West Cork community and voluntary groups are being urged to make their voices heard by joining the Cork County Public Participation Network (PPN).
As we emerge from the pandemic that put so much on pause, Cork County PPN has launched a new campaign to encourage local organisations to get vocal, participate and thrive from the range of benefits available through the PPN.
Cork County Public Participation Network (PPN) is a network of hundreds of non-profit, community and voluntary groups, which range from community councils to tidy towns groups, sports clubs, environmental conservation groups and groups representing minorities.
It aims to empower community groups and representatives to take their seats around policy-making tables where decisions are made that impact people and communities all across Cork County.
Cork County PPN is calling for nominations to fill the 37 Cork County Council committee seats reserved for PPN Representatives, with nominations closing on November 5. These committees are where local policies are developed for such important areas as policing, Housing, Roads and Transport, Planning and Strategic Development, Social Inclusion as well as Arts, Culture and Language. As a PPN Rep, you will sit around the table with local councillors, council staff and other sectoral reps and have your say on the policies that impact all our communities.
According to Cork County Mayor, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, the PPN is one of the most valuable mechanisms for local groups to engage with local government.
“Active citizen participation is pivotal to making a positive impact and to strengthen communities across the county,” she stated.
“Everyone has a voice to be heard and the PPN offers local organisations an important way in which to have their say and to keep abreast of plans and decisions that may affect and impact their communities or groups.”
Sandy McGroarty from Cork County PPN added: “Our democracy is stronger when we have diverse views and interests considered as part of local government decision making. As we emerge from a pandemic, faced with a Climate and Biodiversity emergency and a housing crisis, now more than ever we need to come together to build sustainable and resilient communities. The PPN gives Cork communities a voice as well as the opportunity to connect, grow and learn from one another.”
Noel Casserly from Green Skibbereen, a not for profit, which champions the move towards renewable energy at a local level explained how being part of Cork County PPN has benefited his group.
“The PPN offers community groups an important connection to other groups and organisations that share a similar mandate,” he stated.
“The PPN is a fantastic vehicle to tell people about what you’re doing and broaden your network.”
Local groups not only get to participate in policy making through the 37 seats allocated to PPN members on various Cork County Council committees, but they will also gain access to the most up-to-date information on planning, funding opportunities and public consultations. Added to that, PPN members can also avail of free training throughout the year on topics such as fundraising, social media and GDPR for Community Groups.
Those who are involved in a community group and are interested in joining the PPN or being elected for one of the 37 Cork County Council committee seats are advised to log on to its website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org