Why Were PPN’s Established?
In September 2013 the Government established the Working Group on Citizen Engagement that was chaired by Fr. Sean Healy of Social Justice Ireland (www.socialjustice.ie). The role of this Group was to make recommendations to bring about wider and diverse input by citizens into local government decision-making. In its 2013 report, 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, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (now the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government) directed that Public Participation Networks 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 set-up as a independent entity in 2015 by Cork City Council who facilitated the formation of the PPN’s Secretariat (i.e. Steering Committee) to lead the development of the PPN.