National Community Day
In September 2018, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Mr Michael Ring, TD, announced the launch of a National Community Day – The Big Hello which was held for the first time over the May Bank Holiday Weekend, 2019.
The initial funding was allocated from Department of Rural Community Development however Laois County Council were overwhelmed with the imagination of various community groups throughout the County ranging from Kayak sessions to Intergenerational BBQ’s and as a result Laois Local Community Development Committee supplemented this funding to ensure the maximum amount of community events could benefit from The Big Hello!
The success of this initiative lay in local communities coming together to plan events that work best for their community, for example Family fun/Community days in Camross, Mountrath, Stradbally, The Swan and Ballyroan. The Big Hello! speaks to everyone in an inclusive and open way.
From a vintage run to afternoon tea, this allowed a chance for people to foster a sense of helping each other by coming together, not just on that day, but all year round all and was an overwhelming success. The events were a celebration of the great spirit of community that exists across the country and an effort to help people who share communities, to come together, get to know each other and deepen the sense of community in their area.
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:
DRCD Community Enhancement Programme 2018
The Community Enhancement Programme (CEP), which is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, will provide €284,032 of capital grant funding to community groups in County Laois in 2018, to enhance facilities available to communities.
Typical enhancements under the programme include the upgrading of community centres, community amenities, improvements to town parks, common areas and spaces, CCTV equipment, defibrillators, IT equipment and energy efficiency-type projects.
A total of 92 community groups in County Laois will receive funding under this scheme, with a good spread of funding across the county.
The CEP is the result of the first significant exercise in the streamlining of schemes and programmes carried out by the Department of Rural and Community Development and it is envisaged that further schemes of this type will be rolled out in 2019.
The application process for the CEP is administered by Laois Local Community Development Committee (LCDC).
In addition €10,145 was also provided to support the work of Men’s Sheds through the Community Enhancement Programme. 7 Men’s Shed groups in Laois will receive Funding under the programme.
Please find the full list of successful applicants here: Community Enhancement Programme Grants 2018
- Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
- Rural Development Programme (LEADER)
- Adopted LECP Plan
- 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.
MEMBERSHIP OF LAOIS LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
- Cllr John King, Laois County Council
- Cllr Paschal McEvoy, 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 Colm Purcell, Dept of Social Protection
- Ms Ann Sheerin, Health Services Executive
- Mr Padraig Boland, Laois/Offaly Education & Training Board
Non Statutory Interests
- Ms Catherine Cowap, Laois Partnership Company
- Mr Michael Bergin, Farming Sector
- Mr Joe Thompson, Youth Sector
- Mr Kieran Finane, Business Sector
- Mr Ray Harte, Laois Public Participation Network (Environment Pillar)
- Mr Paddy Buggy, Laois Public Participation Network (Social Inclusion Pillar)
- Ms Mary White, Laois Public Participation Network (Social Inclusion Pillar)
- Mr PJ Campbell, Laois Public Participation Network (Community/Voluntary Pillar)
- Mr Robbie Quinn, Laois Public Participation Network (Community/Voluntary Pillar)
Chief Officer, Laois LCDC – Mr. Donal Brennan, Director of Service, Laois County Council
Tel No: 057 86 64000
- Adopted LECP Plan
- Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Local Community Development Committees (10 July 2014)
Laois LCDC Minutes of Meetings
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 13/02/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 17/04/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 08/05/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 26/06/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 24/07/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 06 /10/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 20/10/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 20/11/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 09/12/2015
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 28/01/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 16/02/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 05/04/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 17/05/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 17/06/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 05/08/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 16/09/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 21/10/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 30/11/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 16/12/2016
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 27/01/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 22/02/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 31/03/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 28/04/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 30/06/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 28/07/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 29/09/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 25/10/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 24/11/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 15/12/2017
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 26/01/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 23/03/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 27/04/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 30/05/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 29/06/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 01/08/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 01/10/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 12/12/2018
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 30/01/2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 27/02/2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 27/03/2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 24/04/2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 22/05/2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 31.07.2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 25.09.2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 01.11.2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 28.11.2019
- Minutes of LCDC Mtg – 18.12.2019
Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is a national programme funded by the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government and co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative.
This programme commenced on 1st January 2018 and will run until 31st December 2022. It is the successor programme to the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015-2017.
SICAP is a community development programme which aims to tackle poverty, social exclusion and long-term employment through local engagement and partnership between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies.
This is done using community development approaches, targeted supports and interagency collaboration, where the values of equality and inclusion are promoted and human rights are respected.
The SICAP programmes provide supports to the following people:
- The Unemployed
- The Roma Community
- One Parent Families
- People with a disability
- Those living in communities which are less well off than others
- Those on a low income
- Migrant; refugees or asylum seekers and
- Young people looking for a job or training
Programmes provided under SICAP include:
- Enterprise/Self-Employment Supports
- Education and Lifelong Learning
- Community Development Supports
- Employment Supports.
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
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.
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
Local Economic & Community Plan
The Laois Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) is a statutory Plan which was prepared to promote the economic and community development of County Laois from 2016-2021.
The LECP was prepared by Laois County Council and the Laois Local Community Development Committee (Laois LCDC) in consultation with other agencies, organisations and groups.
The plan was adopted by the Laois Local Community Development Committee (Laois LCDC) and Laois County Council in March 2016 and was formally launched at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore in September 2016.
The LECP provides a guide to the development of Laois up to 2021 and one of its main objectives is to ensure the effective co-ordination of publicly funded programmes such as SICAP – Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme and LEADER Rural Development Programmes.
Laois LCDC is responsible for implementing the community elements of the plan and the Strategic Policy Committee, or SPC, for Economic Development, Enterprise and Planning is responsible for implementing the economic element of the plan.
Both elements were developed in tandem and combined in the final LECP.
The plan comprises of 2 principal parts:
Part 1 – Laois Socio-Economic Statement
This statement includes some background information about the preparation of the LECP. It comprises a profile of County Laois including some key facts, trends, strengths and opportunities relevant to economic and community development. It also sets out 10 High-Level Goals and a context for each Goal.
Part 2 – Detailed Objectives and Actions
This section comprises specific, measurable and time-bound objectives and actions to promote economic and community development. The organisation or group responsible for delivering each action is specified, the committee responsible for overseeing the delivery of each action is also specified. Many actions are collaborative in nature involving a number of partners in these instances the lead agency is identified.