Clare PPN Submission to the consultation on the National Action Plan Against Racism:
July 14th 2021
Click on the link below to read our submission:
Clare Public Participation Network frequently makes submissions on National and Local Government Consultations. We do this by alerting our member groups to the consultation, offering to hold a consultation meeting and if there is interest from our groups, colleges or expert groups we work together to collaboratively create a submission. When compiling such submissions we also refer to priorities identified or motions passed by our member groups at Plenary meetings, previous Clare PPN submissions on relevant topics and most recently we also refer to the Wellbeing Vision Statements for Clare Created by our members in 2020.
June 25th 2021
Funding to establish Traveller Community Development Project Secured for Clare:
Clare PPN is delighted to announce that a collaborative application to the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Pilot Project Community Development Fund has been successful. This application was made on behalf of four organisations in Clare; Clare Local Development Company, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Public Participation Network and the HSE’s Mid-West Traveller Health Unit and endorsed by many other community and voluntary organisations around the county. Clare PPN’s involvement in this project stems from concerns raised by their Social Inclusion Member Groups who have sought ways to lend their collective weight to working effectively to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of the approximately 900 Travellers who are part of the community in Clare.
More than 120 projects around the country applied for this funding and the Clare collaborative group are pleased to have been one of seven successful applications to the One million euro fund. Doirin Graham, CEO of Clare Local Development Company welcomed the news saying that this much needed funding would secure a Traveller specific initiative. ‘We want to ensure that Travellers are involved at every level of this project and are front and centre in the decision making roles. With our organisations’ support we can lend the institutional and governance guidance to help to get the project up and running and to support it until it is on a solid footing’.
The application itself highlighted the urgent need for a Traveller-specific organisation in Clare where effective methods of participation for the Traveller community in the decisions that affect their lives have not been established. One of the issues for the Traveller community in Clare is accessing funding available for training, mentorships, social enterprises, educational and political advocacy. Without a dedicated organisation there is no entity working with the community to support them to identify these needs and to apply for funding to respond to them. It is this gap in targeted supports that prompted the four collaborating organisations to apply for this fund. It is their explicit aim that over the proposed three years of the scheme the Traveller Community Development Organisation will become fully independent and Traveller –led and develop a strong grassroots voice to address social exclusion, poverty, and to advocate for Traveller’s Human Rights.
On hearing the news, Sarah Clancy of Clare PPN, noted that ‘in recent years Ireland has seen members of the Traveller community against all odds making huge strides in fields of education, literature, sports, music, politics, law and the arts even while the community as a whole experiences structural and direct discrimination with extremely damaging effects within Irish society’. She hopes that this fund will be one building block in the path towards equality for the Traveller community in Clare and that it will be able to build on previous work done by Ennis Community Development Project, the Traveller community themselves and other such organisations in Clare”
It is hoped that full details of the funding stream and timeline for commencement of this work will be agreed with the Department of Rural and Community Development over the coming weeks and CLDC and their collaborating partners invite anyone who would like more information about this project to contact Darina Greene on 0879086561 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare PPN is very grateful for support, advice, friendship and assistance provided by those involved with the Irish Traveller Movement, Pavee Point, Tipperary Rural Traveller Project, CENA, the Traveller Mediation Service and the St Stephen’s Green Trust.
Clare Local Development Company through its SICAP program aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality in Clare through supporting communities and individuals using community development approaches, engagement and collaboration.
Clare PPN is a network of community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion groups from Clare. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the formal participation by the community sector in Clare County Council’s policy formation structures.
Clare Women’s Network supports and encourages the coming together of women’s groups and individual women in Clare. Its work is guided by women’s equality, inclusion, community development and feminist principles.
The Traveller Health Unit (THU) is underpinned by the social determinants of health that are at the root of Traveller health inequalities. This approach enables a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
Welcome your new Clare PPN Representatives:
Congratulations to Cornelia Wahli, Christy Sinclair and Collette Bradley we look forward to working with you all.
