Please register at your earliest convenience with Cork City and Cork County Public Participation Networks. It is vital that all local and countywide environmental groups register to get maximum representation of the sector within the city & county. Please note that approval of Environmental groups is sanctioned through the Envuronmental Pillar. Details of both schemes and contacts following:
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION NETWORK FOR CORK CITY
Cork City Council intends to establish a Public Participation Network as required by the Local Government Reform Act 2014.
The PPN will be the main link through which the local authority connects with the community, voluntary and environmental sectors without prejudice to other consultation processes.
The purpose of the PPN is to facilitate public input into local government through a structure that ensures public participation and representation on decision making committees and bodies within local government
An information meeting regarding the PPN will be held in the Millennium Hall, City Hall on Thursday 15th January 2015.
Information and registration forms relating to the PPN may be requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by post to Public Participation Network, Community & Enterprise Section, City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork , or by telephone to (021) 4924373.
Commmunity & Enterprise Section,
Corporate & External Affairs Directorate
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION NETWORK FOR CORK COUNTY
Cork County Council is now inviting registrations for the establishment of the proposed Cork County PPN. The PPN will replace the current Community & Voluntary Forum. It will be of interest to the following groups:
- Community & Voluntary – e.g. local/community development groups, tidy towns, sports groups/clubs/associations
- Social Inclusion – bodies tacking poverty, disadvantage, and the marginalised
- Environmental organisations – environmental / ecological protection and sustainability
Further information is available on the Council’s website via the following link:
The closing date for receipt of initial registrations is 4th February 2015. Applications will continue to be accepted after this date, but such applicants will not have voting rights for the initial setup of the PPN.
Local Environmental Networks
The Environmental Pillar recently issued notices regarding the contact points of Local Environmental Networks throughout the country.
We are very fortunate in Cork that initially following the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 the then County Manager supported the setting up of CEF. Since then both local authorities have continued to support CEF, which carries out the role of an LEN, and has provided a focal point for the many groups and indiviudals in the county interested in environmental issues and activities, some who are memebrs of CEF.
Cork Environemtal Forum will continue to act as the local network in Cork. Please get in touch if you wish to engage in our network which will support members in participating in the Public Participation Networks and other structures in the CountyEnvironmental Groups meeting re PPN & LCDC Structures.
Other counties have not had a structure similar to CEF and in general it was the environmental representatives though the Environmental Pillar to SPCs etc. who loosely formed an LEN, see following from the Environmental Pillar –
The Environmental Pillar, an advocacy coalition of 28 national environmental NGOs was established as a National Social Partner in 2009 and as such was given the authority to nominate local people onto local authority bodies including Strategic Policy Committees and City/County Development Boards as well as onto the Boards of the Local Partnership Companies.
Where they didn’t already exist, the nominees then became the core of Local Environmental Networks (LENs) in each Local Authority area. These LENs met according to their needs, but were under no obligation to establish formal structures. The LEN members were given training by the Environmental Pillar on average 2 times a year with regard to environmental issues as well as in relation to local government structures, and more recently the local government reform process.
The Environmental Pillar was involved in the design and establishment of the PPN process and has relinquished its right to make nominations to local authority bodies in order to allow local environmentalists to take charge of the process.
The LENs will continue as a network of local environmentalists and as such are eligible to be a member of the Environmental Electoral College of the PPN. Indeed the Environmental Pillar is commencing a drive to encourage more local environmentalists to join and strengthen the LENs, through the local media as well as through the national coalition of Environmental Pillar Members.
Meeting on 23rd September 2014 at Dunbar House, George’s Quay Cork at 6.30pm
This meeting is for all environmental groups in the Cork Region to discuss representation on the Environmental Electoral College of the Public Participation Networks. If you are an environmental group please consider attending as this is an opportunity to strengthen links between groups and prepare for nomination to the PPN structure.
Establishment of PPNs & LCDCs 2014
Changes are being made in the way that local groups can engage with and influence the policies, plans and actions of local government. Currently the Local Community Development Committees are being established around the country and in fact already most have had a number of meetings.
This is an interim measure as the more democratic process of representation coming through the Public Participation Networks cannot happen until these PPNs are put in place. The interim representatives on the LCDCs have been facilitated by the Environmental Pillar and CEF has supported this process.
Current environmental representatives on the LCDCs are as follows:
Cork City: Marie-Terese Conere
West Cork: Phoebe Bright
South Cork: Mary O’Leary
North Cork: Michael Doyle
Local branches of National organisations who have registered will automatically be registered, however, it is vital that other local environmental organisations e.g. transition towns groups etc. register with the local authority as part of the Environmental Electoral College of the PPN. Cork Environmental Forum will register locally and would encourage all other local groups to do so.
Registration with Cork City & County as follows:
Cork County Council
- Cork Co Co hasn’t yet commenced the PPN registration process. Public adverts etc will be published in due course.
- Queries may be referred to: email@example.com or (021) 4285350
Cork City Council
- Registration has not yet commenced. Queries to – Con O’Donnell Tel.: 021 4966222 firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation by Michael Ewing at a Training Day for Environmental representatives and nominees on the 19th July 2014 on the PPN, LCDC and SPC structures.
Other relevant documentation:
Last October, Minister Hogan established a Working Group on Citizen Engagement with Local Government which reported to the Minister in December. This was chaired by Fr. Sean Healy, of Social Justice Ireland and Michael Ewing, Co-ordinator of the Environmental Pillar was one of a six member working group.
One of the main outcomes from this report is to be the establishment of Public Participation Networks (PPNs) in every local authority at both the municipal district and the county/city levels.
At the county/city level the PPN will be the vehicle for the local social inclusion, environmental and community groups to come together and create a vision for the well-being of the local community for this and future generations. It will also be the vehicle through which these groups will make nominations to a wide range of local government bodies including SPCs and the new LCDCs. In this context, page 27 of the report reads as follows:
The PPN will be the main channel through which people will be selected to participate in various processes of the County/City Councils and their Boards/Committees.
Participants will be chosen by the PPN and should not be rejected by the County Council or any of its structures.
Likewise, the Council or its structures should not bypass the PPN in choosing representatives from the social inclusion, environmental or voluntary sectors to sit on any of its Boards/Committees.
The PPN will be made up of three Electoral Colleges, each with equal nominating rights, Social Inclusion, Environmental and Community. The Colleges will be populated by nominees of organisations relevant to each of the three areas.
The organisations that register for the Environmental Electoral College are subject to validation by the Environmental Pillar nationally. The Environmental Pillar will shortly issue a document to all local authorities listing the types of organisations that will be acceptable in this college, together with the process for validation where there is lack of clarity.
The Environmental Pillar together with Social Justice Ireland held a Seminar in Cork on 19th July – notice of this as disseminated by CEF and representatives attended the Seminar which evoked heated discussion with regard to these new structures.