All Island Local Authority Programme

What is the Local Authority Programme?

The Local Authority Programme is a strategic partnership comprising five Chief Executives from the Society Of Local Authority Chief Executives NI (SOLACE) and five County Managers from the County and City Manager's Association (CCMA) working to provide leadership to Local Authorities in the field of cross-border co-operation.

The Forum was established in 2002 as a logical progression in developing relationships that encourage sustainable and meaningful cross-border cooperation between local government and community groups in the areas of spatial, economic and social development.

Forum Membership
Click here to see who the current forum members are.

Local Authority Forum Objectives:
The All Island Local Authority forum meets to share best practice and encourage practical co-operation between local authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The forum works to develop integrated approaches to issues, which affect the whole island in a range of areas including; planning, community development, social inclusion and waste management amongst others. The forum then makes recommendations to be considered and adopted by Local Authorities.

Who the Local Authority Forum works with:
The Forum works with SOLACE NI, the County and City Managers association (CCMA), NILGA, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, ROI, the Department of the Environment, NI, the Institute for Public Administration (IPA), Dublin and the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD), Armagh.

Structure and Current Projects:

Each sub-group is co-chaired by a SOLACE NI and CCMA representative and works with a range of relevant organisations and councils that lend expertise to the project development. The forum seeks to ensure that all projects and initiatives are viable, sustainable and provide mutual benefit both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland and have a positive impact on local authorities and community groups.

Planning sub-group:
With the proposed transfer of planning services to Local Government in Northern Ireland and the production of the document: Spatial Strategies on the Island of Ireland. Framework for Collaboration by the Department for Regional Development and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Local Authority Forum established a planning sub-group to support and explore the challenges and opportunities of spatial planning on the Island. Forum members agreed that a cross-border planning seminar should take place to encourage greater collaboration on spatial planning and planning processes on the Island of Ireland. The seminar, Sharing Experiences Across Borders: Planning and Local Government on the Island of Ireland took place in September 2011. The seminar also provided opportunities for NI Councillors to examine their potential role in the planning process through hearing from the experiences and decision-making role of Councillors in ROI. The sub-group developed the agenda in association with:

  • Department of the Environment, NI
  • ICLRD (International Centre for Local & Regional Development)
  • Planning department of Queen’s University

2013/2014 Planning Sub-group Workplan
As part of the work its programme for 2013/2014 the Cross Border Local Authorities Forum, under the Planning Sub Group, held a one day conference Planning Reform on the Island of Ireland: From Policy to Practice.

The conference was a joint project between Co-operation Ireland and ICLRD and was held in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Northern Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Republic of Ireland.

The conference aimed to provide opportunity for lively open debate and discussion on the important, and common, planning decisions facing both jurisdictions given the impending transfer of statutory planning functions from central government to new councils in Northern Ireland in 2015 under the Review of Public Administration (RPA) and significant changes being made to the planning system in the Republic of Ireland.

This conference was attended by elected members, council officials, planners, policy-makers and senior local government personnel from across the island of Ireland.

During the course of this one-day event, themes that were discussed included:
•The issues shaping planning policy and practice in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland
•The role of planning in the promotion of economic development at a local and regional level
•The strategies / tools for evidence-based planning
•The importance of local knowledge and public inputs in informing policy- and decision-making
•The challenges of infrastructure – development alignment
•The (growing) significance of renewable energies in sustainable – and economic – development
•The purpose of enhanced capacity building / training for all those involved in local government

Other sub-groups: