Local Community Development Committee (LCDC)






  • The Local Government Reform Act 2014, provides for the establishment of Local Community Development Committees (LCDC) in the 31 local authority areas.
  • This is one of the main alignment reforms of local government.
  • LCDC’s replace County Development Boards, and while retaining the collaborative nature of CDBs, have an enhanced role and different structure.


  • LCDCs key function is to achieve a more strategic, joined up approach to local and community development.
  • LCDCs will have oversight and responsibility for local development and community related funding in their county.
  • The LCDC is responsible for the rollout and monitoring of delivery of social inclusion programme Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme 2018—2022 (SICAP).
  • The LCDC will also be responsible Rural Development Programme and is currently preparation a Draft Local Development Strategy for the county.
  • Each LCDC will develop a six year Economic and Community Plan (LECP).   This plan will agree the strategic framework for economic and community development for the county.  It will inform community and local development resource allocation, and inform other planning processes.
  • The community element of the plan will be prepared by the LCDC, with the economic element prepared by the SPC for Economic Development and Enterprise Support.
  • There is a requirement that both elements are prepared concurrently and form the basis for one overall LECP.  This plan will be presented for approval by Council in early 2015.


  • LCDCs are based on membership from statutory and non-statutory bodies (who hold the majority of seats).  Administrative and secretariat support is provided by the local authority.

County Laois LCDC is based on a seventeen member committee.  The first meeting was held on Wednesday, 17 September 2014.


Statutory Interests


  • Cllr Paschal McEvoy, Laois County Council
  • Cllr John King, Laois County Council
  • Cllr Conor Bergin, Laois County Council
  • Mr John Mulholland, Chief Executive, Laois County Council
  • Ms Evelyn Reddin, CEO, Laois Local Enterprise Office
  • Mr. Martin O’Toole, Dept of Social Protection
  • Ms Paula Phelan, Health Services Executive
  • Mr Joe Thompson, Laois/Offaly Education & Training Board (Chairperson)


Non Statutory Interests

  • Ms Caroline Lydon, CEO Laois Partnership Company
  • Mr Harry Lalor, Farming Sector
  • Ms. Rosey Kuene, Youth Sector
  • Ms. Caroline Hoffman, Business Sector 
  • Mr Ray Harte, Laois Public Participation Network (Environment Pillar)
  • Mr Pat Whelan, Laois Public Participation Network (Social Inclusion Pillar)
  • Ms Joan Bolger, Laois Public Participation Network (Social Inclusion Pillar) (Vice Chairperson)
  • Mr Nina Horan, Laois Public Participation Network (Community/Voluntary Pillar)
  • Mr John Oxley, Laois Public Participation Network (Community/Voluntary Pillar)


Chief Officer, Laois LCDC – Ms. Pamela Tynan, A/Senior Executive Officer, Laois County Council

Tel No:  057 86 64000

Laois LCDC Minutes of Meetings













Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)






The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2024-2028 is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, through the Department of Rural and Community Development, and the European Union.


The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) is co-funded by the Irish
Government, through the Department of Rural and Community Development, and the European
Social Fund Plus under the Employment, Inclusion, Skills and Training (EIST) Programme 2021 -2027.”

“Tá an Clár um Chuimsiú Sóisialta agus Gníomhachtú Pobail (SICAP) cómhaoinithe ag Rialtas na
hÉireann, tríd an Roinn Forbartha Tuaithe agus Pobail, agus Ciste Sóisialta na hEorpa Plus faoin
gClár Fostaíochta, Cuimsiú, Scileanna agus Oiliúna (EIST) 2021 -2027.”


SICAP is managed locally by Laois Local Community Development Committees (LCDC) with support from the Local Authority, Laois County Council. Programme actions are delivered by Programme Implementer, Laois Partnership Company across the Contract Area/ Lot.


The aim of SICAP is to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality in Ireland through supporting
communities and individuals using community development approaches, engagement and collaboration.


SICAP is a targeted, holistic programme, for those who are most disadvantaged and less likely to access mainstream services, which provides supports directly to beneficiaries and links them into existing services. The Programme Implementer, Laois Partnerhsip Company, engages with marginalised communities and service providers using a community development approach to address issues relating to social exclusion and inequality. SICAP also prioritises local engagement and partnerships, between SICAP Programme Implementers, disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies.

SICAP is a multi-faceted programme that provides supports to respond to individual and community needs, aiming to ensure that beneficiaries receive quality, tailored supports, while also allowing flexibility to adapt actions to local need. It enables bottom-up approaches within the framework of a national programme which provides targets, performance indicators and requirements.


All work in SICAP 2024-2028 must be underpinned by four horizontal principles:

  • Promoting a human rights and equality framework, with a particular focus on gender equality and anti-discrimination;
  • Applying quality community development approaches to achieve the participation of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in society, as well as within the SICAP programme itself and the wider local development context, and combatting poverty as an obstacle to social inclusion and economic progression;
  • Developing collaborative approaches with stakeholders to identify and fill gaps in services for SICAP target groups and improve how mainstream policies and programmes are delivered so they impact more positively on the socially excluded; and
  • Promoting Climate Justice, with a focus on facilitating a just and equitable transition to a greener economy and society.


Target Groups

SICAP supports a range of disadvantaged and marginalised groups in society who are unable or unlikely to access mainstream supports. For SICAP to be effective, it is critical that resources, supports and interventions are targeted. SICAP supports must not become universal supports for the general population as this dilutes the effectiveness of interventions and increases duplication of supports and services.

Twelve pre-defined target groups have been set for SICAP. These have been selected based on the socioeconomic context, the level of need in society, and government priorities.

  1. People living in disadvantaged communities
  2. People impacted by educational disadvantage
  3. People living in jobless households or households where the primary income source is low-paid and/or precarious
  4. People who are long-term unemployed
  5. People with a criminal history
  6. Refugees
  7. International Protection Applicants
  8. Disabled People/People with Disabilities
  9. Heads of One-parent Families
  10. Travellers
  11. Roma
  12. Island residents


Local Priority Target Groups

In SICAP 2024-2028 there is a renewed focus on reaching those who are most disadvantaged in Irish society. Alongside the overall KPI for Goal 2, between 1-3
Local Priority Target Groups have been selected by LCDCs in each Contract Area/ Lot for the duration of SICAP.


In Laois the following were selected:

People living in disadvantaged communities
People living in disadvantaged communities are individuals who live in a geographic area categorised by the Pobal HP Deprivation Index as being Disadvantaged, Very Disadvantaged or Extremely Disadvantaged (address is self-reported and input on IRIS, where it is validated and mapped to a small area and/or electoral district).

People living in jobless households or households where the primary income source is low-paid and/or precarious
• People who are low paid – i.e. in employment but earning less than the Living Wage, as defined by the Low Pay Commission – i.e., €12.17 per hour in 2022 (self-reported);

• People in precarious employment – i.e., on zero-hour contracts or who are working part-time involuntarily (self-reported);

• People living in jobless households (self-reported) or in households where the only source of income is social welfare payments/ low paid (see definition above) or precarious (see definition above).



Goals, Objectives, Outcomes and Core Areas of Work

Programme Structure
The programme is structured over two Goals:

Goal 1: Contribute to Building more Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: Empower groups of individuals, local community groups, networks and social enterprises to address collective community needs.

Goal 2: Empower Disadvantaged people to Improve the Quality of Their Lives: Support disadvantaged individuals, children and families to progress their formal education and participate in lifelong learning, to progress into employment/ self-employment, and to improve their soft skills and wellbeing.


To improve the life chances and opportunities of those who are marginalised in society, living in poverty or in unemployment through community development approaches, targeted supports.

In Laois, the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) monitors the roll out of SICAP on behalf of DECLG and POBAL, which monitors funding of the programme.

Programme Implementer in Laois is Laois Partnership Company who can be contacted as follows:

Laois Partnership Company, Head Office, County Hall (Áras an Chontae), Portlaoise, Co Laois

Tel: 057 8661900    Fax: 057 8678043

Email: info@laoispartnership.ie

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Rural Development Programme (LEADER)

The LEADER programme was launched in 1991 and has provided rural communities, across the EU, with the resources to enable local partners to actively engage and direct the local development of their area.

The current LEADER Programme 2014 – 2020 will provide €250 million (7% of the RDP) in funding to rural communities over the next 5 – 6 years throughout Ireland. During this period, almost €8m of LEADER funding will be invested in innovative community and private enterprise projects throughout Laois.

Laois Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) has responsibility for the delivery of LEADER 2014-2020 in the county.  The key Implementation Partner (IP) is Laois Partnership Company (LPC).

Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by a Local Action Group (LAG) which is made up of people from the local community as well as from the local public and private sector

It is responsible for selecting and approving projects in accordance with the Local Development Strategies (LDS) developed for the area.

The LDS is a plan that is developed by rural communities to support sustainable development of their sub-regional area.


LEADER 2014-2020 

The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is the programme manager for LEADER. Pobal supports the Department in elements of the programme including managing the LDS selection process, financial verification checks and the roll out of the ICT system.

The LEADER programme is included under priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP): “promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.”

To facilitate a more effective targeting of resources, the requirements of the RDP were identified through consultation and research.  The RDP outlines a series of themes that were identified as overarching needs in rural Ireland.

LEADER has three RDP and nine sub-themes:

Theme 1:   Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation.

Sub-themes: Rural Tourism, Enterprise Development, Rural Town and Broadband.

Theme 2:   Social Inclusion

Sub-themes: Basic services targeted at hard to reach communities and Rural Youth.

Theme 3: Rural Environment

Sub-themes: Protection and sustainable use of water resources, Protection and improvement of local bio-diversity and Development of renewable energy.


