Community Development - don't cut the grass roots

The Community Development Programme facilitates and supports the participation of people from the most marginalised communities in Ireland to identify issues affecting their life chances and to actively engage with solutions to those issues.

The Community Development Programme has been discontinued. Projects operating under the programme are required to transfer their assets and staff to their local Partnership Company.

This will mean that local people will lose the control and management of local projects, having given thousands of hours on a voluntary basis over the years. This will mean that the ability to critique and challenge statutory organisations and Government for their failure to address embedded poverty, social exclusion and inequality will be stifled

 If you believe that this local extension of democracy and participation, that enables people who would otherwise be ignored to have a voice is important, please sign now. If you believe that the retention of this element of civil society is important, please sign now.

We, the undersigned, are calling on the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs to withdraw the requirement that projects funded under the Community Development Programme need to close and allow them to:

• engage in the Local and Community Development Programme on an equal footing with the Partnership Companies

• retain their company structure

• retain their assets (and liabilities)

• retain their independence, autonomy and accountability

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