Community members elected to
new Public Participation Network

Longford County Council Director of Services, Frank Sheridan.
The count for the election of community representatives to the Public Participation Network (PPN) took place last week.

The count for the election of community representatives to the Public Participation Network (PPN) took place last week.

The PPN is the new framework established by government to enable public input into local government through a structure that ensures public participation and representation on decision- making committees and bodies.

Following last week’s count, the voting of which took place through postal means just prior to Christmas, the first election was held.

“61 registered community groups returned valid votes,” Director of Services Frank Sheridan told the Leader.

“The 90 Community groups registered with the Longford PPN were invited to nominate and elect nine members to the PPN Secretariat; two Community & Voluntary; two Social Inclusion; two Environment and one area representative from each Municipal District with due consideration to gender balance and geographical spread.”

Longford Co Council confirmed to the Leader that once nominations were received and validated, ballot sheets for the PPN Secretariat election were then sent to all registered groups and the process to elect the Secretariat was by secret ballot postal vote. The deadline for return was December 17, 2014. “Last week’s count was overseen by the local authority and the next election to take place will be for various vacancies on the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and the various Strategic Policy Committees and Boards,” Mr Sheridan added.

The new elected Secretariat for the PPN includes Elected Environmental Representatives - Ray Hogan and Tilla Shulte Ostermann; Elected Social Inclusion Representatives - Breda Murphy and Seamus Orr; Elected Community & Voluntary Representatives - Joe Murphy and Ruth Mc Garry Quinn; Area Representative for the Ballymahon Municipal District - Brendan Quigley; Area Representative for the Granard Municipal District - Tess Murphy; Area Representative for the Longford Municipal District - Connie Geraty.

“The PPN will be the main link through which Longford County Council connects with the community, voluntary and environmental sectors,” the Director of Services continued. “The Network is divided into two primary groupings - Sectoral, where groups through their activities align with Environment, Social Inclusion or Community & Voluntary interests and which is geographical and relates to the new Local Authority Municipal Districts structures of Granard, Longford and Ballymahon.”

The purpose of the Secretariat is to administer the day to day running of the PPN; facilitate decisions and coordinate activities of the PPN. Community groups who have not yet registered with the Longford PPN are invited to do so online or download at E-mail or contact Siobhan Cronogue at 087 261 5583 for more details.