The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, have launched new guidelines on the development of Local Economic and Community Plans.
Local Economic and Community Plans (LECPs) detail how Local Authorities will support economic and community development in their areas over the next six years.
The new guidelines will assist with the development of the plans for local areas, with a key focus on sustainability, consultation and engagement with local communities and businesses.
The guidelines will require Local Authorities to consider housing needs when formulating both the economic and community elements of their LECPs in accordance with the commitment in Housing for All, the Government’s national plan for housing to 2030. With the current Local and Economic Community Plans coming to an end of their current terms in 2021/2022, these new revised guidelines build on the lessons learned from the current LECP cycle, as well as reflecting the needs of communities as we emerge from the Pandemic.
The new approach to the process will ensure LECPs are more agile and allow for emerging needs.
The new guidelines reinforce the important role of communities in determining the needs and priorities of their local area.
Launching the LECP Guidelines today, Minister Humphreys said, “I am delighted to launch the LECP Guidelines today. These guidelines have been developed to support integrated planning for both the community and economic sector at a local level – planning which is crucial to ensure we emerge from the pandemic in a strong and inclusive way. Local Authorities will use the guidelines to develop effective and inclusive LECPs for their areas, ensuring full participation by communities and business people alike. I believe the way to building strong communities is to give everyone the opportunity to engage and I encourage communities to do so through the upcoming consultation opportunities presented by the LECP planning process.“
Minister O’Brien, continued, “today we are delivering a key commitment in “Housing for All” by publishing these new guidelines. They require Local Authorities to consider housing needs when formulating both the economic and community elements of their LECPs. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to support the development of these plans which will provide the foundation for economic and social recovery and support sustainable development across the country over the next six-year period. This has never been more important as we look to support a sustainable recovery from the impact of the pandemic. Local Authorities, and their committees, play a huge role in facilitating a thriving and sustainable local economy’’.
The Ministers were joined by their colleagues Minister of State with special responsibility for Charities and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke TD in launching the Guidelines.
Minister Joe O’Brien added, “the LECP is an important planning document to set out how Government and other stakeholders can work together to ensure that their initiatives, programmes and projects support an improved quality of life for people living and working in the county, including local actions to combat climate change.’’
Minister Burke commented, “these guidelines are designed to support the development and implementation of effective LECPs for the next six years. These Plans will be key enablers for Local Authorities and local communities to improve the quality of life for all in their counties.”
Government will continue to support the development of the LECPs through a series of events over the coming months, including an online Introductory Event on the 9th December. Coinciding with the launch of the guidelines, the Department of Rural and Community Development have today launched a Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) Supports page on the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) Sharepoint site, which is a dedicated portal to engage fully with LCDC members.