The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) representing Ireland’s 49 Local Development Companies (LDCs) will tomorrow (Wednesday) address the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Social Protection, Community & Rural Development and the Islands. ILDN CEO Joe Saunders, and ILDN Social Inclusion Chair Adeline O’Brien will present the Network’s priorities to Oireachtas Committee members who are in the process of preparing a Pre-Budget submission on behalf of the Committee.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, ILDN CEO Joe Saunders said; “we are looking forward to the opportunity to outline to the Committee the important work of our 49 Local Development Companies in Communities across the Country. LDCs deliver over €330million at national level including LEADER, Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP), National Walks and Recreation Programmes, social enterprise supports, Tús, Rural Social Scheme, Local Employment Service and the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance. Our members provide a national footprint through local, community-based delivery. Budget 2022 will be important in ensuring that all of the services delivered by our members continue to be appropriately funded and that the Local Development Sector is adequately supported.”

ILDN Social Inclusion Chair, Adeline O’Brien added; “Tomorrow’s meeting provides ILDN with a great opportunity to focus on the important contribution made by the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) in Communities particularly throughout the COVID19 pandemic. SICAP is the Government’s flagship Social Inclusion fund, and as ILDN Social Inclusion Chair I am very keen to highlight the positive impact SICAP makes in our Communities. ILDN have ambitious proposals for the future of SICAP to present to the Committee, the budget for which regrettably stands at 50% of what it was in 2008 – (€43m currently, €84.7m in 2008).”