Featured Articles

MIDLANDS MOVES TO GET BIG SLICE OF TOURISM PIE

Once almost dismissed as the hole at the centre of Ireland’s glorious coastal doughnut, the Midlands is making moves to claim a slice of the tourism pie, on foot of recent news that Fáilte Ireland plans to rebrand the region as Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

SRA REGIONAL SPATIAL AND ECONOMIC STRATEGY

As the Southern Regional Assembly prepares to publish its draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for public consultation, following months of work and engagement with key stakeholders since the process started in October 2017, its Acting Director David Kelly outlines the importance for regional development and growth.

DIRECTLY ELECTED MAYORS NEED POLITICAL BRAVERY

Attempts have been made over the last two decades to introduce a system of directly elected mayors in Ireland, but the lack of political will has meant that nothing has happened, says Dr Aodh Quinlivan, Dept of Government and Politics, UCC.

THE CATALYST FOR CROSS-BORDER MENTORING

With support of Tipperary and Carlow local authorities, SMEs involved in the food, drink and life science sectors will now have an opportunity to grow their business through a new EU-funded mentoring programme.

SINGLE AUTHORITY MODEL FOR SCOTLAND

Scotland move in the direction of a Single Authority Model should be watched with interest in Ireland, in view of the ongoing debate here about the potential of local government to take on the role of a unified local public service platform, writes Kim Fellows, LGiU Scotland.

DIVERSITY SHOULD BECOME IRELAND’S STRENGTH

Ireland's population has become more diverse with approximately one in eight coming from a migrant background. However, an appraisal of our elected representatives shows that this dynamism and diversity is not adequately reflected in politics, either at a local or national level.

EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITALS AND GREEN LEAF AWARDS

It's time to enter the 2021 European Green Capital and 2020 European Green Leaf  Awards as entries must be submitted to the European Commission by 18 October.

FINGAL’S CREATIVE FIVE-YEAR CULTURE STRATEGY

In tandem with the Creative Ireland Programme, Fingal County Council’s Culture Team has developed a five-year Culture and Creativity Strategy with local artists, creatives, cultural and heritage organisations, community groups, creative industries, schools and education centres.

NEW STATE AGENCY TO FLY THE FLAG FOR REGENERATION

Up to 30 zones in Dublin city centre and 10 in Cork city will be designated as special regeneration areas within State lands, which are due to be released for housing under the new Land Development Agency, recently established by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

PLANNING REGULATOR TO LAY DOWN THE LAW

It is now more important than ever that councillors are at the centre of proper planning and sustainable development within their local communities, given the recent debate about the National Planning Framework and the new Land Development Agency, writes Independent Senator Victor Boyhan.

PROBLEMS WITH PROVISION OF SOCIAL HOUSING

It has the highest political profile in years, there’s more money than ever in the history of the State available for the provision of social housing and yet there is the greatest level of dissatisfaction and lowest level of provision over the last decade! John Hannigan, CEO of the Circle Voluntary Housing Association, asks why.

NEW FRAMEWORKS FOR MINOR PROJECT CONTRACTS

New frameworks aim to streamline the tendering process for €100m in contracts for minor building works across the public service. The contracts will be tendered by the Local Government Operational Procurement Centre to provide for minor building works to 31 local authorities, the HSE, the OPW, the Department of Education and Teagasc.

CLÚID ACCOMMODATES MORE FAMILIES IN ASHBOURNE

With little or no social housing having been built in Ashbourne for 15 years, Clúid's latest development there has provided homes for 67 families, who had been on the social housing waiting list for over seven years.

MAJOR FOCUS BY CHARITY TO DELIVER 750 HOMES BY 2020

Focus Ireland’s CEO Pat Dennigan explains how the charity is challenging homelessness and changing lives through its support and prevention services and direct housing provision, as they work towards delivering 750 homes by 2020.

CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING AT Ó CUALANN

The goal of Ó Cualann’s Cohousing Alliance initiative is to develop and support fully-integrated communities, deliver well-designed, top-quality, energy-efficient, affordable homes and to ensure its co-operative model can be replicated and scaled across the country.

PARADYN IS WELL CONNECTED WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Paradyn now provides managed network security, wireless connectivity, infrastructural support and technical solutions to 25 of the country’s 31 local authorities, having won €3m in new IT and communications contracts within the past year. The company has also developed a managed network security solution to protect clients from an increased number of cyber-attacks.

REBUILDING SCHEMES IN THE ROYAL COUNTY

Meath County Council is working with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to deliver over 1,250 social housing units under Rebuilding Ireland, through Construction/Acquisition, Payment and Availability arrangements with the AHBs and other social leasing schemes.

CORK CITY CENTRES ON HOUSING CRISIS

Responding to both the housing and homelessness crisis in Cork is not a simple undertaking but represents a very complex and dynamic set of circumstances that cannot be resolved by single-focus initiatives, according to Brian Geaney, Director of Services for Housing and Community with Cork City Council.

NEW CIVIC HUB OPENS FOR BUSINESS

Within the first month of opening the doors to its new Civic Hub in June, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council received close to 20,000 queries by phone, email and drop-in customers, while the new fully inclusive Council Chamber was ready in time for the AGM.

MOSTON DELIVERS DLR COUNCIL CHAMBER AND CIVIC HUB

Moston Construction Ltd, the main contractor involved in the development of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council’s new Chamber and Civic Hub, delivered the project within budget and on time for the official opening in June at the Town Hall in Dun Laoghaire.

CHERRYWOOD – A TOWN IN THE MAKING

The Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone, nestled at the foot of the Dublin Mountains in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown between the M50 and N11 transport corridors, is on course to become South Dublin's major new town, with a population of around 20,000 residents.

AGENCY MONITORS HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

The Government’s failure to respond to the housing crisis has been described as a national emergency by Social Justice Ireland, whose National Social Monitor Autumn 2018 recently revealed that mortgage arrears are rising, up to 87,000 households remain on social housing waiting lists while 10,000 people are left homeless.

€2.3M DEVELOPMENT TO FUND RURAL LIMERICK

A €2.3 million Rural Development Fund, allocated by Limerick City and County Council to key projects across rural County Limerick, has the potential to leverage additional funds for the projects of around €15 million.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES SUPPORT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

The eight winning projects of the €1.6m Social Enterprise Development Fund, set to participate on the six-month Accelerator Programme, will also automatically be finalists for the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ at the IPB All Ireland Community & Council Awards, in Croke Park next February.