Session 2: Planning and Economic Recovery – The Social and Community Dimension

2010 Conference >> Session 1|Session 2|Session 3|Session 4

Thursday 21 January 2010

This session will explore how the competitiveness of regions and places is as much dependent on social and community qualities as natural and infrastructural endowments.

4.30 Welcome by Chair audio

Andy Pollak, Centre for Cross Border Studies

4.40 Partnership with Local Communities: New Roles for the New Councils in Northern Ireland (Abstract) (PDFaudio

Wesley Shannon, Director Local Government Policy Division, Department of Environment, Northern Ireland

5.00 Service Delivery for Citizens in Challenging Economic Circumstances: New Attitudes and Approaches in Provision of Shared Services (Abstract) (PDF) audio

Hubert Kearns, County Manager, Sligo County Council

5.20 Efficiencies in Service Provision through Spatial Planning: The Role of Information in Building Inter-jurisdictional Cooperation (Abstract) (PDF) audio

Charlotte Kahn, Senior Director of The Boston Foundation’s Indicator Project

Holly St. Clair, Data Services Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council–Boston

5.40 Round-Table Discussions / Q&A  audio

6.00 Concluding Observations – Day 1

Professor Rob Kitchin, Director, National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, NUI Maynooth

Denis Rooney CBE, Chair, International Fund for Ireland

8.00 Reception and Conference Dinner

After dinner speaker: Dr. Tim O’Connor, Secretary-General to President McAleese’s Office and former Southern Joint Secretary of the North/South Ministerial Council

Online Follow-up Discussion


1. What changes, if any are required at government level (local, regional and/or national) to redress the current economic climate?

2. What opportunities exist for developing a shared services agenda? In terms of governance, are there specific issues that need to be addressed to faciliate such an agenda?

3. What role has data to play in driving a shared services agenda? Are there specific indicators required to support such an agenda? And if so, how best can these be collated?

1 comment to Session 2: Planning and Economic Recovery – The Social and Community Dimension

  • Caroline Creamer

    A shared services agenda offers considerable scope for efficiency gains. This was demonstrated by Hubert Kearns, Manager of Sligo County Council in his presentation at the ICLRD Conference. Not only did he highlight the mutual benefits of such an agenda between neighbouring councils but also on a regional and cross-border basis. But challenges remain, particularly around the sharing of information which in turn would support a shared services agenda; examples including (a) motor tax enforcement — the council knows who has and who hasn’t paid their motor tax but this information is not curently shared with An Garda Siochana; and (b) the somewhat crazy situation whereby two government offices (the council and social welfare office) are involved in handling the same welfare monies i.e. the use of welfare payments to pay social housing rents.

    From an efficiency perspective (and in the current climate, economies of scale)has any study being carried out that specifically highlights the extent of such duplication (even mismanagement) of services? and the opportunities that exist for mainstreaming and developing a more comprehensive (and effective) shared services programme?