Mr Gavan Rafferty and Prof Greg Lloyd (Ulster): The convergence of local government reform in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is occurring at a unique moment in the island’s history, allowing further consideration on how an inter-jurisdictional co-operative framework can foster collaborative decision making on cross boundary community planning issues. In Northern Ireland, the proposal to introduce community planning will herald the reorganisation of local government, together with the transfer of statutory land use planning functions from the centre to the new local authorities. The Republic of Ireland is also witnessing a strengthening of its local governance arrangements. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 will create new local economic and community plans (LECP), which facilitate the better integration of public bodies, social and community partners to collaboratively work on integrated plans for specific actions in communities. This presentation explores the interfaces between land use planning (reforms) and community planning (innovation) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the specific context of the border area. There are vertical, horizontal and lateral dimensions to this potential interface and the context is febrile with questions around culture, capacity and competence in executing the new governance arrangements on integrated service delivery and spatial development.
This seminar took place on 3rd December 2014