We are delighted to let you know that we received nominations for each of three representative roles we advertised to our member groups on April 20th 2021. We are most grateful to all groups who nominated and in particular to the three candidates who have come forward to represent their communities through Clare PPN.
The vacant Environmental Seat on Clare PPN’s Secretariat will be taken up by Cornelia Wahli who was nominated by Clare Environmental Network and who also represents Clare PPN on Clare County Council’s Local Community Development Committee. As part of the Secretariat Cornelia will join 9 other community representatives to help to run Clare PPN on behalf of its member groups between plenary meetings.
The second environment seat- on Clare County Council’s Rural Development Forum goes to Christy Sinclair – nominated by Clare Environmental Network. Christy was one of the founder members of Clare PPN, his interests are environmental sustainability and social justice and he will make a valuable contribution to the ongoing work of the forum.
The third and final seat in this set of elections was for a Social Inclusion Representative to sit on Clare’s Local Community Development Committee and this seat goes to Collette Bradley of Shannon Family Resource Centre. Collette’s experience in community development and support for marginalised communities will be of great value to the LCDC.
We are so grateful to all who came forward, the ratification of these seats will take place at our plenary meeting which is taking place on May 11th online (contact email@example.com if you would like to attend this meeting). Following the plenary we will write to each committee chair notifying them of our nominations and this will complete the formal nomination process.
You can read more about each new representative here:
Cornelia’s participation in and membership of several environmental groups, including CEN – Clare Environmental Network, emerges from a deep-felt belief that the current man-made climate crisis, which has lead to global warming and loss of biodiversity, can be healed, but only with individual, societal, corporate and political input and action.
Cornelia lives an organic lifestyle without chemicals in her kitchen, utility room, bathroom and garden using vinegar, bread soda and lemon juice instead, sparingly. She believes that a lifestyle change with similar intensity like that imposed by covid-19 is necessary to assure and ensure a continued ‘food and clean water supply’ for now and the future. Cornelia’s vision is of an ‘Organic County Clare’ that is organic in public spaces, in private gardens as well as in agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, silviculture and arboriculture. Such an ‘organic approach’ can facilitate the protection of the environment welcoming diversity of biological life-forms to flourish and allowing our soil, water and air to return to their natural clean state. Cornelia would like to be a voice for the natural world, a healthy and nurturing environment that is capable of feeding and supporting humans as well as fauna and flora with sustainable development a core value. Cornelia also represents Clare PPN’s member groups as the Environmental Representative for Clare PPN on Clare’s Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) since autumn 2020.
Christy Sinclair was one of the founding members of Clare PPN. He previously served as a Secretariat member and as part of the finance subcommittee. He specialises in the installation and certification of photo-valtic systems and is a keen environmentalist, rock climber and greyhound adopter. He has been involved with a number of community groups in Clare including the Burren Eco Tourism Network and Clare Bus where he served as a board member. His interests are in securing a ‘living wage’ for those working in Clare and ensuring that communities are takings steps towards sustainable energy use. He will bring all these interests to represent Clare PPN’s member groups on the Rural Development Forum.
For the past 6 years Colette Bradley has been the coordinator of Shannon Family Resource Centre and is committed to the delivery and further development of services and activities for the local community. She also recognises the need for more community services for Shannon and the surrounding areas. Prior to Colette’s Coordination position in Shannon she worked in the Community & Voluntary Sector for 12 years based in Ennis.
Colette was a voluntary member of a number of committees over the years including the group which oversaw the establishment of a community crèche and a resource centre, now North West Clare Family Resource Centre, in Ennistymon.
Colette is committed to working towards a more equal society and recognises social inclusion, equal opportunities and environmental protection as key building blocks to the achievement of a fairer and more progressive society.
She feels privileged to call beautiful North Clare her home living in Lisdoonvarna and prior to that in Kilfenora since moving to Co. Clare from Co. Wicklow in 1998.
