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

This briefing summarises a new report by the Land Development Agency which estimates that available land parcels could yield up to 66,910 housing units – with 41% being local authority owned already. We cover the details and their implications for helping to relieve Ireland’s housing demand.

Delivering for communities in a cost of living crisis: LGIU/IS Global Local Executive Panel summary

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

In partnership with the Improvement Services, Chief Executives from around Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Australia came together to discuss their firsthand experience of delivering for communities during a cost of living crisis and how local government can tackle the various challenges it poses.

In conversation with Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council

Open to everyone 🟢 

Next up in our series of interviews with local government leaders, LGIU’s Thomas Lynch spoke with Meath County Council’s Chief Executive, Jackie Maguire, to find out more about the Council’s big priorities and what they’re striving to achieve this year.

Who moves?

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  • The search is on for a new Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, and Richard Shakespeare will be appointed acting chief executive of Dublin City Council when Owen Keegan stands down on September 13.
  • Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council, had her last full Council meeting with Fiona Lawless, now interim Chief Executive from June 6th.
  • Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, has also had his last full Council meeting.

Key funding calls

  • Managed by the LGMA, a well-being programme of €300,000 is available to local authorities for strategic initiatives aimed at supporting and maintaining staff well-being.
  • Funding of up to €10,000 is available to help re-energise and revitalise the Night-Time Economy in villages and towns across the country
  • The latest 2022 Community Support Fund saw €322,725 for 135 local projects in Fingal.
  • Local authority staff can now avail of a new biodiversity pilot training programme for contractors working in environmentally sensitive areas
  • €509,415 will be made available to local community-based projects nationwide to support the integration of migrants
  • Finally, a new list of Community Recognition Fund 2023-List of Successful Applicants is now available!

Stay tuned...

In the coming weeks, LGIU Ireland will bring you in-depth policy briefings on…

  • Local government finance
  • Updates on rural communities
  • A Q&A interview with Niall Cussen, Chief Executive of the Office of the Planning Regulator