Promoting democratic participation and human rights
En favor de la democracia participativa y del respeto a los derechos humanos
Participatory Democracy in Local Government
Community Workers Co-operative & Local
A Community Workers Co-operative has been an issue of local government reform for a
number of years. A report published in 1990 - "Participation Not Representation - Community Groups and Reformed Local Government"
- was submitted to the Advisory Committee on Local Government Reform and Reorganisation. It sets out the deficiencies in the present Irish system of local government from the perspective of community-based groups, presents principles which should inform any reform process and makes practical recommendations for the active participation of community groups in development at the local level.
. This document identified a number of
key principles upon which local government reform should
be based. These included:
- Community participation in local government and
an appreciation of the value of participatory
- The design of integrated and co-operative
- Greater autonomy for local government.
- Accountability and greater access to local
government for community based organisations.
Why is Local Government Reform an Issue for the
- It offers new opportunities for the community
sector to become involved with local government.|
- This involvement in turn offers the opportunity
to place issues of poverty and social exclusion
on the agenda at the local level.
- Local government has been identified as having a
particular role in the implementation of the
National Anti Poverty Strategy. Local authorities
need to be encouraged to take this role up in a
- The Local Development Programme and partnership
companies have been important in placing issues
of social exclusion on the agenda at local level.
Proposals to more closely integrate local
government and local development potentially run
the risk of diluting this emphasis. Community
groups and others must ensure that this
- The increased involvement in local government
offers a valuable opportunity to increase the
public accountability of local government, a
function which to date is confined mainly to
local government elections, the last of which
took place in 1991.
- Finally, the involvement in reformed local
government offers an opportunity to promote
participatory democracy, which can operate
alongside and as a vital supplement to