How To Apply for LEADER Funding

For further information on LEADER funding in Laois, including how to apply, please contact the Implementing Partner (IP) ie Laois Partnership Company (LPC) at:

Laois Partnership Company, Head Office, County Hall (Áras an Chontae), Portlaoise, Co.Laois

Tel: 057 8661900 Fax: 057 8678043

Email: info@laoispartnership.ie

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Laois Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) 2023-2028

The purpose of the Local Economic and Community Plan, as provided for in the Local Government Act 2001 (as amended), is to set out, for a six-year period, the objectives and actions needed to promote and support the economic development and the local and community development of County Laois, both by itself directly and in partnership with other economic and community development stakeholders. In short, the LECP is a statutory plan which was prepared to promote the economic and community development of County Laois for the period 2023-2028.

The LECP was prepared by Laois County Council and the Local Community Development Committee (Laois LCDC) in consultation with other agencies, organisations, groups, and individuals.

The LECP provides a guide to the development of Laois up to 2028 and one of its main objectives is to ensure effective co-ordination of publicly funded programmes.

Laois LCDC is responsible for implementing the community elements of the plan and the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) for Enterprise, Economic Development and Tourism is responsible for implementing the economic elements of the plan.


The Laois LECP aligns with and supports the Council’s Corporate Plan whose mission statement is that “The Council will lead the sustainable economic, social, cultural and community development of our County and deliver quality public services to the community we serve.”

The Laois LECP is separated into two distinct elements:

  • The LECP Framework Document consisting of the ten High Level Goals, objectives, and the desired outcomes for the entire LECP period.
  • The Implementation Plan consisting of the actions and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assist in achieving the overall goals, objectives, and outcomes.


Part 1: Laois LECP Framework Document 2023-2028

Laois Local Economic & Community Plan Framework Document 2023-2028

The Laois LECP Framework Document was adopted by the Laois Local Community Development Committee (Laois LCCD) and Laois County Council in March 2024 following an extensive preparation, consultation, and development process being formally launched in the picturesque surroundings of Emo Court on the 22nd  of May 2024

The LECP is a multi-agency plan, with a vision for Laois as it moves towards 2030 along with ten High Level Goals and thirty four sustainable objectives and associated high level outcomes. Some High Level Goals focus on economic development with others focusing on community development, climate action or health and well-being. Some goals are cross cutting, meaning that they have a dual focus both on economic and community development.


Appendix 1: LECP Review Report 2016-2021  

Appendix 2: Socio Economic Profile of Laois

Appendix 3: Socio Economic Statement

Appendix 4: High Level Goals Rationale

Appendix 5: Consultation Report

Appendix 6: Appropriate Assessment (AA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report  

Appendix 7: Alignment of LECP with Local & Regional Policy

Appendix 8: Membership of Relevant Structures


Part 2: Laois LECP Implementation Plan 2023-2028

An Implementation Plan separate to this framework document will be developed to identify specific actions to assist in achieving the high level goals, objectives, and outcomes. Once developed, the initial Implementation Plan will last for two years and will be closely monitored and evaluated before being reviewed and revised in 2026. This flexible approach to the implementation of the LECP will allow Laois County Council and its partners to ensure the actions remain relevant and responsive to changing contexts, opportunities, and challenges.

The Community and Economic sections of Laois County Council will consult regularly with action owners for consultation and feedback. Twice yearly progress reports on the Implementation Plan will be sent to the Economic SPC and LCDC.





Healthy Laois Plan 2018-2020 

The Healthy Laois Plan seeks to build upon the Healthy Ireland strategic vision: which sees “A healthy Ireland where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and well-being to their full potential.” This plan supports the implementation at local level of the objectives of the Healthy Ireland Framework Strategy

The goal of the Healthy Laois Plan is to improve the health and wellbeing of all our citizens in County Laois.

Cllr Paschal McEvoy, Chairperson of Laois LCDC congratulated all involved in the making of this Plan, in particular to the Healthy Laois Team members, the partners and agencies involved and the HSE.

The Healthy Laois Plan was compiled following consultation with the public and targeted consultation with representatives of key agencies and organisations in Laois, who had much to say about what they would like to see developed and improved, but also how they are prepared to cooperate and get involved in making Laois a healthy county over the course of the next three years.

Cathaoirleach John King expressed his delight in supporting the Healthy Laois Plan.  “The Healthy Laois Plan is the first of its kind in Laois and aims to work together to build an environment that supports individuals, families and indeed communities to lead healthier lifestyles”.

The Chief Executive of Laois County Council Mr John Mulholland explained that Health in the community incorporates factors such as Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Education and Community Facilities. With those in mind, Laois County Council though the various local authority programmes as well as through the Local Economic and Community Plan(LECP) and County Development Plan is committed to working with our partners to shape the broad and sustainable development of the county

Full details can be seen at the following link:


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