You can read more here about the Rural Development Strategy here:
And more here about the Local Community Development Committee:
Clare PPN would like to give notice of election for the following position:
Social Inclusion representative on the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC)
The Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) 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 from people who do frontline work (either voluntary or professional) in 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 the Clare PPN secretariat.
Election Rules and Process:
- Only groups who were members of Clare PPN on Tuesday, 20th April 2021 are eligible to participate in these elections,
- Only groups who are members of the Social Inclusion Pillar can participate in these elections,
- No person can represent Clare PPN on more than one external committee or body,
- Each member group may nominate one candidate and may cast one vote. (It is each group’s named contact person’s responsibility to consult with their own members regarding this).
How to nominate a candidate:
Groups wishing to nominate a candidate must seek their consent first and then must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information on or before Tuesday, 4th May 2021 at 5pm:
- Name of Community Group.
- Position for which they are nominating a candidate.
- Name of proposed nominee.
- Contact details of proposed nominee.
- 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.
- 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 Tuesday, 11th May at 1pm. No votes will be accepted after this time. The name of the successful candidate will be announced for ratification at Clare PPN’s plenary meeting which will take place that evening at 7pm.
NB: Even if you have nominated a candidate, you will still need to cast your vote to support their election.
LCDC meeting notes by environmental representative Cornelia Wahli – 14th April 2021
Clare LCDC (Local Community Development Committee)
Meeting – Wednesday, 14.04.2021 @ 15:00 pm
Meeting Notes from PPN Environmental Representative, Cornelia Wahli
PPN Reps Present: Niamh O’Callaghan, Hillary Tonge, Mary O’Donoghue, Cornelia Wahl
- Minutes for meeting dated 24.02.2021
- LCDC Membership up-date:
4 LCDC members completed their 2-term membership:
- Mary O’Donoghue Clare PPN Rep for Social Inclusion
- Helen Downs Business Sector – Shannon Chamber of Commerce
- Andrew Dundas Agriculture Farming Sector
- Margaret Slattery Clare Youth Service
3 new members proposed for LCDC membership and proposals adopted
- Margaret O’Brien Business Sector Ennis Chamber of Commerce
- Thomas Lane Agriculture Farming Sector
- Brian McManus Clare Youth Service
- LCDC 2020 – Annual Report
Presented by Deirdre Power
Greater emphasis on visual presentation of report with more photos and graphics
- Clare PPN Presentation
Presented by Cornelia Wahli, Clare PPN Environmental Representative and included the following:
- Outcomes from the recent pilot project run by Clare PPN on the topic of
‘Climate Action Plan and Fund’ for the Department of the Environment, Climate Action and Communications
in summary included the following concerns and hopes of Clare PPN member groups in broad terms:
- Centre-stage given to the environment instead of being placed at the end of reports, discussions and decisions
- Public information campaign about the current state of the environment requested
- Local level solutions
- Coherence between government departments nationally, regionally and locally
- Designated biodiversity office and officer
- Nature based solutions
- ‘Organic Clare’ brand and culture change
Two examples of the type of actions which could emerge from LCDC were chosen from above concerns and hopes from the pilot project:
- Organic Clare
- Proper hedgerow maintenance
- On the question of main issues in the current Local Economic and Community Plan 2016 – 2021 in regard to Climate Change Actions, the conclusion was that Climate Change and Biodiversity featured lightly only and only toward the very back of the document
- On the question of main solutions in the current Local Economic and Community Plan 2016 – 2021 in regard to Climate Change Actions, the conclusion was that ‘Actions’ and ‘Current Benchmark’ information could be listed in Section 1, demonstrating their importance at the start of the document.
