EQUAL Ireland’s Nuala Keher, Eddie Higgins and Brendan Mulry were delighted to attend and participate in Galway County Council’s excellent Community Engagement Conference in the Connemara Coast Hotel on the 4th June last. Congratulations to Ann Malaghan and her colleagues for a job really well done! Aimed at engaging people with the Local Community Development Committees (LCDC) have been established in Galway County and as you probably know one of the first and key tasks for the LCDCs is to develop, adopt and implement a Local Community & Economic Plan (LECP). The LECP is comprised of two elements:
1. A local economic element (to be prepared and adopted by the local authority):
2. A community development element (prepared and adopted by the LCDC).
LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES
The work of the LCDC will have a profound impact on community development/community work for the foreseeable future. In that context it’s imperative that CWC members, community workers and others in the community sector are aware of the responsibilities that have been assigned to the LCDCs – both in terms of product (deliverables) and process (the principles assigned to guide the LCDC work). The Community Engagement Conference was all about hearing the views of people and organisations involved in the various communities which constitute the population of Galway County.
THE EQUAL Ireland CONTRIBUTION: Community Leadership and Capacity Building – RPL – Local Delivery – Funding EQUAL Ireland concentrated on the two themes below No. 1 and 3 emphasizing the need for enhanced development of Community Leadership and Community Capacity in particular in the areas of Social Enterprise and Quality of Life Planning noting that skills such as Business, Leadership, Management and Innovation were critical skills for successful communities. EQUAL Ireland called for a review of funding for disadvantaged people seeking to further their development at 3rd Level . We pointed out the need for far greater use of the Recognition of Prior Learning so that Community Activists, Volunteers and Small Business people could gain accreditation for their years of experience and skill acquisition. Local Delivery, we told the conference is of the highest priority and is by far the best way of overcoming transport problems.
VISION AND GOALS The Vision and High Level Goals of County Galway Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) currently are as follows all of which were discussed and further developed at the Conference…….An inclusive County with a clear sense of identity where we work together towards achieving the full economic, social, community, linguistic and cultural potential of County Galway and of its people through citizen engagement at a local level”
Theme 1: Employment and Enterprise – Goal: To enhance the quantity and quality of employment and enterprise opportunities throughout County Galway. Theme 2: Poverty and Social Inclusion – Goal: To reduce the levels and prevalence of poverty, disadvantage and social exclusion in County Galway. Theme 3: Education and Training – Goal: To improve educational attainment levels within County Galway and to ensure that access to training and lifelong learning opportunities is available to all. Theme 4: Health and Wellbeing – Goal: To improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across County Galway. Theme 5: Community Safety – Goal: To make County Galway a safer place to live for all it citizens. Theme 6: Towns and Village – Goal: To revitalise and regenerate our towns and villages of County Galway and to improve the connectivity of communities, the built environment and public spaces. Theme 7: Balanced Sustainable Development – Goal: To ensure that rural communities in County Galway are enabled to participate fully in economic and social development in their own area. Theme 8: Natural Environment – Goal: To protect and sustain our natural environment for future social, cultural and economic wellbeing. Theme 9: Culture and Language – Goal: To ensure that the culture and language of County Galway remain a vibrant and unique part of our identity and are developed to their full potential. Theme 10: Harnessing our Natural Resources – Goal: To harness and manage our Natural Resources to support our unique agriculture and marine related sectors in a balanced and sustainable manner