Congratulations to our newly elected Representatives

The results of the recent Clare PPN Representatives elections were revealed at our plenary meeting on 14th June 2018

Congratulations to Ann Marie Flanagan who has been elected to represent the Social Inclusion Groups of Clare PPN on Clare County Council’s Local Community Development Committee.

Congratulations also to Trudy Leyden who has been elected to represent the Community and Voluntary Groups of Clare PPN on Clare County Council’s Social Development Strategic Policy Committee which deals with housing culture and sports.

We thank all the candidates who stood for election and everyone who voted and we look forward to working with both newly elected representatives.

Candidates for a Community & Voluntary representative on Social Development SPC

Voting is now open for a community & voluntary representative on the Social Development SPC of Clare County Council.

 

Clare PPN Community & Voluntary member groups and associated individuals may only cast ONE VOTE at the following link:

 VOTE HERE

Voting ends at 5pm in Thursday, 14th June 2018.

Strategic Policy Committees (SPC) are structured around the main functions of council. They are made up of elected councillors and other representatives of the social partners and other sectoral interests. Each SPC is chaired by an elected councillor and is supported by a director of service. The task of the SPC is to assist and advise the council in the formulation, development and review of policy. Final policy decisions, however, ultimately rest with the full council acting as a body. There are currently four SPCs in Clare County Council.

The Social Development SPC is responsible for all areas of policy concerning the council’s housing, estate management, culture and sport functions.

Trudy Leyden

Trudy has a long interest in Social and Cultural policy.

She has a Masters of Arts in Politics and has qualifications in Cultural Studies and Literature.

She has trained with the Clare Adult Basic Education Services as well as having worked as an After School Homework Tutor with the Clare Local Development Company.

Trudy is involved in volunteering with many organisations. She has been a Brownie Leader with the reformed Ennis Brownie Branch. She was a volunteer with the Fleadh Committee in both 2016 and 2017.  She is the current Secretary with the Quin Community Text Alert Service.

She has also held several roles as an Activist with her local Political Party.

 

Karen Wise

I am 44 years old and have lived in County Clare for the last 24 years.

I have been a disability rights campaigner for some 25 years now.  I have been a party to and represented rights of people with Disabilities in courts and tribunals.  In doing so I have developed a strong network of contacts within the sector.

I am the current chair of the board of the National Council of People with Disabilities.

I have been a director of multiple Charitable and community co-operatives (many Companies Limited by Guarantee) for well over 24 years.  I was the first Honorary Secretary of Caring for Carers Ireland and as such drafted and edited the first aims and objectives.  I have been member of the Physical and sensory disability Co-Ordination committee of the then Mid-Western Health Board.

I have been on a National Disability Authority committee on standards and trained in social skills, disability, equality training and group working skills.  I have also trained in Business Management and Administration, Company Law directorship, GDPR.

Clare PPN Notice of Elections May 21st 2018

Clare PPN Notice of Elections

21st of May 2018

Acceptance of nominations has been extended to Thursday 7th June at 5pm.

Clare Public Participation Network gives notice of its intention to conduct elections from among its membership for the following positions which have become vacant.
  1. Killaloe Municipal District Secretariat Member.
  2. Social Inclusion College Representative to sit on Clare County Council’s Local Community Development Committee (LCDC).
  3. Community and Voluntary College Representative to sit on Clare County Council’s Social Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC)
Clare PPN seeks nominations from its member groups for candidates for each of the above roles.

Election Rules and Process:

  • Only groups who were members of Clare PPN on 20th  of May 2018 are eligible to vote in these elections.
  • No person can represent Clare PPN on more than one external committee or body.
  • Only groups with registered from addresses in Killaloe Municipal District may nominate or vote for that Secretariat seat. (Position 1)
  • Only groups who are members of the Social Inclusion College may nominate or vote for the Social Inclusion Representative Seat (Position 2)
  • Only groups who are members of the Community and Voluntary Pillar may vote for the Community and Voluntary Seat on the Social Development SPC (Position 3)

Each member group may nominate one candidate and may cast one vote in the relevant election- it is each group’s named contact person’s responsibility to consult with their own members in regard to this.

