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Friday, 29 January 2016

Future needs with regard to social and community facilities in County Cork.

Community facilities have traditionally been provided on an organisational basis, linked to specific interest group and this has often provided a barrier to growth and change in this sector.

The degree to which community facilities are developed in rural areas is dependent on different factors. These include: 
The strength of the local organisation.
Lack of regular income and competition within the community for fund-raising opportunities.
Lack of support from Local and national Government, in funding the day to day operation of facilities in small areas.
Cost of insurance and other overheads increases the more the local group develop new facilities 

Some community groups are able to avail of funding to help manage their facilities through the CSP Community Services Programme (operated by Pobail) or by availing of Tus and CE workers. 

The application of this is not consistent across all communities and the CSP is  closed to new applicants.

Materials grants which were previously available to groups with CE participants are no longer available or have been swallowed up in the administration of the schemes.

      While we agree that resources are not unlimited, we feel that this process should be more open and applied consistently across the County. The more services and facilities developed by a community the more support it should receive in their delivery.

·        We believe that Community Centres should be multi-purpose and socially inclusive.

·        We believe that Community Assets should be owned and managed by the local community in partnership with and supported by the local authority.

·        We believe that the management of community facilities should be by a local organisation such as a geographically based Community Council adopting community development principles and social inclusion principles.

·        We believe that there should be a permanent Community/Voluntary organisational structure at town / village or Parish level to manage Community facilities and to ensure that the whole community has access to such community facilities.

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