In 2015 I became part of a voluntary team responsible for the establishment of Clare PPN – Public Participation Network . Clare PPN enables community and voluntary groups to give input and have their voices heard within the formal decision making structures of Clare County Council. The Secretariat are charged with managing the PPN and are very fortunate to have an amazing coordinator who keeps the PPN running on a day to day basis.
I’ve been involved from the start and am very proud to say that Clare has one of the most independent PPNs in the Country. Of all of the 31 PPNs only 9 are not hosted by the Local Authority and Clare is one of them. It wasn’t easy and at times it was hard not to accept the simple solution of handing it over to the council but I’m so glad we persevered. We came up against a lot of resistance and barriers from many angles but worked together to get through them. We did lose some very active and greatly missed secretariat members in the first difficult year but their vision and perseverance helped us stay on track.
It has been a rewarding journey. The first call went out for members to form Clare PPN in 2014 and in time I was elected to represent the environment on the secretariat. I finished up at national policy work with the Environmental Pillar soon after and could devote more time to local participation. I also represent the environment on Clares Economic SPC – Strategic Policy Committee. I am really grateful for the PPN training we received with the Environmental Pillar as we had been working on their establishment since 2013.
The PPN is now the main way that Clare County Council will connect with groups active in the county. Whenever the local authority needs people to participate in consultations or sit on the committees that form policies it will call on the PPN to select these people by holding elections from amongst its members. If you are a member of a not for profit group in Clare I strongly recommend you register with Clare PPN. You can do do online here. It’s also a good idea to keep up to date with the newsletter.
I have categorised my blogs so to read all posts relevant to the PPN you can choose PPN from the categories menu on the right hand side of my home page or they are available within the sub menu of this heading.