If any group is uncertain about their Municipal District or College they can contact us on 087 1617375 or by email to admin@clareppn.ie

How to nominate a candidate:

Groups wishing to nominate a candidate must seek their consent first and then must send us an email to admin@clareppn.ie with the following information on or before Thursday,June 7th at 5 PM :

  1. Name of Community Group.
  2. Position number for which they are nominating a candidate.
  3. Name of proposed nominee.
  4. Contact details of proposed nominee.
  5. A short paragraph (up to 200 words) detailing the nominees’ suitability and experience for the role- this will be shared on social media and on our website in advance of voting.
  6. A photo of your nominee which we may share with our members and social media followers.

Clare PPN will confirm receipt of nominations by email.

Following the close of nominations Clare PPN will circulate details of candidates to our members and online and voting will be open until June 13th at 5pm.  

The names of the successful candidates will be announced at Clare PPN’s plenary meeting which will take place on June 14th 2018. Details to follow.

NB: Even if you have nominated a candidate you will still need to cast your vote to support their election.

Details: Position 1. Killaloe Municipal District Secretariat Member

Clare PPN is managed by a board known as the Secretariat. This secretariat is responsible for running the Public Participation Network in Clare between plenary meetings where the member groups’ views and input are sought.  Clare PPN has two part time staff and an annual budget of €80,000 per year in funding which is provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council. The secretariat which is a flat structure meets at least six times per year with those meetings usually taking place in Ennis County Clare.  Candidates will also be required to attend events and meetings organised by the PPN itself for the purposes of consulting with our member groups. Clare PPN is currently seeking nominations for a representative from the Killaloe Municipal District. The ideal candidate will be a person who is well connected with community groups in the area and someone who has a genuine interest in increasing participation by local groups in Local Government Structures. Whilst all correctly nominated candidates will go forward equally Clare PPN would particularly welcome women candidates for this role to assist with gender balance on the Secretariat which is currently 7/3 men/ women.

For more details on the current secretariat see here

Details; Position 2. Social Inclusion Representative on Clare County Council’s Local Community Development Committee.

The Local Community Development Committee is comprised of Council Officials, Elected Councillors, and various business and community representatives. Among other things LCDC has the job of developing and overseeing the community elements of Clare County Council’s  6 year long Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP). This is an important committee for Clare PPN and its members and we have 5 seats on it. The vacancy is for a social inclusion seat and we would encourage nominations of people who have an understanding or experience or interest in any of the following areas; combatting social exclusion, poverty reduction, anti-discrimination policy making, community development, intercultural and anti-racism work.  This committee meets 5- 6 times per year and the successful nominee will also be required to participate on occasion in other networking, consultation  and policy making events with member groups and Clare PPN secretariat.

For more details on Clare PPN’s representatives on the LCDC see here here

For more details on the Local Community Development Committee itself see here

Details: Position 3. Community and Voluntary Representative on Clare County Council’s Social Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) 

This committee is made up of Elected Councillors, Council Officials and community and social partner representatives. They have the role of helping to form, advise and monitor all policies relating to housing, estate management, culture and sports in County Clare. The task of each SPC is to assist and advise the council in the formulation, development and review of policy.  This committee meets approximately 4- 5 times per year. The successful nominee would be required to participate in other events organised by Clare PPN to inform, network and consult with members on the activities of this committee.  For this role Clare PPN are seeking a nominee from the community and voluntary college who preferably has an interest in some or all of the following- arts policy and funding and community art, sports and sports development in County Clare and as this committee deals primarily with issues of housing we would welcome someone who would be willing to participate constructively on matters of housing policy in County Clare.

For more details on Clare PPN’s representatives on this committee please see : here

For more details about the SPC itself from Clare County Council please see Here

For any further information about any of the above roles or Clare PPN’s election processes please feel free to call us on 087 1617375.

Brief report from Creative Ireland Clare Focus Group meeting January 16th 2018

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.

