4th Meeting of the PPN National Advisory Group held in the Withdrawing Room, Custom House, Dublin on 5th April 2017.
Stakeholder Group: PPN Volunteers:
- Charles Stanley-Smith (Tipperary PPN, Environment representative)
Stakeholder Group: Pillar Representatives:
- Seán Healy (Community & Voluntary Pillar)
Stakeholder Group: PPN Resource Workers:
- Helen Howes (Wicklow PPN)
- Geraldine Timlin (Sligo PPN)
Stakeholder Group: Local Authorities:
- Bernie Doherty, (Dublin City, SEO Community Services)
- Donal Brennan, (Laois County Council, Director of Services)
Stakeholder Group: Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
- Officials – Deirdre Kearney (Chair), Niall Hayden, Ellie Corcoran
- Michael Ewing (Environmental Pillar)
- Tess Murphy (Longford PPN, Social Inclusion representative)
- Siobhán O’Dowd ( Cork City PPN – Social Inclusion representative)
- Annette Barr-Jordan (Westmeath PPN)
Opening and Introductions
The Chair welcomed all participants
Bernie Doherty, Dublin City Council with Geraldine Timlin, Sligo PPN, Charles Stanley Smith, Tipperary PPN and Helen Howes, Wicklow PPN made presentations to the Group meeting on the structures in their PPNs. These presentations provided a very useful insight into the range of relevant PPN structures and arrangements in place
As Michael Ewing unable to attend meeting, this Agenda item was carried over to the subsequent meeting.
The group was informed that the amendments agreed at the previous meeting were incorporated in the latest version of the User Guide and that this version would be circulated to all stakeholders and posted on the Department’s website. Document to be reviewed periodically to ensure that it reflects up to date experiences.
Action Point: Updated User Guide to be circulated by Department to all Resource Workers and a copy to be posted on Department’s website
To enhance and further support PPN’s and their structures, the Advisory Group again acknowledged that training was essential if the PPN process is to achieve its objectives.
Dr Seán Healy presented his document “Development and Support Programmes for PPNs, their member groups and Local Authorities” and outlined various courses run by Social Justice Ireland to provide for the development and support for PPNs. In response to a query in relation to the generic nature of courses, Dr. Healy clarified that all courses can be specifically tailored to the individual needs of each recipient group and he undertook to provide each LA/PPN who requests same with details as to course content and instructors. He also clarified that details of the course costs can be provided, on request.
The draft PPN Activity Report for 2016 was discussed. It was agreed that, given the subjective nature of many of the questions raised, that the document should largely focus on collating factual data and that the comments sections be removed, with the exception of section 7 which would be revised. It was agreed that Social Justice Ireland would amend the document as discussed and provide new version of document to Department.
It was also agreed that on receipt of the revised document – to be renamed “2016 Annual Report”, this would be issued to all PPN Resource Workers and LA Directors of Services requesting them to complete the document and return to Department by email. A sub-group of the Advisory Group is to be established to examine and collate the returns, with the assistance of Social Justice Ireland. It is anticipated that this Annual Report will be launched at a national PPN event later in 2017, the details of which have yet to be decided.
Action: As outlined above.
Advisory Group Nomination Process
There was general agreement of the draft discussion paper regarding the Advisory Group nomination process. In particular, two issues which were left undecided at the previous Advisory Group meeting were agreed ie the proposed selection process for the PPN volunteers and the term of office for Advisory Group members (which will be three years from date of appointment to group)
It was agreed that nominations would be sought from all PPN stakeholder groups. For the information of all groups, but particularly PPN Volunteers, the Department agreed to prepare an information sheet which will include the background to the establishment of PPNs, the terms of reference for the Advisory Group and general housekeeping issues such as the payment of travel and subsistence rates.
It was agreed that the final meeting of the current Advisory Group will be held in early September with the new Advisory Group holding its first meeting in early October.
National PPN coordinator. Resource Workers reiterated their request for PPN Co-ordinator.
Some members recommended that any additional resources should be diverted towards PPN secretariat.
The Department informed the group that no additional funding is available to support the post of PPN Co-Ordinator but requested the Resource Workers to identify areas where the Department can provide additional non-financial supports to the Resource Workers.
It was agreed that it was a matter for each Secretariat to decide on acceptance of submissions from third party interests.
- Next Meeting. Wednesday 7th June 2017. East Room, Custom House, Dublin.