Calling Traveller Women from Clare we invite you to
Traveller Women Talking – a Christmas Lunch and discussion with guest speaker Dr Brigid Quilligan
Monday December 2nd at 12.00 – 2.30 pm
Temple Gate Hotel Ennis
Clare Public Participation Network, Clare Local Development Company and the HSE Travellers Primary Health Care Project are delighted to invite Traveller women of any age from Clare to join them with special guest Dr Brigid Quilligan of the Kerry Traveller for a Christmas Lunch and Talk in the Temple Gate Hotel on Monday December 2nd at 12.00- 2.30 pm. Please note that this event is organised only for women from the Traveller community. Please do not book tickets for this unless you are covered by that description.
Join us for a relaxed morning where women from the Traveller community will get together to learn from and support each other in reaching their potential in life and work. There will be a short talk given by Brigid Quilligan with plenty of time for discussion and questions.
Brigid Quilligan is the manager of the Kerry Travellers Health and Community Development Project. She is a proud Traveller woman and feminist, former director of the Irish Traveller Movement and tireless activist and advocate for the rights of Travellers, women and human rights for all. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate by UCC in 2017 and you can read more about her here https://www.ucc.ie/en/conferrings/honorary/archive/dr-brigid-quilligan-degree-of-doctor-of-laws.html
This will be followed by a Christmas lunch to celebrate the great work done and contributions made by the Traveller Primary Health Care Workers and Link Workers over the course of 2019. Please note that this event is for Traveller women or women with Traveller heritage whatever their lifestyle, status or age, sexuality etc
Just in case you’re worried -we also love men! -We already held a similar event for men and hope to have more events like these in 2020 should there be interest in them but this event is just for the women.
IMPORTANT! Places are limited and must be reserved in advance by calling us on 087-1617375 or booking a ticket on the Eventbrite below
This event is organised by the HSE’s Traveller Primary Health Care Project, Clare Local Development Company’s SICAP programme and Clare Public Participation Network but will be delivered by members of the Traveller Community.
Clare PPN submission to Clare County Council’s Draft Corporate Plan 2019 – 2024
Novemeber 12th 2019
Clare County Council recently opened their Draft Corporate Plan to the public for submissions. Clare PPN made a submission on Friday 8th November to the strategy on behalf of our representatives and member groups which was based on our recent submissions to other such strategies and plans. We also organised a questionnaire online to help members of the public comment and input into the strategy. The submission attached below contains both of the above elements. We look forward to hearing from Clare County Council in relation to the submission. Many thanks to all our members who contributed to the submission. You can read our submission here: Clare PPN Submission to Clare County Councils Draft Corporate Plan 2019- 2024
Important update from Clare PPN on yesterday’s Clare County Council meeting.
Please note that we still need to seek clarity on some issues below as these are just based on our notes from yesterday and will need to be confirmed by official council minutes.
Update on Clare PPN’s Submissions to Clare County Council from their meeting of September 9th 2019
Yesterday, among other business, three items on which Clare PPN and our member groups had made submissions on were up for consideration by Clare County Council.
Those items were
• Clare County’s Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019- 2024
• The Draft Scheme for Strategic Policy Committees 2019 – 2024
• Clare County’s Traveller Accommodation Strategy 2019- 2024
Clare PPN had contacted all Councillors seeking their support in advance of this meeting because it was brought to our attention that in particular the Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy was being presented to Councillors as originally drafted despite more than 29 individual submissions being received. One of those submissions was from Clare PPN and Clare Environmental Network and had been contributed to by 27 separate environmental groups in the County. We are grateful that a cross party group of Councillors sought and secured a special meeting of Clare County Council on the Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy. This will ensure that Councillors can consider each submission received and question the directors of service as to their decisions. This meeting will take place next Monday September 16th at 2pm in the Council Chamber and the gallery will be open to the public. We would encourage any of our members who made submissions to attend however we will also attend at take notes for feedback purposes.
As part of Clare PPN’s submissions to both the Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019 -2024 and to the Draft Strategic Policy Committee 2019- 2024 we had requested that a separate dedicated Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee be set up in Clare and that all other SPCs would have a minimum of one environmental representative seat. The proposal for a Climate Change and Biodiversity SPC was not agreed at yesterday’s meeting which is something that Clare PPN and our member groups consider a lost opportunity and it is something we will continue to campaign for. Several changes that we do welcome were proposed and seconded however by the Councillors and we look forward to seeing the following actions implemented:
-A full time Climate Change and Biodiversity Officer will be appointed from within existing staff resources to oversee Climate Change and Biodiversity Actions across all directorates.
