Minutes of Clare PPN Plenaries Dec 2022
(one online & one in-person)
Thursday, 8th December, 2022
WORK REPORT 2022
Sarah Ferrigan gave an overview of the extensive work undertaken by Clare PPN in 2022. You can read/download our Work Report at this link:
The most significant piece of work undertaken by Clare PPN this year was the research project, ‘Towards an Anti-Poverty Strategy for Clare’. You can download a copy of the report here:
Appreciation was expressed for the County Council’s organising of a successful half-day event following on from the publication of the Anti-Poverty report, involving Councillors, Council staff, PPN reps and staff and other community representatives.
• Setting up of the Clare Traveller CDP was welcomed as an important step for Travellers in Clare.
• Membership: we now have 362 member groups. A re-registration process will take place in the first quarter of 2023.
Budget is on target. Our audited accounts are available on our website by searching ‘audited accounts’. Quarterly financial reports are also uploaded. We had a Departmental audit in 2022 – no issues raised.
All PPNs had looked for more funding from Dept of Rural & Community Development, as we don’t have enough. We had looked for €39,000 per PPN. Dept has told us there will be a modest increase. Likely to be €11,000 for each PPN. For Clare PPN, this will simply mean our funding meets our outgoings. We need further staff resources. At a minimum we need three full-time staff equivalent. Currently we are two full-time equivalent.
WORK PLAN 2023
Sarah Clancy gave an overview. The draft Work Plan can be viewed here:
The Work Plan will be finalised by 15th January.
• Something we want to achieve in 2023 is organising a Migrant Forum for Clare discussions on how to go about this took place with an acknowledgement of previous approaches which were not successful- the idea of one forum for disparate groups of varying nationalities with little in common is not a good starting point. New starting point will be to engage with individual groups first. PPN will seek resources to do this.
We are awaiting final word on a Pobal-funded project that relates to the public consultation process around the Local Economic & Community Plan (LECP). The aim of the project is to enshrine socio-economic rights and just transition principles into the LECP. This would mean funding of €40,000, which would pay for the person who will do the work (not existing PPN staff).
COP27 CLIMATE SUMMIT
Theresa O’Donohoe & Martin Vernon reported on their trip as part of a youth delegation to the COP27 summit. All in all, the summit was a talking shop but great to see so much youth protest and ‘humbling’ to meet people from regions whose existence is threatened by climate chaos. You can read Theresa’s & Martin’s report at this page:
CLARE PPN ELECTONS
Congratulations to Bridgie Casey and Bridget Ginnity who were both elected as Clare PPN Reps on the LCDC (Local Community Development Committee).
Theresa O’Donoghue elected to Clare PPN Secretariat.
• Upcoming elections:
We have two vacant seats on our Secretariat, one each for Killaloe and Shannon Municipal Districts (MDs). The term is three years. (You can stand for a subsequent term also). Nominations can be from groups in those MDs.
There is also a seat for an Environmental Rep on the Physical Development SPC.
We will announce the election process online, followed by a 21-day period for nominations.
LEADER FUNDING ISSUE
This EU funding is €6.6 million over 5 years, for rural and sustainable development. CLDC and Clare Co Council (LCDC) are both applying to be the delivery vehicle. An LCDC meeting has been called for next Tuesday 13th Dec to discuss whether LCDC should compete to be the body who oversees the LEADER funding in Clare – funding that CLDC has been overseeing delivery of for more than a decade. Very short notice – doesn’t allow proper PPN processes. Clare PPN can’t speak for all members without consulting them. Suggested that we will email all members to ask, via an online survey, what Clare PPN should do – vote yes, no or abstain- this later decided against in favour of an EGM instead.
Long discussion on this issue, with major concerns expressed about the Council’s move to apply for this funding through the LCDC and the conflicts and duplication that happened last time; with the lack of notice arising from this being raised under AOB rather than as an LCDC agenda item causing discontent among members.
• To call an EGM on Monday evening, 12th December via Zoom, at which the issue can be outlined to Clare PPN members, and they can decide how Clare PPN Reps should vote at Tuesday’s meeting (while noting that certain Reps may be precluded from voting due to possible conflicts of interest arising from their connections to either party).
• Agreed also that concerns should be expressed to Clare Co Council about the handling of this issue.
Some questions were raised as possible questions to put to Clare County Council/LCDC:
– Why does Council want to control the funding ?
What would be the workload and responsibility implications for members of the LCDC?
What extra resources would be assigned to LCDC members
What will happen to jobs in CLDC?
• The meeting expressed gratitude to the commitment and efforts of Cornelia Wahli to the PPN and to several other organisations who were lucky to have her as a member. Cornelia sadly died earlier this year. She was a PPN environmental Rep.
• Disappointment expressed at turnout at Plenary. Suggestion of combining another event, e.g. a guest speaker. Plenaries in future may be alternated between in-person and online (as opposed to having both for each plenary which is the current practice)
• Agreed that newsletter should include a line asking the contact person to share the newsletter within your member group. This request should be included in subject line.