Local Authorities Programme

The All-Island Local Authority Programme is a strategic partnership of Chief Executives from the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, NI (SOLACE, NI) and five Chief Executives from the County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA).  The Forum is the only cross-border focused Local Authority group operating at a Council Chief Executive Level, providing leadership to Local Authorities in the field of cross-border co-operation.

Mission statement: “to advance mutual understanding by promoting practical cooperation between local authorities on the island of Ireland, through maximising shared learning and the production of tangible benefits for services and local communities”. 

The Local Authority Forum provides opportunities for cross-border co-operation on a range of issues of mutual interest to both administrations by facilitating collaboration of best practice, joint initiatives as well as a sharing of learning and information.

All-Island Local Authority Forum sub-groups: 

  • Spatial Planning           
  • Community Planning             
  • Waste Management     

Spatial Planning Sub-group:

The planning sub-group was established by the Forum to encourage cross-border approaches to spatial planning on the Island.   The 2015 work programme will build directly on its achievements during 2014. One of the core aims of the planning sub-group is to provide opportunities for participation in capacity building for Councillors and Officers through a range of activities that encourage shared learning, exchange of information and practical support between Local Authorities across the island of Ireland. In June 2014, more than 100 councillors, officials and practitioners attended a seminar and capacity building event organised by the Spatial Planning sub-group, entitled “The Role of Development and Area Plans in Economic Growth and Regeneration”, which in addition to focusing on the role of area plans in economic growth and regeneration also focused on the role of elected members and officials in the planning process. The sub-group will continue to develop capacity building events over the coming year with emphasis on evidenced based planning.

Community Planning Sub-group:

"The Community Planning Sub Group of the All-Island Local Authority Forum focuses on the central issue of reform in both jurisdictions which seeks to position local government as the democratically accountable leader for economic, social and environmental sustainability at local level. The institutional setting for this takes the form of Community Planning in NI and Local Economic and Community Planning in ROI.

During the past 12 months the Community Planning Sub Group has worked to establish a baseline for Community Planning in both jurisdictions through detailed research and has published a valuable report entitled "Local Government - Shaping the future of our Communities".  The sub group focuses on addressing strategic concerns across both jurisdictions to regenerate local communities and to encourage the sustainable development of these communities, in particular through joint capacity building seminars and thematic workshops".

Waste Management:

The waste management sub-group produced the report, “Waste Management: A scoping study of the Potential for Greater North/South Co-operation, which was presented to both Minister Mark H Durkan and Minister Alan Kelly at the North South Ministerial Council in November 2013. The report commended a series of recommendations directed to local and central government in both jurisdictions. During the coming year, the sub-group will work to implement the report’s key recommendations. 


The Joint SOLACE NI/CCMA sub-group held their annual joint seminar, “Leadership in a Changing World” at Titanic Belfast in October 2014. The event enabled Council Chief Executives and County Managers to discuss leadership and significant issues such as shared services and collaboration within the changing context for local government. As Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan MLA pointed out “It is clear that the key aspects of the reform programme, particularly in the Border region, cannot be achieved without close partnership working with our counterparts in the South”.