Five people were appointed by Minister Phil Hogan to a high level steering group in September to look at how a closer alignment between local government and the local development sector would work.
The five were chosen on the basis of their experience and considerable knowledge of both the Local Government and Local Development sectors, said the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. They are:
Jim Miley (pictured) – former chairperson of Concern Worldwide, founder of myhome.ie and former secretary general of Fine Gael (in the late ‘90s). He was once a broadcaster and also served in the past as chief executive of Dublin City Chamber of Commerce. Mr Miley will chair the steering group.
Geraldine Tallon – secretary general of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
Gerry Kearney – former secretary general of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
Dr. Patricia O’Hara – regional policy expert with professorial duties at the National Institute for Regional Spatial Analysis in Maynooth
Liam Keane – former regional co-ordinator of HSE South.
Martina Moloney – Galway County Manager.
It is anticipated the Steering Group will submit recommendations to the Minister by the end of January.
Interested parties have been invited to make submissions to the steering group and a number of presentations by key stakeholders have taken place. Questionnaires have also been issued to stakeholders including:
· – local development companies and their representative organisation (namely the ILDN),
· – County and city managers and their representative organisation (CCMA),
· – the three representative organisations for the elected members;
· – the network body for the Community and Voluntary Fora;
· – Volunteer Ireland – the representative body for the 22 State-funded volunteer centres;
· – the Wheel, Community Workers Co-operative, Social Justice Ireland as representative bodies for community and – – voluntary organisations; and
· – Service users; by way of focus groups and questionnaires.
As part of the consultation process, the steering group is also accepting submissions from other parties as they come forward.