The 6th annual Good Practice in Local Government Seminar, organised by NOAC, in collaboration with the Local Government Management Agency and the County and City Management Association, presented a wide range of local authority innovations across numerous areas such as renewable technology, building on crisis management, recruitment, education, tourism, strategy development and accommodation assistance for vulnerable persons.
The hybrid event, held both in-person and virtually in Kilkenny Castle, took place on 26th October 2023 as part of the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform’s Public Service Transformation Week 2023 and was attended by Chief Executives and senior officials from the local authorities within Ireland. The showcase provided an opportunity for local government to demonstrate good practice within the sector and gave a platform to share innovative projects that could be replicated across Ireland.
Case Study Presentations
View individual presentations from the seminar below:
Wicklow County Council
The installation of the solar panel car ports at County Buildings in
Wicklow is a great example of using existing sites, such as car parks,
to generate renewable energy and assist in achieving Climate
One of the main barriers to delivering large scale energy efficiency and
renewable projects is finance. To overcome this issue Wicklow Council
tendered for an innovative design, build, finance, maintain and operate
contract to provide a 300kW solar PV array to meet 40% of County
Building’s baseload demand. This ensured there was no capital cost
to the local authority and in return the Council agreed to pay a fixed
unit rate for all energy produced by the solar array for a 20 year period.
Currently this rate is about a third of the cost of electricity from the
grid. This project is the largest solar car port installation in Ireland.
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council has over 18 months commenced two distinct recruitment initiatives attracting new employees into its operational workforce. These have focused on increasing opportunities for citizens living in areas faced with socio economic challenges through the development of targeted recruitment campaigns and a traineeship programme.
A collaborative and cooperative approach was undertaken between Dublin City Council Human Resources and operational departments and a range of local stakeholders leading to delivering successful local recruitment campaigns and a local authority specific traineeship programme.
These initiatives have allowed Dublin City Council to foster positive relationships with local education and employment services and strengthen existing partnerships with local communities. The outcome of the initiatives has been the successful recruitment of more than 100 new employees into Dublin City Councils operational workforce and the establishment of a distinct traineeship programme providing a new pathway for employment into the Local Authority sector.
Kerry County Council
Local authorities have provided significant support in responding to the accommodation and other needs of those arriving from Ukraine, where in Kerry, under the stewardship of Kerry County Council, the Community Response Forum was repurposed as part of a high-level governance framework, to ensure effective cross-sector collaboration. This has resulted in the establishment of proactive governance structures, responding consistently to real-life situations, and promoting integration through the development of response initiatives to over 8,000 beneficiaries of temporary protection (BOTP) across the County.
The collaborative approach and the current structures supporting the Community Response Forum in Kerry are enabling dynamic cross-sector teams to deliver on the ground. The local area response teams, for example, have been a crucial link to front-line services and the county coordination team has developed innovative solutions in response to elevated concerns raised at a local level such as the development of a Step-by-Step Guide for Ukrainian Refugees, an Independent Living Guide, a House Rules Guide for Accommodation Providers and Residents, and an information guide to inform Ukrainians about the systems and supports that exist when someone passes away.
Galway County Council
The Galway County Council Housing Disability Steering Group was set up as part of their Strategic Plan for Housing People with a Disability 2021-2026. Within that, a number of subgroups to specifically look at cases under each category of disability were established.
The MH subgroup is person-centred, allows for case discussion and progression of complex cases and vulnerable clients that would otherwise not be housed. It is a partnership approach between the local authority and HSE to progress mutual clients.It offers a communication pathway and, for clients with additional needs, to progress to having their own tenancies.
- Access for individuals to tenancies that are planned with supports in place.
- Quality housing for vulnerable applicants – ‘Housing for All’.
- Inclusion in policy.
- Preventing people from becoming entrenched in long stay institutional and residential settings that are unsuitable, expensive and inappropriate for the people’s needs.
The work of the Mental Health subgroup is 'Equality & Human Rights in the
Public Service in practice'
Longford County Council
Longford County Council in partnership with schools and industry hopes to shape Longford’s future through technology and its introduction to primary and secondary schools. Through the Council’s digital strategy, we hope to create the platform that will see Computer Science a Leaving Cert option in all secondary schools in the county.
Our project will help prepare our county for the jobs and opportunities and the lives we could all lead in years to come. Following the closure of peat activities in the south of the county (ESB Peat Station in Lanesboro) and changes in agriculture, Longford like other counties in our region is in transition.
The Longford children that will benefit from this project will help drive our economy in years to come, and by working with primary and post primary schools, in partnership with industry, Longford County Council can help develop the digital potential in our children for future jobs, challenges, and the opportunities that will come in a county eager to realise the benefits of the National Broadband Plan.
Cork County Council
In response to challenges facing the tourism sector following Covid-19, Cork County Council endeavoured to create a marketing tool that would assist this sector of the economy.
Cognisant of the importance of furthering the digitisation of the sector, a GIS tourism map was developed in 2020 using in-house resources. The success of the map led to development by CCC in 2021 of the ‘Explore Cork’ app, a one-stop shop tourism app featuring over 850 places to see and things to do: the first of its kind to be developed by any Local Authority in Ireland.
The project was an in-house collaborative initiative between relevant Directorates, exemplifying best-practices. Cork County Council worked with the successful tenderer, in developing the app, as well as liaising with relevant stakeholders.
The app won the LAMA award for ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ in 2023.
Local Government Management Agency
Digital Local Government: Working for Everyone is Ireland’s new Local Government Digital and ICT Strategy. The strategy aims to use digital and ICT to improve the way we work and deliver services in local government.
An extensive engagement process was undertaken during the development of the strategy. Stakeholders consulted included members of the public, staff, persons with disabilities, older persons, people from minority communities, Councillors, and technology vendors.
The strategy includes four core themes – Digital Systems, Digital Communities, Digital Workforce and Digital Systems. These consist of statements of intent which present our aspirations and what will be achieved over the course of the strategy.
A strategy implementation plan has been developed which sets out 73 actions that will enable delivery of the strategy. This plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that it remains relevant and is delivering as required.