- On the question of how the issues may feed into the remit of the LCDC, the conclusion was that the solution lies in the opportunity to harness the strength of the LCDC which lies in its diversity of organisations and people with richness in experience and expertise, working together and coherently (See: Appendix)
- On the question of identification of main issues or solutions that could be worked into the upcoming LECP review, the conclusion was
- ‘No more business as usual’ however ‘no need to re-invent the wheel when existing visions are harnessed as guiding light’. (See: Appendix: Visions – Clare PPN, Operation de-Plastification and LECP)
- ‘Green spectacles for green solutions’ – ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ (See: Appendix)
- looking through a different lens for a completely different approach for the document itself and for finding solutions may be of good service
- ‘Centre-stage’ needs to be given to a healthy environment with rich and dynamic biological diversity in all LCDC and SPC decisions
- A different attitude to land, air, water and all forms of biology is needed for local communities to thrive
- For environmental action to thrive, local, individual, group and community based initiatives with ‘high nature value and land use’ require ‘core funding’ from simple and easily accessed ‘matched environmental funds’
It was concluded in the presentation that, based on the Clare PPN pilot project outcomes, for an effective Local Community Development Committee and for an effective Local Economic and Community Plan, Climate Action and Biodiversity need to be given centre-stage in all decisions and all of the time.
To follow up: One committee member mentioned the Organic College. It would be interesting to follow up on this comment with that committee member
The ‘Community Wealth Building – the Preston Model’ was briefly introduced with the suggestion of having a presentation on the topic for the next LCDC meeting in July 2021
One committee member suggested to open up this presentation to a wider audience, maybe through Clare PPN, which was received positively
Next meeting: 28th July 2021
Clare PPN Overall Wellbeing Vision Statement for County Clare:
Clare is a county that values, protects and restores its unique landscape, environment and biodiversity
- where sustainable livelihoods are prioritised for this and future generations
- where citizens, migrants, ethnic minorities and people of all abilities, age groups and genders can reach their potential in an atmosphere of support, respect and inclusion
- where Local Government is open, transparent, accountable and committed to reducing poverty and marginalisation within the County
Our vision is for a County to be part of and a County to be proud of Source: Clare PPN Wellbeing Statements
Clare PPN Environmental Aspects of Wellbeing Vision Statement for Clare:
- Clare’s unique natural environment, biodiversity and heritage are valued and protected Land use and farming are organized in a way that produces affordable, nutritious food, protects the environment and gives food producers a decent living
- Sustainable farming and organic food production for local sale are supported
- People are educated and encouraged to grow their own food
- Our electricity is generated from renewable sources
- Policy favours community-owned wind energy and micro-generation, and all projects have community consent
- All homes and public buildings are energy efficient
- Car dependency has been greatly reduced through investment in public transport, cycling and walking routes
- Consumption and waste are reduced through use of shared resources
- Re-use and recycling are encouraged
- Biodiversity is protected and promoted through the planting of native broadleaved trees, banning harmful pesticides and herbicides, reduced use of chemical fertilisers and public green spaces being left un-mowed
- People are empowered to take responsibility for their environment through education and initiatives such as community clean-up days and community gardens The climate and biodiversity crisis are front and centre in all local authority policy and strategy documents Source: Clare PPN Wellbeing Statements
Operation de-Plastification’s Vision for County Clare
An Organic, Chemical-free and GMO-free County Clare is able to solve and combat a wealth of serious and damaging environmental threats, such as
- water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution
- species extinction, habitat loss and loss of biodiversity
Many of today’s extreme and alarming environmental ails can be cured with the simple but courageous decision of declaring County Clare Organic, where open pollinated organic heirloom and heritage seeds with their more robust properties and greater adaptability to changing environmental conditions are grown and saved.
Declaring County Clare Organic is a move toward sustainability which allows for a harmonious and creative collaboration between government, farmer, grower and citizen with a nature-centred approach and solution to climate change and the soil, water and air pollution crisis.
Going Organic is an opportunity for Clare County Council to show real leadership, foresight and future proofing for its citizens and equally for its fauna and flora as well as for its air, water and soil. Furthermore, such a brave step would help other Irish counties and other nations to follow suit in turning an environmental challenge into an amazing opportunity.
