Public Participation Network
In September 2013 the Government established the Working Group on Citizens Engagement in Local Government to make recommendations on more extensive and diverse input by citizens into the decision making at local government level. The Report of the Working Group, published on 28th February 2014, recommends the establishment of a number of new structures to facilitate community engagement in local decision-making. In particular they propose the establishment of a ‘Public Participation Network (PPN) in each local authority area to enable the public take an active formal role in relevant policy making and oversight committees of the local authority. Following the commencement of section 46 of Local Government Reform Act 2014 on 1st June, local authorities are required to establish PPNs immediately and all community representation on committees of the local authority must be sourced through the PPN. Regulations on the new structures are due to be issued in December 2014.
Structure of the PPN
The PPN will be organised at both County and Municipal District level and will have a number of linkage groups on specific issues
The PPN will facilitate structured input by community and voluntary groups, social inclusion groups and environmental groups through representation on various local policy making committees such as the Local Community Development Committee, Strategic Policy Committee, Sligo Peace and Reconciliation Partnership and other policy making groups.
Activities to date
- Development of a communications strategy with County Community Forum for establishment of PPN
- The setting up of a website www.sligoppn.com and the distribution of information leaflets and posters throughout the county promoting the PPN and encouraging community groups to register.
- Completion of Online and paper based registration process.
- Advertisement in local media, press releases, interviews on local radio, briefings to Council Chamber, Municipal Districts and LCDC and online promotion of PPN
- The establishment a unit in City Hall to deal with queries on the PPN, contact 071 9114430, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Key workers/activists in the youth, volunteer, heritage, arts, environmental, social inclusion, sports and community sectors have been briefed and asked to distribute information and encourage groups to join
- Public information sessions in Easkey, Tubbercurry, Ballymote, Grange and Sligo City.