Irish Local Development Network welcomes Publication of Government’s Strategy to Support the Community & Voluntary Sector in Ireland.
Irish Local Development Network, the representative body for the country’s Local Development Companies have welcomed the publication of ‘Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities’, the government’s new strategy to support the community and voluntary sector.
The strategy sets out to create a vibrant and active civil society but it also recognises the current challenges caused by policy developments and funding reductions made during the recession that impacted the capacity of the community, voluntary and Local Development sectors to support communities.
ILDN Chairperson Marie Price Bolger highlighted the strategy’s commitment to a renewed community-statutory partnership which is essential to bring about better outcomes for communities,
The recognition that such partnership must be underpinned by strong, autonomous community development and local development structures has allowed the strategy to reconceive of the state’s relationship with civil society and as a cross-government document, this is to be welcomed.
Irish Local Development Network and its members in the Local Development Sector also welcome the government’s recognition of their work with long-term unemployed people which it states ‘would be almost impossible for central government to replicate’”.
The Irish Local Development Network was a key play on the Cross-Sectoral Group that Co-produced the plan and Price Bolger adds that,
As the Strategy now moves into its implementation phases, ILDN and its members will play a key role, working with the other stakeholders, to help turn the objectives into reality.”
Ireland’s 49 Local Development Companies deliver extensive social and community supports services such as LEADER, Local Employment Services, the national social inclusion programme (SICAP), Tús, Rural Social Scheme etc to 173,000 individuals and almost 15,000 community groups annually.