A report on the LCDC review is being drafted by my Department with guidance and input from the LCDC Review Steering Group and is at an advanced stage. The aim of the report is to provide a set of practical recommendations that address the challenges identified in the consultation and strengthen the operation of the LCDCs going forward.
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 significantly increased the community function in Local authorities providing for the establishment of LCDCs and Our Public Service 2020 recognises the LCDCs as the primary vehicle for collaboration at a local level. In this context my Department is currently involved in comprehensive consultation with the City and County Management Association and other stakeholders to ensure that the LCDC review is as robust as possible. While this engagement has been very worthwhile, it has taken longer than anticipated. I expect to have a draft for my consideration very shortly and would hope to publish the final report in July 2019.
The National Public Participation Network (PPN) Advisory Group, representative of all stakeholders, was established to advise and support my Department in the operation and development of PPNs. The first group was established in 2016 and ran until September 2017. The second group was established in late 2017 and has met on eight occasions to date. This group is working well with my Department in relation to the ongoing support and development of PPNs and there are no proposals, at this stage, to review the operation of the group.
As part of its work programme, the Advisory Group is reviewing the PPN User Guide, in consultation with PPNs around the country. A public consultation process on the matter has recently been concluded and the responses received are currently being considered by a subgroup of the PPN Advisory Group.