Clare PPN calls for emergency plan to be put in place for roadside dwelling Travellers during weather alerts

Clare PPN Logo

Clare Public Participation Network Statement:  Date: 17/10/2017 

Clare PPN calls for emergency plan to be put in place for roadside-dwelling Travellers during weather alerts.

Clare Public Participation Network’s Social Inclusion Representatives commend Clare County Council and the county’s emergency services for their swift actions and clear and frequent updates during the status red weather alert which accompanied ex hurricane Ophelia on the 15th  of October. It came to the representatives’ attention however that there had been no provisions made to ensure the safety of the members of the Traveller community who live on the roadside in temporary dwellings. People contacting the Council’s emergency number were advised that no plan was in place for roadside dwelling Travellers and that they should ‘stay put’ until the storm abated. Clare PPN calls on the Council management and on elected representatives to ensure that a contingency plan is immediately put in place for any future such weather events which would at a minimum offer temporary secure shelter to all of those who need it. Clare PPN’s Social Inclusion Representatives are concerned that a failure to do this could result in injuries or fatalities which could be prevented by advance planning and so it calls on all those responsible to take action before the winter sets in fully.

Signed:

Mary O’Donoghue, Local Community Development Committee.

Sarah Clancy, Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee.

Dermot Hayes, Social Development Strategic Policy Committee.

George Atijohn, Clare Public Participation Network Secretariat.

Damon Matthew Wise Âû, Physical Development Strategic Policy Committee.

Details: Enquiries about anything to do with Clare PPN can be directed to sarah@clareppn.ie or 087 1617375.

Notes: 

Clare PPN is a network of 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 Community and Rural 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/

 

Clare PPN Social Inclusion College Submission to the Review of the Rebuilding Ireland

 Submission to Rebuilding Ireland from Clare Public Participation Network:

 August 10th 2017 

Clare Public Participation Network wishes to make the following submissions to this review of Rebuilding Ireland:

  1. Clare PPN wishes in this submission to highlight and draw attention to the fact that a housing crisis exists in rural and regional areas and is not restricted to Ireland’s cities. Whilst the crisis may differ from region to region County Clare is experiencing an extreme shortage of all types of rental accommodation, an increase in homelessness, prevalent over- crowding as well as rural depopulation. There are more than 6000 houses vacant in the county and housing waiting lists stand at approximately 2500 households which when children are figured in means that more than 4,000 people are currently waiting for housing.
  2. Clare PPN calls for a renewed effort in ensuring accuracy and transparency in reporting of figures: Clare PPN notes the tendency of reports issued from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to minimise the extent of the crisis and to maximise the figures in terms of improvements made. Clare PPN considers it of the utmost importance to proper budgeting and policy making that accurate inclusive figures should be maintained and published. We have noted that the following groups who all experience housing need and homelessness are frequently omitted from official figures:
  • People living in the direct provision system who have received leave to remain in Ireland but who are unable to leave direct provision because there is no available affordable or supported accommodation for them.
  • Travellers who are currently in overcrowded, roadside, or shared accommodation* due to difficulty in accessing social housing/Traveller specific accommodation and housing in the private rental sector.
  • People with disabilities who are currently sharing with families, in residential care or living in nursing homes when their choice is to live independently. In Ireland 600,000 people have some form of disability and in County Clare alone there are 217 people on the housing waiting list in this category. 
  1. On a national level, Clare PPN wishes to add its voice to that of the many other organisations who are calling for an end to the over-reliance on the private rental sector in addressing housing need in Ireland. Clare PPN notes and supports in particular the contribution to the debate made by TASC and the Nevin Institute, both of whom call for a significant change of direction in Irish housing policy and envisage a special purpose company set up by the government to build, purchase and maintain a large stock of state-owned housing which will be available on a cost rental model for long term rental to tenants of all income levels in Ireland. Even in the absence of a shift of direction in policy as described above Clare PPN wishes to stress that there is an urgent need for national and local authorities to invest in directly building or purchasing social housing for the long term secure use of those who cannot access the private rental sector or face barriers doing so. It should also be noted that figures recently released demonstrate that there are over 1200 properties vacant in Ennis where demand for social housing stands at approximately 1100 households. On this basis for sustainable town development it is clear that more emphasis must be placed on all programmes which will bring these properties back into use up to and including compulsory leasing and purchasing. Apart from the poor use of space, dereliction and urban blight which a concentration of empty properties causes in a town, the turnaround for getting such properties renovated and fit for use is in general much faster than bringing new developments from planning to completion.

