These amendments and others relating to the provisions in the Local Government Reform Act 2014 have already been debated and agreed by the Oireachtas. In respect of Section 35 relating to Local Community Development Committees, lines 12-30 in section 128F were deleted as they related to the making of Regulations and General Policy Guidelines for Local and Community Plans to be developed by Local Community Development Committees. These provisions have been effectively replaced by new provisions at Section 44 of the 2014 Act under which local authorities and Local Community Development Committees are tasked with preparing integrated Local Economic and Community Plans for their areas. This integrated economic and community plan will provide for a more co-ordinated approach at a local level. Section 44, which inserts new sections 66A to 66H in the Local Government Act 2001, now provides for the making of regulations in relation to the new integrated plan and accordingly, the provisions of Section 128F(2)(c) – covering the making of regulations for the standalone community plan – are not now required.
In respect of amendment no. 34, which was discussed at Dáil and Seanad Committee Stages, on both occasions I committed to bringing forward an amendment on this issue. I can now confirm that there is provision for the making of regulations in relation to engagement and consultation with communities as part of the Local Economic and Community Plan process as provided for in section 44 of the 2014 Act.