Have a say on Your Council Day – National Environmental Pillar urges environmental groups to become involved in their local Public Participation Network

On National Your Council Day, which takes place on Friday, 5th July, the National Environmental Pillar is urging community groups interested in their local environment to become involved in their local Public Participation Network (PPN).

County Councils and Local Authorities provide a huge range of services and amenities as well as making decisions that play a vital role in our day-to-day lives, whether it is the provision of parks and leisure facilities, arts centres and festivals, libraries, tourist attractions, planning, roads, fire services and environmental protection. A Public Participation Network (PPN) is a network of voluntary organisations that allows Local Authorities to connect with community groups around the country. The PPN is the ‘go to’ for all local authorities who wish to benefit from community and voluntary expertise in their area.

Find your PPN here: www.LEN.ie/ppns/

Catherine O’Toole, Development Officer with the Irish Environmental Network said: “Public Participation Networks can bring conversations surrounding climate, biodiversity and the environment into the decision-making process in your local council. You can start by registering your environmental group with your local PPN, or joining a group that is already a member. Your group can then enjoy the networking benefits that come with PPN membership and can bring climate and environmental issues through to policy creation.

“There are huge benefits to joining a PPN – being kept up to date and informed of what is happening in your community, participating in public consultations and events, representing your community in the local decision-making process and availing of funding for local projects.

“The PPNs are participatory democracy in action! I encourage all local environmental groups to join. Apart from the networking and learning opportunities, there are seats set aside on council committees exclusively for environmental groups. This is to ensure that nature and sustainability has a voice in policy creation.

“County Councils do great work in their local areas and it is fantastic to see these efforts celebrated on Your Council Day. Through PPNs, we can have an input into strengthening that work by having our say in the decision-making process and protecting and enhancing our local environments for the benefit of all. “