Why were PPN’s established
In September 2013 the Government established the Working Group on Citizen Engagement under the chairmanship of Fr. Sean Healy. The role of this Group was to make recommendations to ensure more extensive and diverse input by citizens into local government decision making. The Group recommended that a “Public Participation Network” be established in each local authority area to enable the public to take an active formal role in relevant policy making and committees of the Local Authority”.
In 2014, in response to the Working Group’s recommendations, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government directed that Public Participation Networks would be set up in each local authority area in Ireland under Section 46 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014. The aim of this was to provide a “framework for public participation in local government,……….. by which citizens and communities will be encouraged and supported to participate in the decision-making processes of the local authority”*.
Cork City PPN was established in 2015 by Cork City Council as a autonomous entity, and facilitated the establishment of a independent PPN Secretariat to lead the development of the PPN.