Implementation arrangements for local development programmes under the new local governance arrangements set out under Putting People First - Action Programme for Effective Local Government, are being considered currently by an Alignment Working Group that was established to advise and assist my Department in the implementation of the alignment recommendations. Their considerations are now advanced regarding the optimum programme implementation arrangements under Local Community Development Committees, which will be established in each local authority area to have responsibility for planning and oversight of local and community development programmes.
These considerations include options to retain the expertise and experience that currently resides with local development bodies and their staff. Equally, we must look to implement arrangements that will deliver the best outcomes for citizens and communities in a time of constrained budgets. Pending finalisation of the Working Group’s considerations on this issue, it would inappropriate for me to commit to any particular implementation arrangement at this time. Putting People First recognised the challenges arising from the complexity of the local development structures and the high overhead and administration costs, but also the strengths of local development companies and programmes in respect of service planning and delivery.