Kerry County Council was quickly out of traps and among the first in the country to implement the terms of the Local Government Reform Act 2014.
The act provides for the establishment of a new structure called the Public Participation Network (PPN) in all local authorities areas.
The newly formed Kerry Public Participation Network has enshrined community based volunteerism as its core focus for the application and distribution of grant aid.
As with its council electoral status, Castleisland is in the Killarney Municipal District and was entitled to forward a candidate to stand for election to the governing body or secretariat.
Locals believe that Charlie Farrelly’s impressive record of achievement and involvement in community development in both Cordal and Castleisland stood to him on the night of the election in Killarney.
He won the right to sit on the decision-making secretariat. Mr. Farrelly is now actively urging voluntary groups in the Castleisland district to see where they can improve their lives and the environment of their areas with the help and encouragement of the new partnership.
“Voluntary groups in the communities will qualify for grant aid once they’re involved in improving or promoting their towns or villages in any way. Planting derelict or waste-ground areas or promoting festivals are all within the scope of the network,” said Charlie.
This new structure will be the link through which the local authorities will engage with the broader community sector. Areas such as: social inclusion and environmental sectors are all viable options for funding under the new arrangement.
“Groups involved with the network will be able to access discounted insurance policies for their activities. This could mean getting cover for less that half of what they’re currently paying. Being involved certainly has its advantages,” he urged.
As part of a collaborative and partnership approach, Kerry County Council has worked with the Kerry Community and Voluntary Forum to establish the Public Participation Network.
A registrar of groups has been set up at the Community and Enterprise Department of Kerry County Council. The function of the register includes the right of groups which have been signed up to participate in the election of community and voluntary representatives.
The elected representatives will hold their positions for terms which parallel those of the politically elected members of the council.
Groups or organizations wishing to register for the PPN should have an agreed set of rules and a working structure or a constitution. They should also provide proof of existence for more that six months prior to the date of the application.
While the deadline for voting is gone for this year, it is still possible for groups to register with the PPN. A Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government recommendation advises that all organisations that fit the criteria should register to ensure input into decision making and elections within in their localities in future.
Application Forms and Help
Application forms are available from: The Office of the Community Department, Kerry County Council, Rathass, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Application forms are also available for download: http://www.kerrycoco.ie/en/allservices/communityenterprise/community/communityvoluntaryforum/
Clubs, groups or organizations needing guidance can contact Charlie Farrelly on: 087 20 56 150 or by Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org