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Local Government Policy


Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs)


Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs) operate in every city and county council and have brought a particular focus to the policy-making, implementation and review roles of councillors.  Participation of local sectoral interests continues to be facilitated by the allocation of one third of the membership of SPCs to representatives of the community and voluntary, farming, business, environmental and trade union sectors in the city/county. 

The SPCs thus provide members with the opportunity to develop a greater role in the strategic development of their council. Following the local elections in June 2009, new SPC schemes were established in each city and county council. SPCs operate on the basis of SPC guidelines issued by the Department (pdf, 300kb) and a set of recommendations that followed the publication of a Review of the Operation of Strategic Policy Committees (pdf, 1,082kb)


Corporate Policy Group (CPG)


The chair of each SPC together with the Cathaoirleach/Mayor of the local authority forms the Corporate Policy Group (CPG). The role of the CPG is a strategic one; it is intended to link and co-ordinate the work of the different SPCs; and to provide a forum where policy positions affecting the whole council can be discussed and agreed for submission to the full council.  The CPG acts as a mini-cabinet for council business and is supported by the city/county manager.  Its members sit on the County/City Development Board (CDB).


Joint Policing Committees


In September 2008, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government jointly announced -

  • the extension of Joint Policing Committees (JPCs) under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to all 114 local authorities
  • the adoption of new guidelines for such committees.

The announcement followed the review of the operation of JPCs on a pilot basis in 29 local authorities. JPCs are comprised of representatives of local authorities and the Garda Síochána who together with members of the Oireachtas and community representatives, can make recommendations on matters concerning the policing of areas, including measures to address the levels and patterns of anti-social behaviour.

While JPCs cover all aspects of local policing, one of their functions is to establish Local Policing Fora (LPFs), which will bring a specific focus to addressing the problem of drugs misuse. Guidelines in relation to LPFs were published by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in July 2009 and since then work is ongoing on the establishment of these committees by the Local Authorities and An Garda Síochána in all 14 Local Drugs Task Force Areas.

 

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