A New Road to Local Participatory Democracy – real involvement in local government
This autumn local authorities are asking all local voluntary organisations and groups to come together to form Public Participation Networks (PPNs). At the County/City level these will be the structures that will enable the local communities to engage with the local authorities based on an agreed community vision for the well-being of this and future generations. This vision is to be created by the PPN members early in the life of the PPN.
The Plenary of the PPN will be its ruling body, with support provided by an elected Secretariat. The Secretariat will have an important enabling role, but all decisions are to be made by the wider membership.
PPNs will be established at County/City and at Municipal District levels. The County/City PPNs will be the bodies that the Council will look to for nominations to all the local authority bodies/committees that the public are included in, as well as the new Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) . Local groups when registering with the local authority will self-select into one of three “Electoral Colleges” in the PPN, Community and Voluntary, Environmental or Social Inclusion.
Nominations to Strategic Policy Committees and to LCDCs the will be made according to the seat allocations by the relevant electoral colleges. Where there is the need for a nomination to other committees, the Council will contact the Secretariat, who will then invite all the members of the PPN to participate in a meeting to elect a representative to that committee. The interested groups present will form a “Linkage Group” for that representative and ensure that he/she represents their views and reports back to the PPN.
The local authorities have large impacts on our day to day lives, and the role of the PPN is to enable everyone to participate in influencing what those impacts are. We would encourage you to ensure that all local groups know about the PPNs and that they register to participate as actively as they are able.
The report that instigated the establishment of the PPNs can be accessed here:Final Report of the Local Government Local Development Alignment Steering Group
Criteria for Membership of Electoral College of PPN
The Environmental Pillar is a national Social Partner and an advocacy coalition of 27 national environmental NGOs, and since 2009 it has been nominating local people to represent the environment on a range of local bodies, including: the City and County Development Boards; the boards of the ILDCs and Partnership Companies, and Strategic Policy Committees.
Under the new Public Participation Network (PPN) arrangements these nominations will now be made by the members of the PPN, with the Environmental Electoral College electing 1 person onto the City/County Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs).
The Environmental Pillar as the validating body for the membership of the Environmental Electoral
Colleges of the City and County PPNs provides below a list of criteria and areas of activity that qualify a local/regional group to be members of an Environmental Electoral College of a PPN, together with a list of all the national networks whose local/regional groups are automatically eligible.