With the unfolding of the pandemic and the consequent shift to a new reality and normality, Organic Clare sparkles like the jewel in the crown, like a beacon that heralds a sustainable future for our generation as well as future citizens promising clean water, clean air and clean soil.
Taking action now can stem back the flood of despair that is sure to follow if remaining on the trodden path …. “become the change that you want to see in the world today” (Gandhi)
Source: Operation de-Plastification, 15.11.2020
Submission for Clare County Development Plan
A County that ….
- for all its people, nurtures an ethos of wellbeing, social inclusion and creativity
- cherishes and sustains, for future generations, its environmental inheritance
- fosters entrepreneurship and provides quality employment
- offers cutting-edge research and development challenges, while providing education and training opportunities that are inspirational and accessible
Source: LECP 2016 -2021, p. 2 and p. 3
Clare County Council – Local Community and Development Committee
Meeting 24th February 2021 @ 11am – 12.30pm
Meeting Notes by Cornelia Wahli, Environmental Representative Clare PPN, 25.2.2021
- Minutes and matters arising
“Climate Change as an agenda item”
Discussion on how “Climate change as an agenda item” was being handled by other LCDCs. The feedback was that while SPCs were the appropriate fora for climate change discussions, the LCDCs were not. Also, it would be inappropriate to have an agenda item for the sake of having the agenda item.
Statements made in agreement and disagreement of above feedback.
Cornelia Wahli elaborated at length as to the need and necessity of having such an agenda point. She accepted that no LCDC had such an agenda item but that such an item was necessary and that the Clare LCDC could lead here. Cornelia Wahli made various strong points that the current status quo was no longer acceptable and applicable and therefore a new point of view needed to be adopted by all committees and departments regardless whether currently viewed as relevant or not. The point made was that Climate Change is relevant everywhere at any time and therefore a new standpoint needed to be adopted/a new status quo. Open the door to green thinking.
- Green agenda item adopted per se but not for every meeting, maybe every second meeting
- Suggestion that maybe Cornelia Wahli could give a presentation. Cornelia Wahli welcomed an opportunity to do so.
- Is it possible that after all of the presentations made to the LCDCs that there is still a void and blank when it comes to Climate Action and Biodiversity?
Target: To have a green agenda item ready for the next meeting.
- LCDC Membership:
4 members have reached the end of their term. A follow up email was sent and has been received in relation to this, i.e if one knew of someone interested in taking up the vacant positions.
- SICAP update
Traveller movement / Traveller organization point was raised. Response was that various measures were in place for Travellers. Response was made that various “bodies” including Clare PPN were collaborating at the moment to improve the situation for Travellers.
- Covid 19 Funding
- Covid 19 issues / poverty
Both points were dealt with as one point.
- Any Other Business
- LECP (Local Economic and Community Plan). Pointed out that new plans are founded on old data, i.e. out of date census statistics etc are used. Request that for the new LECP, the census data from census 2021 (which I believe was moved to 3.4.2022 because of Covid 19) The new LECP review starting shortly, March: draft/guidelines, April: roll-out. No proper dates available yet but happening in the next two years. Some guess work as to when. Proper information to follow.
- Cornelia Wahli referred to the point of funding (see above points 4 and 5); asking whether a mechanism was in place where a community (group) that had received public funding could showcase their achievements. The point was raised since, as a newcomer to the committee, it was not clear, not visible to Cornelia Wahli what the outcome of the public funding was. This point was taken on board by the committee finding that it could be valuable to see in which locations and what type of projects received funding. Showcasing community efforts once a year on a voluntary basis was viewed positively.
Conclusion: It would be very interesting for this committee to see how much funding goes to each village and town in total (location) as well as the types of projects that were more frequently successful (projects), also it would be interesting to see how many of the projects had “green” credentials.
Target: Submit “achievements showcase” as one “green agenda item” for the next meeting based on the “green” credentials point.