Longford PPN putting people at the heart of decision making

Longford PPN putting people at the heart of decision making

County Longford is leading the way on the implementation of a new people powered form of local politics that ensures that communities have a meaningful role in how the county is run and how decisions are made.

The County Longford Public Participation Network (PPN) will hold its second Plenary Meeting next Monday, March 27 at the Longford County Library where it will hear from Fr Sean Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland and one of the founders of the new community led democratic structure. 

Also speaking at the Plenary will be Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive of Longford County Council, who is a strong supporter of the new PPN system.

Siobhán Cronogue, Development Officer with Co Longford PPN, explained that the one of the key roles of the PPN is to link its members with the various council committees that make vital decisions on key issues relating to people’s everyday lives in areas like housing, infrastructure, heritage, sports, and community development. 

While it is a relatively new structure, the Co Longford PPN already has over 180 members ranging from local residents groups to tourism to heritage and environmental groups. 

The PPN currently has 37 community representatives sitting on 17 Council and outside agency committees.  

“The PPN helps deepen democracy by ensuring that the voices of communities are heard when it comes to making critical decisions about the future of our county,” Ms Cronogue said. 

“In addition, the PPN helps ensure that people are kept fully informed about the workings of our local government system and the decisions that are being discussed that may affect them.”

Fr Sean Healy said that Longford was leading the way in actively promoting community led decision making nationally.

“The commitment of volunteers to Co Longford and its community, social inclusion and environmental organisations is well known,” Fr Healy said.  

Fr Healy continued, “The PPN gives added value and provides community groups with an excellent opportunity to engage with the Local Authority and each other to build a better Co Longford.” 

Fr Healy concluded, “I am delighted to have been invited to the Longford PPN Plenary meeting next Monday, and look forward to meeting the member groups and discussing how they can have a real impact on policy and decision making in Longford.” 

Also speaking at the Plenary Meeting is Karen Kennedy, Water and Community Officer, who will provide information on protecting our waters and wildlife for now and future generations.

The PPN Secretariat, which oversees the day to day running of the County Longford PPN on behalf of the full membership, looks forward to updating all member groups on the night about developments to date and to hearing suggestions for the continuous development of the structure. 

For more information on the Co Longford PPN contact: 

Siobhan Cronogue; Tel: 087 261 5583 or email ppn@longfordcoco.ie