Waterford PPN Secretariat Plenary report including decisions made
September 2017 to May 2018
It has been a busy period since our last Plenary meeting in Dungarvan in September 2017.
There has been much change in the composition of the Secretariat with 4 new recruits in the last 12 months and we are still looking for a replacement for Oliver Coffey as the Comeragh representative. The turnover of Secretariat members brings in new enthusiasm and ideas, with a steadfast core of members continually promulgating expansion within the County. We offer our grateful thanks to Mary Foley O’Hanlon, Oliver Coffey and Alan Walsh for their contributions over the period of their membership of the Secretariat. At the same time we are very pleased to welcome Garrett Wyse (Tramore and Waterford City West) and Michelle Tubbritt (Waterford city East) onto the Secretariat.
The PPN membership continues to grow and has many groups in membership (over 600). These groups are spread all around the County, but we still have a large number of groups to encourage joining the PPN, which brings with it significant benefits. It must be remembered that the PPN, while closing working with the City and County Council, are independent and separate from same.
The Secretariat have produced a protocol concerning attendance, behaviour and conduct at Secretariat meetings. They are also working on an updated travel policy which is being finalised. A Communication policy document is being considered, as well as an in depth review of other policies and procedures. The Secretariat also has a HR and Finance subcommittee which covers expenditure, budgets and finance in general, the HR committee deals with employment terms and conditions for our Joint Coordinators as well as line management.
We have also run a couple of Data Protection training courses and are prepared to mount another course if there is sufficient demand.
We are updating the PPN web site which we hope will be finalised over the coming months. It will have a new look and will be easier to navigate. It will be called the Waterford PPN.
The Waterford PPN monthly newsletter has proved extremely successful, and we would encourage you to circulate it among your members. It gives excellent cover on our activities and also gives information on grants that are available to Groups
We have continued to liaise with Waterford City and County Council (WCCC) on a regular basis discussing issues of mutual concern and raising issues on behalf of member groups – eg funding for Africa Day celebrations. We have also successfully lobbied for the 5 PPN reps on the LCDC to have tablets to help them manage the significant amount of paperwork the LCDC generates. We remain grateful for WCCC’s continued support for the PPN. One of the important projects that is driven by the Secretariat annually is the Awards Ceremony, which is a project that is available to all our members to participate in.
The Secretariat have also supported Laudato Si – a joint PPN and Catholic Church conference looking at Environmental issues. The first conference of its’ kind we believe, was held in Waterford recently. From the feedback we have received it was a success. The Secretariat are anxious to take on board such projects, therefore if you hear of any and think we can assist, please contact us.
As already mention, our 2017 Community & Voluntary Awards (November in the Woodlands Hotel) was our flagship event and very successful again – our grateful thanks to all of our sponsors as well all our members who participated – it wouldn’t work without you! We hope to see you all again in the autumn for the 2018 Awards.
At a regional and national level the PPN Secretariat have engaged with the Department for Community and Rural Affairs in a variety of ways – being represented at the first National PPN Conference in Sligo, we also attend meetings of Social Justice training and briefing events, which are of benefit to us and indeed our members. We will continue to engage regionally and nationally participate at conferences (subject to available finances and approval) – however, the main drive following on from discussion at our last Secretariat meeting is improved linkage with our own groups within County Waterford, thus improving the membership and involvement within the PPN Waterford.
On a very positive note, the Waterford PPN influence continues to grow and we have effective representation on Waterford Sports Partnership, South East Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, the Older Persons Council, St Declan’s Way, Purple Flag, the Restorative Practice Network, Fisheries Local Action Group amongst others. We have recently elected representatives on to the Connecting for Life Steering Group and will shortly be looking for a PPN representative to sit on the Waterford Social Prescribing Group. Our influence – your influence – continues to grow.
We will be holding elections during the next 12 months where our 5 Local Community Development Committee, 11 Secretariat, 5 Joint Policing and 15 Strategic Policy Committee representatives. The Secretariat has appointed a subcommittee to recommend the best way to hold these elections.
Finally the Secretariat would like to thank our membership and our Staff for their continued commitment to the PPN. Whether it is participating in the training sessions, attending linkage and municipal meetings, providing content or feedback for the PPN Newsletter. Thank you.