Wednesday 13 December 2017

Masterplan for 21st century Charleville

CHARLEVILLE'S Community Plan 2013-2017 will be launched by Ms Carmel Fox, CEO of Ballyhoura Development Ltd on Tuesday next, 12th November, at 7.30pm at the St. Vincent de Paul Centre.

The plan outlines potential projects to develop Charleville Town Park, the creation of walkways and cycle routes, promotion of community education and training opportunities, the preservation of historical and culturally significant attributes of the community along with actions to promote the local economy and enterprise.

Following wide community consultation at the start of 2012, involving public meetings and returns from questionnaires sent to local voluntary groups, a set of issues at the heart of the community was identified. A process of deliberation was then engaged through which working groups prioritised and devised actions and tasks to address the issues based on an agreed and desired outcomes.

This was led by Charleville Community Forum and supported by Ballyhoura Development and the Limerick Institute of Technology - Tipperary, who jointly facilitated the planning process.

Meetings were also held with relevant agencies and bodies that could support and advise the community on the implementation of projects to tackle the issues. From this process, a plan has been developed which will enhance community infrastructure, encourage the area's economy, and develop the physical environment, thus improving the quality of life for the community of Charleville.

Ian Doyle, chairperson of Charleville Community Forum said this is an opportunity to develop a long term strategic plan for the community and collective activities. "This plan has its origins in the community and will now be overseen by Charleville Community Forum, a democratic, voluntary body formed to represent community groups in the area", said Mr. Doyle.

"The support of local voluntary groups and their members along with the statutory bodies and other agencies will be crucial in making this plan a reality to further develop the community of Charleville".

Community Forum secretary Aileen Browne said the plan is already in action. "It was also noticeable that many of the issues raised at the outset started to be addressed as time went on and although the plan had not been completed, the impact of the process was evident in the community," she said.

Indeed, the origins of the plan go back much further. With the benefits and successes of community-wide events such as the Dirty Old Towns TV production and subsequent blossoming of the community's Tidy Towns efforts, local opinion was that the energy that such activities developed should be harnessed and that an overall approach to the development of the community should be put in place.

Stemming from this, Charleville Community Forum was formed in 2011, with its members nominated through local community groups to represent their interests across various sectors - Community & Social Inclusion, Culture & Heritage, Enterprise, Rural Development & Environment, Sport & Recreation, Youth & Education, Health & Wellbeing.

The Forum's mission is to create enhanced social and cultural infrastructure, encourage sustainable development of the area's economy, and improve the community's physical environment.

Following the initial public meetings, volunteers were sought for sub-groups who were asked to develop the issues into realistic actions and to consider the resources and the key agencies required to assist with developing the actions.

The work of the sub-groups was ultimately consolidated into a single document and issues were classified into those that could be pursued by the community itself, those that would require major input from agencies and other support organisations and those that would require some input from other such bodies.


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