New Local Community Development Committee for city and county

New local community development committees (LCDC ) charged with the task of preparing and implementing a six year local economic and community plan have been established for Galway city and county.

The Local Government Reform Act 2004 provides for the establishment of an LCDC in all local authority areas which will be responsible for the coordination, management, and overseeing the implementation of local community development programmes in a coherent and integrated manner. The management of contracts and funding under the current DECLG Local Community Development Programme will transfer to the committee from July 1.

The 15 members selected for the Galway County LCDC were brought before councillors at its recent monthly meeting. The local government sector will be represented by elected local authority members Cllr Liam Carroll, Mayor of County Galway; Cllr Jimmy McClearn; and the county manager. The state agencies represented include the HSE, the Department of Social Protection, Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board, and Údaras na Gaeltachta. Local and community development sector is represented by FORUM Connemara and Galway Rural Development (Delia Colohan ). The social, economic, and community interests sector will include Frank Greene (employers/business interests ), Tom Turley, Connaught chairman of the IFA, Diarmuid Mulcahy (environment ), Martin Ward (social inclusion ), and Dan Dowling, as well as Pat Hardiman of trade union ICTU. It is understood that the first meeting for the county’s LCDC will take place next week.

The 15 member LCDC was also brought before the Galway City Council last week with the local authority being represented by the city manager Brendan McGrath and the elected members (nominated from within the Corporate Policy Group ) being Mayor of Galway City Padraic Conneely and councillor Donal Lyons.

State agencies to be represented on the city LCDC are the Department of Social Protection, Galway Roscommon Education Training Board, the HSE, and An Garda Síochána. The private sector includes: Partnership companies - Galway City Partnership; community and voluntary interests: Galway City Community Forum (two members ) and a youth services provider; social inclusion interests: a disability representative and an environment representative. There will also be a member from the Chamber of Commerce and a trade union representative.

It is understood that the city LCDC will have a budget of around €700,000 and is due to meet for the first time this week. The local economic and community plan comprise two elements, an economic element to be prepared by the local authority and a community element prepared by the LCDC. The two elements will be prepared separately but in parallel. The community element of the plan is due to be finalised by October/November. The DECLG two year Local Community Development Programme commences in January 2015 and the LCDC will develop a plan which reflects this programme.

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