 

  1. Clare PPN regards the following as essential to ensure that housing policy in Ireland in general and the Rebuilding Ireland programme specifically are effective for all groups who make up our diverse communities.
  • The need for housing lists to be divided between those with a long term housing need and those with a short term need. People who qualify for housing assistance should be able to select which list they wish to belong to.
  • There is an urgent need for a review of the effectiveness or otherwise of the Housing Assistance Payment particularly with regard to people with long term social housing needs. People identified with long term housing need should not be removed from Housing waiting lists even when they are in receipt of HAP. There is also a need for a review in each county and its urban areas as regards the availability of rental accommodation within HAP limits. In Clare, whilst there is housing for sale, there is a shortage of appropriate rental accommodation in almost all areas within the limits of the HAP scheme. This exposes people to greater risks of becoming homeless and of accepting substandard accommodation.  Whilst HAP figures can indicate that people have accommodation, they do not provide any guarantee as to the quality or suitability of that accommodation.
  • In Clare where Clare PPN is active there is no targeted scheme that addresses the difficulties that members of the Traveller Community face when accessing private rental accommodation even when they are approved for a Housing Assistance Payment. Attention to this issue is urgently needed at a national level, with there being obvious justification and need for an intervention designed through consultation with the Traveller community which obliges, finances and monitors local authorities, approved housing bodies, or private developers to provide appropriate accommodation for Travellers.
  • Local Authorities should be held to account as regards their application for and draw down of the funding available for Traveller Accommodation. Local Authorities should jointly conduct an annual Traveller needs and future needs analysis with the Travelling community in each county. The results of this needs analysis should be agreed on by all parties and the Traveller Accommodation Plan should be developed on the basis of it. A realistic budget should be adopted for Traveller accommodation nationally and for each county’s Traveller Accommodation Plan. The Travelling community should be resourced to participate fully in all decisions which concern them and all Local Authority staff who engage with Travellers should be given training on diversity and on the particular challenges that face the Traveller Community. The Trespass Act should be repealed and where members of the Travelling Community who are on the Housing waiting list are dwelling in unofficial sites and the Local Authority has no other suitable accommodation available for them then the Local Authorities should be directed to provide emergency sanitation, waste disposal services and electricity to them for a reasonable fee within the means of the families in question. Local Authorities should be resourced and directed to conduct all of the above.

 

  • Local Authorities should be required to make provision and account for the needs of people becoming homeless through situations of domestic violence. Local Authorities should be asked annually to demonstrate what steps they have taken to ensure that people in such circumstances are catered for.
  • National Government needs to make provision for people in Direct Provision who have been granted leave to remain or refugee status but cannot secure accommodation in order to enable them to leave the direct provision centres.  It should be noted that many of these people have become impoverished whilst in the asylum application process as a result of the Irish Government’s policies. Clare PPN calls for full social welfare payments to be made available immediately to every person who has been granted leave to remain. As part of its submission to this review of Rebuilding Ireland Clare PPN calls for a complete end to the system of Direct Provision as it fails to meet the housing needs of those in the asylum system. Clare PPN notes that in particular it fails to meet the basic needs of children.

 

  • Clare PPN calls for the continued and increased provision of housing for people with disabilities and the need to include people with disabilities who are currently unable to secure their own independent accommodation in all planning processes and consultations.

Any enquiries regarding this submission may be directed to:

Sarah Clancy

Public Participation Network Coordinator

Unit 1 Westgate Business Park

Kilrush Rd,

Ennis

Co Clare.

Phone: 087 1617375

Email: sarah@clareppn.ie  Website: www.clareppn.ie Twitter: @clare_ppn Facebook: www.facebook.com/clareppn/