independent

Friday 18 January 2019

Governance is crucial for 'Our Balbriggan'

Balbriggan Social Democrats has said that with the 'huge' response to the Our Balbriggan regeneration strategy, the next steps following its completion, are 'crucial' to sustain momentum of the project.

In particular, the party said, attention 'needs to be paid' to the governance of the strategy.

Garrett Mullan of Balbriggan Social Democrats said: 'The response to the Our Balbriggan consultation has been fantastic, with more than 4,000 engaging in just over a week in surveys, face to face discussions and in small group 'world cafe discussions.'

'The council has a lot of work to do in processing the feedback from the consultation.

'The strategy has a suggested remit of three years, and it is also vital to look at oversight and governance for the strategy throughout the process.

'This should ensure involvement of all relevant stakeholders and work to achieve 'joined up' implementation.'

Mr Mullan said that with Balbriggan 'expected to grow', and with 'thousands' of additional houses completed, one particular concern was with transport needs, as the NTA and the Bus Connects process 'did not seem to connect with that of Our Balbriggan.'

He said that 'joined up governance and ongoing oversight with local community involvement' was 'vital' to the success of this process.

The Social Democrat representative said: 'Other regeneration projects around the country have their own boards, and while this is a council-led project, new matters of governance should be examined.'

Mr Mullan added: 'Whether governed by its own board or an advisory group, good governance is vital for accountability, but also to ensure oversight of strategy implementation.'

The Social Democrat representative for the area said: 'That the council has committed €20m, was certainly a factor in encouraging confidence in the process.'

He concluded: 'The council have proposed the strategy be all-encompassing, looking at all aspects of the town and how they connect with each other, rather than in isolation.'

Fingal Independent

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