Seán Kyne, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment today (20/12/1/17) announced the publication of the First Annual Report of the National Public Participation Network (PPN) Advisory Group.
The Advisory Group, which was established in early 2016 on foot of recommendations of the Working Group on Citizen Engagement with Local Government, has the job of advising and supporting the Department of Rural and Community Development in the operation and development of the PPNs.
In June of this year, each PPN was required to complete an Annual Report in respect of its activities in 2016 – their first full year of operation. The completion of the report was a joint effort by both the PPNs and the local authorities and was designed to capture specific non personal data and certain indicators relating to the activities of the PPN.
The Minister remarked that this report “was itself clear evidence to the tremendous work that has been undertaken by PPNs in such a very short space of time”. PPNs have now been established in all local authority areas with some 12,000 organisations registered with them by the beginning of 2017 with all indications showing the PPNs continued to grow in the last twelve months.
The report contains a number of recommendations which will be considered by the National Advisory Group and reported on to the Department of Rural & Community Development.
The Minister concluded by saying that “PPNs, are the future. They are the main link through which the local authority connects with the community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion sectors and they are uniquely placed to bring a diversity of voices and interests to the decision making process. I would encourage those organisations who have not yet signed up to their local PPN to do so as soon as possible in order to ensure that their voice is heard and that they play a role in the future development of their Public Participation Network.”
You can read the report here: reportonppns2016
Creative Ireland Clare – Focus Group, January 16th 2018 Lead by Deirdre Enright
I was invited to attend the above focus group as a representative of Clare PPN last week. We received short notice of the invitation and so I asked on social media if there was anything in particular that people wanted raised at the focus group- here’s how I got on and what I learned-
The first thing to say was that this focus group was about how Creative Ireland Clare might achieve its aims in 2018. Creative Ireland is a national initiative which was started as a result of the perceived success of the 1916 100 anniversary commemorations around the country- as I remember the idea behind it was to try and capture the energy and enthusiasm for events at local level organised by communities and local authorities into something lasting which could build on culture and community for everyone’s benefit. More on Creative Ireland here https://creative.ireland.ie/en
Part of Creative Ireland’s plan involved setting up Creative Ireland Teams in all local authority areas which include Arts office staff, Library Staff, Heritage Staff, Rural and Social Development Staff and others. Last year’s Creative Ireland Clare Plan is here https://creative.ireland.ie/en/local-plans/clare
The purpose of this focus group seemed to be to examine how Clare County Council’s Creative Ireland Team and in particular the Arts Office could best use the funds available to help make the arts thrive in Clare. The total funding per county for Creative Ireland is €94,000 this year. This does not include local government funding for the arts or arts council funding etc it is just a Creative Ireland fund. Creative Ireland has also got an ambitious plan to enhance arts and cultural participation in schools but that is funded separately to the general Local Authority Fund.
The discussions were on the need for arts infrastructure, for artists to be supported with places to make large works, for the money to go directly to artists, for the money to be used to help provide professional arts staff who might be able to support artists/festivals in getting work done and made.
Because it was a focus group rather than a strategy session things were more brainstormed than decided upon but in an attempt to sum up the main themes of the discussion or the main points of agreement-
Clare could do with a creative hub or space where people could make work and network –an arts place.
The arts and cultural scene in Clare has a severe lack of human infrastructure- staff paid in sustainable positions to promote and develop the arts in Clare – and to help artists and festivals with the business of keeping themselves working- funding, grant applications, promotions, work spaces etc. The Arts Office has only one full time staff member and so growing the arts and being available and accessible to people county wide is a huge ask at this level of staffing.
The arts office could also do with its own dedicated website separate from Clare County Council’s main page. This would help it communicate, promote arts events and be more accessible to people in the county.
Clare needs to ensure that artists can where possible earn sustainable livelihoods in Clare and that those who are from the county and leave for university or to go further afield are included in the artistic life of the county where possible –so attention should be paid to artists living and working in Clare and to the internal and international diaspora many of whom are engaged in the arts.
A suggestion was also made to investigate the possibilities of corporate supports such as businesses that might want an artist in residence etc as a way of putting arts at the core of life in Clare.
The focus group concluded with that with the next step being for Deirdre Enright the consultant to collate the findings from all the sectoral focus groups they conducted and to help draft a creative Ireland programme for 2018 from it.
This is not the County Arts Development Plan 2018 – although some issues raised at the focus groups may be reflected in that plan. Apparently there will be consultation on that in the near future- I will keep you posted if I hear anything about that.
