Pilot project aims to put people’s socio-economic rights ‘front and centre’ in planning Clare’s future

Leading think-tank TASC to host free workshops across Co Clare during May

What is a ‘just transition’ and what should it look like in Co Clare? That will be the focus of a series of free training workshops and brainstorming sessions across the county during the month of May, involving community groups, decision makers and members of the public.

These sessions will be hosted by the highly respected think-tank TASC, which has come on board for an innovative project led by Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) that aims to put people’s socio-economic rights and just transition principles “front and centre” in planning Clare’s future.

This pilot project, a collaboration between Clare PPN, Clare County Council, Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) and the Limerick Clare Education & Training Board (LCETB), aims to include people from as many walks of life as possible in discussing and planning the changes that need to be made as we move towards a carbon neutral future.

The project, funded by the Department of Community and Rural Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund, will build on work carried out last year by Clare PPN as part of its ground-breaking project, ‘Towards an Anti Poverty Strategy for Clare’.

“This new pilot project will place socio-economic rights front and centre, ensuring that those who experience poverty or social exclusion in Clare influence the outcomes and process,” said Clare PPN co-ordinator Sarah Clancy. “This means there will be a focus on access to health care including mental health and addiction services, transport, housing, sustainable livelihoods, education, leisure, culture and amenities as well as economic development opportunities under consideration as the project develops.

“The project partners are excited to have TASC on board, an organisation known for its work on just transition and that has specialists already working with rural communities in Donegal, Roscommon and Limerick.

“TASC has led the way in this field, developing ‘The People’s Transition’ where their work on the ground promoting community ownership and community wealth building as part of the process of transitioning to carbon neutral systems of living is already delivering practical results.”

Kieran Harrahill, senior researcher in climate justice with TASC, said: “We are delighted to be undertaking this project with Clare PPN in participation with Clare County Council, CLDC and the LCETB. Building on the recently published ‘Towards an Anti-Poverty Strategy for Clare’, this people-centred pilot project seeks to locate and foreground the voices of those who experience socio-economic deprivation in Clare and build a shared vision of a rights-based approach to a truly just transition.”

The workshops and training will be held in community venues around Clare, with the schedule due to be announced on April 27th.

As well as informing the work of all the organisations involved, the findings from this project will be used to inform Clare County Council’s Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) 2023-2028, which is currently being drafted.

Any group interested in participating in the training and brainstorming sessions should contact admin@clareppn.ie. The organisers will do their best to provide the supports needed for groups taking part and so please let them know if your group needs any particular arrangements made.

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