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SDCC wins Best Practice in Citizen Engagement Award

Cllr Pamela Kearns and Cllr Deirdre O' Donovan pictured with staff from South Dublin County Council accepting their award.

South Dublin County Council has won the Best Practice in Citizen Engagement Award at this year’s Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards.

The Best Practise in Citizen Engagement Award was won in recognition of the participatory budgeting initiative – €300K Have Your Say!

Participatory budgeting is a local democratic process which facilitates citizens in a local community to directly decide how to spend a portion of a public budget in their area.

For 2017, South Dublin County Council in our Annual Budget allocated an additional €300,000 for one electoral area and the Lucan Area was chosen by lot at a public meeting.

This is the first time that this process has been embarked upon by a local authority in Ireland.

Through a combination of locally facilitated workshops and an online consultation portal, residents were invited to submit their ideas and spending priorities for this budget.

Emer Farrell, Laura Kennedy, Adele Hayden and Elaine Leech of SDCC

Residents were then able to vote for their priorities through a digital/paper ballot, up to the value of €300,000.

The Annual Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Award ceremony took place on Thursday 23 November in association with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to celebrate the very best in Local Government in Ireland.

Paul Gogarty, Mayor of South Dublin County Council, said:

“I am delighted at the news that South Dublin County Council has won the Chambers Ireland award for citizen engagement as a result of our innovative “Have Your Say” participatory budgeting initiative.
“This is something that the elected representatives have been pushing for several years and with the assistance of staff in the Council a pilot project was rolled out earlier this year and proved a tremendous success.
“Lessons have been learned from the pilot scheme and for next year South Dublin is planning a similar process in another electoral area. The area randomly chosen for 2018 is the Clondalkin Electoral Area of Clondalkin and Newcastle.
“I believe this is a template that can be successfully introduced in other counties and it is also something myself and my colleagues look forward to expanding in the years to come in our own county. Getting our citizens involved can only be beneficial for our democracy”.

Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council, said:

“Citizen engagement is at the heart of public service so it is very encouraging to get national recognition for our efforts in this regard. Particular recognition must go to our elected councillors who identified and resourced this initiative and are determined to expand its implementation into the future”.

South Dublin County Council were also shortlisted in the following categories:

Supporting Active Communities – South Dublin County 55plus Daily Activity Planner
Health and Wellbeing – It’s not just a Race
Best Library Service – Digital Technologies – STEAM in South Dublin Libraries
Enhancing the Urban Environment – Ballyowen Equine Centre, Lucan, Co Dublin.
Commemorations and Centenaries – Our Heroes – Ár Laochra