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The “Merger” plan – feedback on our blog

Q 1. Why are you cutting the support provided to communities by the CDPs?

Minister of State John Curran replies: This is not what will happen. The Department will continue to support the provision of tangible resources and supports to communities within the context of a single focused programme and simplified and more efficient delivery mechanisms. Anon said... If you cut funding, you reduce resources and supports. Dressing it up in fancy language like “single focused programme” doesn’t change that. Hayley said... Inevitably there’s a reduction in service provision: firstly because less staff+less resources = less service provision and secondly because the change-over period (takes time). Ann said... We go to the community to see what they need and we work to provide it and nothing could be more tangible, efficient, effective or needed. Irene from Galway said... My fear is that the merger will take the CDPs away from the very communities they are being asked to support. Cathrina from Louth said... I’d say there will be more CDP staff out of work than moved to central offices - maybe that’s the plan?

Q 2. Why are you doing this? To provide services to communities in a more effective streamlined way.

Ann said... Community Development is not about service provision, it’s about people, equality and empowerment.
If this has changed since the White Paper, somebody forgot to tell us. Felix said... Is the real reason for this ‘merger’ not just to cut funding but also to disenfranchise December 10th: UN International Human Rights Day

and disempower real volunteers in working class areas in order to silence them from objecting to the inequitable programme for Government? Hayley said... CDPs are not only about service provision but about empowerment, about social inclusion, about activating the community, especially the isolated and vulnerable. Efficiency is a fine thing, but need not involve abandoning the most vulnerable or the silencing of community voices. Cathrina said... The Minister does not understand the Community Development Programme - if he did this would not be happening. Anon said... CDPs are able to respond quickly and appropriately to issues. How will this happen now? Anon said... CDPs are catalysts for change not service providers…

Q 3. What is the rationale for the Programme redesign?

(The Dept. will draw) on best international practice to provide evidence of what works in this field and to establish and support ongoing evaluation of the programmes leading to greater efficiencies and better impacts for communities and individuals. Ann said... Other than to save money, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it is going to improve anything for anyone. Anon said... The review being conducted by the Centre for Effective Services has not yet been published. Why did the minister make this decision in advance of this report. Hayley said... As Anon says, since the CES report hasn’t been published yet, where is the evidence? I don’t believe that the specific needs of rural populations has been addressed, not at all. Ann McGowan said... Why is no research done with the groups who are affected by our work in the communities. How can anyone, never mind the CES, know what is happening in the CDPs if they never seek to find out? Irene Galway said... Please reference the evidence base for this decision...

Q 4. Is this not an attack on volunteering in communities? No. We acknowledge and affirm the work of volunteer boards over the years. Those who wish to continue to volunteer on behalf

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of their communities will be encouraged under the new programme without the bureaucratic burden of ensuring compliance with company law. Felix said... CDP managements are not ‘burdened’ by company law. It empowers them to take on the responsibility to manage and direct a project in their community.
The fact is this is an attempt to silence and disempower real volunteers. 
 Hayley said... Of COURSE this is an attack on volunteers. To remove all say from them is an act of disempowerment. Anon said... Minister as a volunteer on a Board I find your answer very upsetting. There will be no room for the voluntary committee to continue in the new set up. CDP Boards were accessible to all, meetings were held locally and the suits had no place at them. LDSIP Boards are TOTALLY different. Cathrina from Louth said... Shame on everyone in (politics). Them in power are the ones doing this and those not in power are letting it happen.

Q 5. When will the new Programme be launched?

The new Programme will be announced and launched in early December for roll-out in early 2010. Editor’s note: This has since changed and the plan will be implemented slowly over 2010.

Q 6. Will the merger of the two Programmes provide for CDP representation on the boards of Urban Partnerships/Integrated Companies?

Nomination to the boards Integrated Local Development Companies and Urban based Partnerships will remain unchanged. There will be no automatic membership for CDPs on the boards of the companies arising from the merger, however, the community and voluntary sector is represented on the boards, nomination from that sector and others is subject to compliance with a number of guiding principles and requirements. Conor said... This is a takeover not a merger - talk of ringfencing jobs for 12 months is a smokescreen - no representation = no power. Anon said...

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Hot in Issue 30/31: bumper Double Issue Community Development Programme to end after 20 years/ 180 projects: facing wind-up in 2010/ New Pro...

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