Seán Kyne, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment today (20/12/1/17) announced the publication of the First Annual Report of the National Public Participation Network (PPN) Advisory Group.
The Advisory Group, which was established in early 2016 on foot of recommendations of the Working Group on Citizen Engagement with Local Government, has the job of advising and supporting the Department of Rural and Community Development in the operation and development of the PPNs.
In June of this year, each PPN was required to complete an Annual Report in respect of its activities in 2016 – their first full year of operation. The completion of the report was a joint effort by both the PPNs and the local authorities and was designed to capture specific non personal data and certain indicators relating to the activities of the PPN.
The Minister remarked that this report “was itself clear evidence to the tremendous work that has been undertaken by PPNs in such a very short space of time”. PPNs have now been established in all local authority areas with some 12,000 organisations registered with them by the beginning of 2017 with all indications showing the PPNs continued to grow in the last twelve months.
The report contains a number of recommendations which will be considered by the National Advisory Group and reported on to the Department of Rural & Community Development.
The Minister concluded by saying that “PPNs, are the future. They are the main link through which the local authority connects with the community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion sectors and they are uniquely placed to bring a diversity of voices and interests to the decision making process. I would encourage those organisations who have not yet signed up to their local PPN to do so as soon as possible in order to ensure that their voice is heard and that they play a role in the future development of their Public Participation Network.”