There has been a huge response to the Our Balbriggan regeneration strategy launched by FIngal County Council. With its completion, Balbriggan Social Democrats say that the next steps are crucial to sustain momentum of the project. In particular, attention needs to be paid to the governance of the strategy.
Garrett Mullan of Balbriggan Social Democrats said: 'The response to the Our Balbriggan consultation has been fantastic, with more than 3,000 engaging in just over a week in surveys, face to face discussions and in small group 'world cafe discussions'. The council has a lot of work to do in processing the feedback from the consultation. The strategy has a suggested remit of three years and it is also vital to look at how oversight and governance for the strategy throughout the process. This should ensure involvement of all relevant stakeholders and work to achieve 'Joined up' implementation.
Garrett Mullan (Social Democrats) said 'Balbriggan is expected to grow with thousands of additional houses completed and in view of this one particular concern are in regards to transport needs but the NTA and the Bus Connects process did not seem to connect with that of Our Balbriggan. Joined up governance and ongoing oversight with local community involvement is vital to the success of this process. He added: Other regeneration projects around the country have their own boards and while this is a council led project and new, matters of governance should be examined. Whether governed by its own board or an advisory group, good governance is vital for accountability but also to ensure oversight of strategy implementation.
That the council has committed €20m was certainly a factor in encouraging confidence in the process. The council have proposed the strategy be all encompassing looking at all aspects of the town and how they connect with each other, rather than in isolation.
Paul Reid (Chief Executive Fingal County Council) called for us all to look to the future and with that in mind, in addition to taking on board the feedback from the consultation, good governance processes are needed to ensure oversight of a successful strategy Other regeneration projects around the country have their own boards. While this is a council led process, oversight of the strategy is vital on an ongoing basis over the three years of the project.