REPORT TO PPN of SPC Rural Development 16th February 2021
by Anny Wise
This was the first meeting held completely on ZOOM. The agenda included COVID-19 community response which was a presentation and we were asked for suggestions. But a long discussion was had.
The second presentation was on DigiClare and broadband roll-out.
Several suggestions were made especially on the location of forthcoming hubs – and that the National broadband rollout to start from Limerick Clare. That being South East Clare towards Kilkishen and East Clare to Parteen and above. The Eircom Infrastructure such as replace pole is to go through the planning process.
When the Climate Change and Biodiversity came on the agenda – I was asked to report. I gave information of the Wind Farm procedure going through the department of Malcom Noolan (I met him with another committee on Zoom earlier that week) and pointed out that with extreme wind if trees appear to be in danger – cut the branches and not the tree. I gave statistic on the benefit of trees.
I than asked for suggestions from the Power Point shown at the last meeting – there were none. I than offered to make one for the next meeting and this was agreed.
The subject was to be “Methods of Home Heating.
The final point on the agenda was the fact that Clare’s Rural Development Strategy was to be reviewed – it was felt some of it was already outdated. The Rural Development Forum was to give our committee proposed changes.
I had already asked for Jean Tierney O’Keeffe wanted to bring under any other Business
She spoke on behalf of the PPN – saying that as National Water Resources Plan meeting on Zoom on Monday 22nd February – the members were then sent a notice and link to it the following day.
Clare PPN Newsletter February 2021
Our February newsletter has landed. We’ve given it a spring clean. Hope you like the new format. Click here to see a PDF of the newsletter:
Irish Water has extended its public consultation for the first National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) until 1st March. Clare PPN has been asked by our member groups to hold an information and consultation event with a view to making a community informed submission. It will be a chance to identify the issues and challenges around water supply in your area.
This will take place on Monday, 22nd February at 6.30 via Zoom. If you would like to attend please email email@example.com
The draft Framework Plan can be viewed here: https://www.water.ie/projects-plans/our-plans/nwrp/
The consultation information leaflet can be viewed here: https://www.water.ie/news/irish-water-publishes-its/NWRP-Information-Leaflet.pdf
Clare PPN press release
Tuesday, 9th February, 2021
Emergency motion on CETA passed unanimously by Clare County Council
Motion brought on behalf of Clare PPN calls for full democratic debate and Oireachtas scrutiny of EU-Canada trade deal
Clare County Council has unanimously passed an emergency motion that calls on the Irish Government “to allow a full, open and democratic debate, including pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Oireachtas Committee, ahead of the Dáil vote on ratification of CETA.”
Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) had written to Councillors last Thursday, asking them to bring the motion, on foot of a request by a majority of member groups in Clare PPN’s Environmental College, who were very concerned at the lack of public debate and political scrutiny of CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), a trade deal between the EU and Canada.
Proposing the motion at Monday’s (8th February) Council meeting, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) thanked Clare PPN for bringing the motion to her. She warned that the element of CETA due to be voted on by the Dáil, including the Investor Court System (ICS), allows multinational companies to “go straight to special tribunals, bypassing our court system and gives rights to corporations to sue national governments for compensation for loss of expected future profits.”
Seconding the motion, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) said that while he feels trade agreements are, “by and large, positive things, what does concern me here is the lack of public debate, legislative scrutiny and very low levels of understanding around the ratification of CETA and specifically the merits if any of the Investor Court System for Ireland. Will the ratification of CETA tie our hands with regard to introducing progressive social and environmental legislation?”
Cllr Murphy pointed out that most of CETA has been in place since 2017, and that the final element, including ICS, is “not necessary here in Ireland and will not deliver one iota of benefit for the country.”
Reacting to the passing of the motion, Theresa O’Donoghue, Co-ordinator of Clare Environmental Network, a PPN member group, said: “Members of Clare PPN have serious concerns about the lack of public and political debate and scrutiny of CETA. An issue such as this, that will have far-reaching consequences for future generations, must be properly discussed and publicly debated. We are very happy that our County Councillors in Clare respect that and we thank them for standing up for that principle.”
“Clare PPN member organisations are particularly troubled by the Investor Court System (ICS) element of CETA and the ‘regulatory chill’ effect it would have on policymaking on a wide range of issues, including the environment, public health, economic and human rights. No party has made any convincing case for why we need investor courts.”
Several other local authorities have passed similar motions relating to CETA in recent days, including Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and South Dublin councils.
The motion in Clare was signed by 16 members of Clare County Council: Donna McGettigan (proposer), Cillian Murphy (seconder), PJ Kelly, Ann Norton, Pat O’Gorman, Mark Nestor, Tony O’Brien, Michael Begley, PJ Ryan, Alan O’Callaghan, Pat Hayes, Ian Lynch, Clare Colleran-Molloy, Shane Talty, Bill Chambers and Susan Crawford.
Three other Councillors, Johnny Flynn, Joe Garrihy and Joe Killeen also spoke in favour of the motion. Nobody opposed the motion.
Notes for editors:
Clare PPN is a network of more than 300 community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion groups from Clare. It exists to facilitate the formal participation by the community sector in Clare County Council’s decision making structures. It is funded jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council but is autonomous and its activities are directed by its members through an elected secretariat.
Clare PPN’s website is www.clareppn.ie and they are on Twitter @clare_ppn and https://facebook.com/clareppn/