Here are all the links you need for the presentations and documents requested at the Rural Rejigs conference. If you are looking for anything else please do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Working with Conflict in our groups booklet – PDF
FoodCloud Presentation – Powerpoint
Sinead Mercier ‘Changing Our Thinking’ – Powerpoint
Stefanie Jaeger ‘Social Farming’ – Powerpoint
The Ladder of Inference – Youtube
The Monkey Business Illusion – Youtube
A huge thank you to everyone who came to Rural Rejigs in Corofin on Saturday 9th December. A special thank you to; our speakers Michael McCaughan, Leonard Cleary, Gloria Callinan, Dr. Mark Garavan, Stefanie Jaegar, Sinead Mercier, Oonagh O’Dwyer, Cillian Murphy & Eoin McCuirc; our musicians Katie Theasby and Raed Said; our discussion facilitators Eve Campbell & William Hederman; but most especially to organisers Sarah Clancy and Monica McKenna.
Gloria Callinan – LEADER Programme Co-ordinator Clare
Cillian Murphy – Loop Head Tourism
Dr. Mark Garavan
Stefanie Jaeger – Social Farming
Sinead Mercier – Green Party researcher
Sinead Mercier, Theresa O’Donoghue and Stefanie Jaeger
FoodCloud co-founder Eoin MacCuirc and Journalist Michael McCaughan
Participants had the chance to hear new ideas as well as reflect on the knowledge their communities already contain. It was stimulating, encouraging and challenging while also being a celebration of the tireless work already being done in rural communities. The Hive Mind discussion groups gave the participants a chance to network and share how they will sustain themselves in their work for positive change.
Hive Mind Discussion groups
Hive Mind discussion groups
Hive Mind discussion groups
Hive Mind feedback sheets
The arts vital place in community was highlighted with a stunning performance by local woman Katie Theasby and Jerusalem born musician Raed Said, while Brian Flemming gave a children’s drumming workshop.
Katie Theasby and Raed Said
Listening to Raed Said
At the end of the day Eve Campbell and William Hederman facilitated a feedback session that didn’t want to end.
William on mic duty
Organiser Sarah Clancy
QUOTES FROM PARTICIPANTS
‘Best conference I have ever been to’ D.H.
‘What an absolutely brilliant day this was, thanks to all involved for pulling all the stops out, … One of the most thought provoking events I’ve ever been to – please can we have some more of the same?’ J.M.
‘I thought the day, stimulating, challenging. Well done Sarah and team.’ R.H.
‘What I saw was really interesting. Including the musicians was inspired. Great work’ A.M.H.
Clare Public Participation Network and Clare Local Development Company invite you to Rural Rejigs- a day of ideas and discussions on how our communities can thrive.
When: Saturday December 9th 2017
Where: Corofin Community Hall
What time: 09.30 – 5.00 pm
Tickets are free and you can register at this link:
Please note that children are most welcome and there will be childcare and activities for children during the day but please book a child ticket at the link above for each child. This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Clare Public Participation Network and Clare Local Development Company are holding a community think- in this Saturday December 9th in Corofin Community Hall. The day which is free of charge and open to the public will provide an opportunity for people from all over Clare to discuss and learn from each other’s efforts in building vibrant thriving communities. There will also be invited guest speakers from organisations such as award winning start up social enterprise FoodCloud, Social Farming Ireland, Loop Head Tourism, Wild Kitchen, Feasta, Clare County Council, the Leader Programme in Clare and others.
The day’s events will be chaired by Clare based journalist and author Michael McCaughan, who during his time as the Latin American Correspondent for the Irish Times and Guardian Newspapers reported extensively on communities’ efforts to organise themselves in places such as Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico. There will also be music from internationally renowned Palestinian percussionist Raed Said who will discuss the role of art and culture in communities under pressure.
Speaking on the plans for the day Clare PPN Coordinator Sarah Clancy said;
‘Very often people involved in community development don’t get a chance to get together to think or plan, we have to keep reacting, keep chasing funding and deadlines and trying to provide services on a shoestring. Even though community groups and activists are vital to the survival of all that is good about rural Ireland they are under a lot of pressure now and Clare PPN wants this day to be a break from that- a day at the end of the year to regroup, to think, and to imagine what is possible for us to achieve working together in County Clare.
Clare PPN and Clare Local Development Company invite everyone with an interest in building sustainable thriving and inclusive communities to come and join us in Corofin on Saturday. The only request we have is that attendees come with open minds and a willingness to share their experiences and to listen to others.
Lovely vegetarian lunch will be provided by Moonbear Catering and childcare and activities will be available.
Guest speakers joining us include:
- Micheal McCaughan, Journalist and author
- Stephanie Jaeger of Social Farming Ireland
- Dr Mark Garavan, Applied Social Care Lecturer GMIT
- Oonagh O’Dwyer – Wild Kitchen
- Eoin MacCuirc Founding Director of award winning social enterprise FoodCloud
- Cillian Murphy, Loop Head Tourism
- Raed Said- Master Percussionist from Palestine
- Leonard Cleary- Acting Director of Rural Development Clare County Council
- Gloria Callinan, Clare Local Development Company
Programme for the day: