Implementing changes in Local Government

Various speakers and participants at the conference made suggestions around principles to be observed when implementing changes in local government.

Workshop recommendations:
  • Community sector representation on all SPC’S.
  • The community sector needs to be resourced and supported in order to develop adequate participation and feedback structures.
  • Accountability, feedback and representation mechanisms need to be developed and resourced in a manner which encourages, enables and builds the capacity of those who experience poverty and social exclusion to participate in a full and equal manner.
  • There is need for further clarity, information and understanding around the proposed reforms.
  • There is still a need for core, long term funding for local government, local development and community development actions.
  • The community sector must continue to develop a strong critical and autonomous role in lobbying and campaigning. Community groups which criticise local government must not be excluded as a result.
  • Need for education and training programme for all sectors around community development approaches, poverty awareness and gender and equality proofing issues and mechanisms.
  • Women in particular need to be resourced, enable and encouraged to participate, in particular, women who experience social exclusion and poverty.
  • Equality and poverty proofing mechanisms need to be developed in relation to local authority programmes.
  • Clarification needs to be sought around the term ‘single-interest groups’ used in the guidelines, so that it does not mean the exclusion of organisations representing communities of interest.
  • Timescales need to be sensitive to the process involved and the need for pre-requisite information, education and training developments.
  • Special attention needs to be paid to local authority areas which may not have and established community sector and collective organisation of communities of interests.

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