-Each Strategic Policy Committee will have Climate Change and Biodiversity as a standing agenda item.
-Each Directorate will issue a monthly report on Climate Change and Biodiversity as part of their contribution to the Monthly Management Report.
We also note the proposals to rename/add areas of responsibility two existing Strategic Policy Committees as follows:
The Physical Development SPC will be renamed ‘SPC for Physical Development and Climate Change’ and the SPC for Economic Development will be renamed SPC for Economic Development and Biodiversity. On behalf of our members we seek clarification from the Council on the rationale for these changes, in particular we wish to ascertain the reason that Climate Change and Biodiversity are being separated and secondly how it was decided that biodiversity should sit with Economic Development. Clare PPN considers that the changes in responsibility for the above SPCs will necessitate extra seats for community environmental interests if they are to be effective. We will seek clarity from Clare County Council as to whether this has already been incorporated in the changes.
We thank the Councillors for their support in ensuring that the views of all of those who made submissions will be given consideration at Council level next Monday and for working to ensure that Climate Change and Biodiversity are made central to the work of all directorates in the Council. We look forward to working with them to ensure that these actions are implemented as soon as possible.
Submissions relating to the Traveller Community:
Our submission on the Draft Strategic Policy Scheme requested that the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee be reconfigured as a Strategic Policy Committee which is in line with a proposal made in an independently commissioned report for the National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee. This was not accepted and the LTACC will instead continue as a stand-alone committee, where issues raised may come before the Social Development SPC which deals with housing. Clare PPN is disappointed that this committee was not reconfigured as suggested however we remain committed to working alongside Travellers to ensure that successful and meaningful participation is possible for the Traveller Community in Clare.
Further to that we welcome the fact that the Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019 – 2024 was not adopted at yesterday’s Council meeting and was deferred until next month’s meeting. We had expressed our concerns that this plan was being passed without involvement from the Traveller Community. We will seek clarity however from Clare County Council on whether during this deferred month the Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme will reopen for submissions and if so what efforts will be made by the Local Authority to ensure that the community affected by this accommodation programme have an opportunity to have their views heard. Clare PPN is willing to assist in this regard in whatever way we can.
Overall we feel that several progressive changes were agreed at yesterday’s council meeting and whilst some of the above needs clarification we are extremely glad that the above strategies were not passed without respect and consideration given to community engagement. We hope to see further progress being made, in particular in relation to the issue of a dedicated Climate Change and Biodiversity SPC and towards a respectful and meaningful engagement between the Traveller community and the local authority. We state Clare PPN’s own commitment to working to ensure that the public and in particular Community and voluntary groups in Clare are able to influence and input to Local Government decisions. Thanks to the Councillors for their work on all of the above and in particular our thanks to all of those who engaged with and participated in our submissions.
Please note that as we said above these are not official minutes from Clare County Council’s meeting but are notes taken as the meeting happened so we can’t guarantee that we have no inaccuracies – but we’ll confirm as we get all details and official reports.
Below please find the text of the email send by Clare PPN to all sitting Clare County Councillors on 6th September 2019
I am writing to you on behalf of Clare PPN in relation to the following agenda items for next Monday September 9ths Council Meeting
- SPC Scheme
- Report to Council on Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019-2024
- Draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019 – 2024
In respect of item 13. SPC scheme
I have linked the submission Clare PPN has made in relation to that here (http://clareppn.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Clare-PPN-Submission-SCHEME-FOR-THE-STRATEGIC-POLICY-COMMITTEES-2019-2024-003.pdf) and wish to draw to your attention as Councillors that we have in brief requested the following- that a separate Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee be set up as provided for under the Government’s Climate Action Strategy 2019:
3.3 ‘Local authorities have significant structures and experience in engaging citizens through their planning functions, particularly local area planning and as facilitators of the Public Participation Networks (PPNs). They can also effectively contribute to climate action in the fulfilment of their existing statutory functions. Climate change considerations should be addressed across all local authority plans, policies and activities including through their existing Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs) and a dedicated new Climate Change SPC for climate action.’
