The Programme for Government committed to reviewing the delivery of services at local level in order to improve service delivery from the point of view of the citizen. It has committed to reducing the duplication of services while ensuring greater democratic accountability in decision-making at a local level.
One initiative through which this will be achieved is the alignment of local government and local development sectors in a way that builds on the strengths of both sectors.
A high level Alignment Steering Group was established in September 2011 by Minister Phil Hogan to make recommendations on improving alignment between the sectors.
The Group’s final report (including the text of an interim report) was approved for implementation by Government last October.
Alignment forms part of the broader Local Government reform proposals as laid out in ‘Putting People First – An Action Programme for Effective Local Government’.
The alignment of local government and local development will be pursued on a phased basis over the period 2012-2014, in a way that will secure optimum value from available resources and enhance service delivery for local communities.
The alignment report recognised “the key strengths of local development companies, including their reach into their communities, their proven track record of leading social inclusion and local and community development initiatives, and their significant local knowledge and expertise in service planning and delivery.”
It noted: “The approach and ethos of the local development companies, based on community involvement, and interventions tailored to address particular local needs, are fundamental elements of the local development model in Ireland. Considerable care should be taken to maintain the integrity of this model.”
Further information including the full reports are available on the Department’s website: https://www.environ.ie