On behalf of our environmental college members we would like to draw it to your attention that they do not consider the above requirement to be met by the existing Physical Development SPC which has other areas of responsibility. Our members as consulted on this strategy request strongly that a separate dedicated Climate Change and Biodiversity Committee is set up.
We have also requested that the current Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee be reconvened as a Strategic Policy Committee and included in the scheme. This is in line with the recommendations from the National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee’s independent review of funding for traveller specific accommodation attached below. (https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/2017.07.07_independent_review_of_funding_for_traveller-specific_accommodation.pdf
In respect of item 15. Report to Council on Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019- 2024,
We note that our submission made to this programme (http://clareppn.ie/clare-ppn-submission-in-respect-of-the-preparation-of-a-draft-traveller-accommodation-programme-2019-2024/) was not taken on board and neither were our suggestions to postpone or stagger the adoption of this plan until such a time as the community affected by it had been consulted effectively. We also requested that the last scheduled LTACC meeting would be delayed by one day in order to facilitate a consultation we had organised with the Traveller Primary Health Care workers who had conducted extensive research with the Traveller Community in Clare and so were in a position to contribute in an informed way. This delay was not facilitated and the LTACC meeting did not take place.
As a result Clare PPN has forwarded the notes from this consultation to the Minister of State for Planning and Urban Development, Damien English, and to the Commissioner for Human Rights at IHREC Emily Logan. As a result of all of the above, the Traveller Accommodation Strategy as presented to Clare County Council has not had any engagement from the Traveller Community and Clare PPN calls on you the Councillors not to pass it until effective participation has been conducted. We indicate as we have done previously, that we are willing to assist in whatever way we can in organising such participation. We include below the notes from our consultation session with the Traveller Primary Health Care Workers as forwarded to the Minister of State and Human Rights Commission for your information. http://clareppn.ie/traveller-primary-health-care-clare-ppn-notes-on-traveller-accomodation/
In respect of item 16 Climate Change Adaption Strategy 2019- 2024
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Clare PPN organised a consultation workshop on the draft of this Strategy on July 31st 2019. This workshop was attended by 40 individuals which included representatives of more than 27 Environmental Groups in County Clare. They prepared an extensive submission to the strategy which included concrete proposals on a range of issues and which we submitted on their behalf.
We have received no response or request for further information in respect of any aspect of that submission and it has been brought to our attention today that the report on the consultation process from the Physical Development Directorate recommends to you the Councillors that the Climate Adaptation Strategy be adopted as originally drafted without any single change despite the fact that 28 other public submissions were made in addition to Clare PPN’s own collective submission.
We are calling on you as Councillors to do your best to ensure that the input of the expertise from the Community and Voluntary Sector is given proper consideration and respect and that the local authority be requested to convene a public meeting in response to the range of submissions it received. Clare PPN notes that in other local authority areas the LA organised public information sessions on the Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy and in one case (Cork City) a special meeting of the full council was convened to discuss it and members of the public were invited to attend. We attach here our joint submission for your attention. http://clareppn.ie/clare-ppn-cen-submission-to-draft-climate-adaptation-strategy-2019-2024/
On behalf of our member groups and all of those who participated with us on a voluntary basis on the above submissions we request that you would give your attention to the above and work with us to ensure that Clare County Council is open and flexible and that the voices of those affected are heard in all policy decisions.
Notes from Consultation on Clare’s Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme
On July 31st Clare PPN consulted with workers from Clare’s Traveller Primary Health Care Project regarding Clare County Council’s Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme for 2019- 2024 which is due to be put before Clare County Council on September 9th. In the consultation the workers determined that to restrict their comments only to the Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019- 2024 would not best serve the Traveller Community in Clare as they feel strongly that it fails to plan adequately for the current and future situation. As a result they put forward their suggestions on Traveller Accommodation generally and have asked us to compile the following notes from the session and forward them to the Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, to the Chief Commissioner at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, and to the Director of Social Development and the Senior Officer with responsibility for Housing in Clare County Council.
You can read the notes here Notes on Traveller Accommodation in Clare PHCP PPN August 26th 2019
Expert Review Traveller Accommodation July 2019
In July 2019 the ‘Traveller Accommodation Expert Review’ was published as prepared by an independent Expert Group on behalf of the Minister of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. See link below:
Expert Review Traveller Accommodation July 2019