Community Technical Aid

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2014 Pre-Budget Submission from Community Groups

October 11th, 2010 ·

Pre-Budget Submission

Submitted on behalf of six Dublin inner city community groups

We are a small number of community groups who are working with communities in the inner city of Dublin. We are all front line organisations who were formally funded through the Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP), which was closed in May 2010. We are now funded directly by Pobal under the Local Community Development Programme.

We are making this submission to highlight a number of issues that we feel are pertinent and specific to the inner city of Dublin.

Since the closure of the DICP the inner city has been in the anomalous position, of having no development/cohesion structure, which we feel is a risk for the inner city.  As Dublin City Council is one of the pathfinder local authority areas, this anomalous position has become even more critical.

We are anxious to ensure that community programmes are maintained in the inner city of Dublin, that independent community projects are maintained and included in future plans and that cognizance is taken of the current structures and community representation. This is in the light of the fact that the inner city of Dublin still contains some of the most disadvantaged communities in the state.

LCD and the Inner City

The LDCP is the only national social inclusion programme currently operating in Ireland.  It is the key tool of government in providing employment supports, training, capacity building and other supports for hard to reach communities in the most disadvantaged areas of the state.  It is a locally accessible, frontline intervention.

· LCDP delivers a range of vital supports to vulnerable communities and families with an increase in demand for its services of 56% between 2007 and 2011.[1]

Putting People First stated,

At present, nine Community Development projects have not integrated with a local development company as part of the integration process, and a further six “third party groups” in the former Dublin Inner City Partnership Area operate somewhat independently of the Programme. These Projects are currently managed and funded directly by the Department and Pobal. [2]

We would argue that we do not operate independently of the programme, we adhere to the programme and are managed by Pobal, but we are outside the standard model because of the absence of a Local Development Company in the inner city.

This is a concern that we have been highlighting since 2010. In the absence of a structure the six groups, who had worked together through the DICP are continuing to work together on joint projects as appropriate, we also meet regularly to support and develop work and to continue a level of cohesion as best we can without an overall structure.

In June 2013 we also meet with Dublin City Council to try and establish an understanding of what is proposed in relation to the alignment process. At this stage, September 2013, the Socio-Economic Committee is being established, there remains no clear picture of what the structures in the inner city will look like, how current LCD groups will be linked into structures and how communities and community groups can link into and represented on the established/establishing SECs.

Alignment of Local Development Companies and Local Authorities

The policy of alignment between Local Development Companies and Local Authorities was initially set out in the Fine Gael policy document Power to the People[3] and subsequently adopted as Government policy with the publication of Putting People First.[4] At its core, alignment will see Socio Economic Committees assume control of the ‘planning and oversight of all local and community development programmes’.[5]

The Socio Economic Committees will have executive support from the Local Authority and will be led by the County Manager/Director of Community and Enterprise[6]. In the Dublin City Area the SEC is currently being established with guidelines that differ from the national ones developed.

Critically:

· In the inner city it is unclear how local projects, who are not working with a LDC, (as there is no LDC in the inner city), can link into this process.

· Therefore, there is also a lack of clarity about how future programmes will be delivered under the proposed alignment process.

Funding levels

We are also concerned that the inner city has experienced very significant cuts under the LCD programme and are looking for these already significant cuts to be taken into account when the 2014 budgets are finalised.

· The LDCP budget has been reduced by 42% overall, from €84.7 million in 2008 to €49 million in 2013 and further cuts to the programme will impact on the provision of frontline services to disadvantaged communities in the areas of employment, enterprise, education and community and family support

· There is clear evidence of value for money being offered by the LDCP.[7]

Since 2008 budgets have imposed cuts across a wide range of front line service provision and state grants, new taxes/charges have been imposed and social welfare payments reduced. Within the inner city of Dublin changes and cuts in the community sector have resulted in the loss of the DICP and five Community Development Projects, as well as year on year cuts in annual budgets for a wider range of service providers. It is estimated that between 2009 and 2010 alone resources of over €1,000,000 were lost to the inner city from the precursors of the LCDP (Community Development and Local Development Social Inclusion Programme, and the Community Development Programme).

In 2012 the funding to our six organisations was cut by 13%, and a further 7% in 2013. These are very significant cuts for small organisations, some with no other funding.

Funding and management of the Inner City Employment Service, whose services are for inner city residents, have been moved outside the inner city. They are now based in the Canals Communities Partnership.

There have also been significant cuts to the other agencies and funding sources who we would work with including;

  • City of Dublin Youth Services Board
  • HSE (inclusive of Drugs Task Forces)
  • Department of Education and Skills
  • Office of the Minster of Children and Youth Affairs
  • Department of Social Protection (Family Resource Centres)

Coupled with this, there is growing pressure on a smaller number of philanthropic funding options.

2012 also saw significant changes and cuts to the CE programme which has caused huge difficulties for many projects working with disadvantaged communities in the inner city. In many cases these projects are a life line for employment and training opportunities.

The Inner City

Since the early 1990s, Dublin’s inner city has changed from being an area of wide-spread poverty to a patchwork of considerable affluence and disadvantage at the micro level. Therefore, there is a need to target those individuals, families and neighbourhoods that experience greatest need. There remains a significant need to support those that are targeting those disadvantaged communities at micro levels.

In 2006 the Divided City report highlighted that in the inner city: [8]

Almost a third of the population of the inner city (30.1% or 36,749 persons) are characterised as living in areas that are disadvantaged (i.e. disadvantaged, very disadvantaged and extremely disadvantaged)

12,033 people or 10% of the population of the inner city is characterised as living in areas that are extremely disadvantaged.

The new maps of deprivation, developed from the 2011 census, indicated the same picture. While, in some communities there has been an increase in affluence, this is often down to new developments which have brought in new populations. The indigenous populations remain very disadvantaged, and now their disadvantage is more hidden.

These are communities with low levels of educational attainment, poor health status and outcomes and populations of young people at risk.

There are still significant levels of poverty and deprivation, which have been added to increased displacement, isolation and marginalisation. Essentially, many of those with whom we work with did not benefit from the wider improvement and remain very disadvantaged. Their position will only get weaker with the continued cuts to social and community services, as well as direct cuts to their incomes.

The inner city of Dublin is also one of the most diverse and densely populated areas of the state. Dublin City with 88,038 persons has the highest population density of migrants; with six of the EDs where the non-Irish resident population now stands at more than 50 per cent rising to 70% in the electoral division in and around the GPO and O’Connell Street. In Dublin inner city primary schools with DEIS status, every third child comes from an immigrant background. Early school leaving, low levels of language and literacy, high youth migrant unemployment figures and family poverty are leaving young immigrants vulnerable to a cycle of low self esteem, depression, as well as the lure of the street particularly in the north inner city.

The growing disaffection of many young migrants point us to the urgency of the task to deliver   ethno centric services to the migrant population in the inner city which encompasses migrant families, residents in the three direct provision hostels, long term homeless migrants in city centre hostels and supported housing and unaccompanied minors living independently or with foster families. The economic and social future of Dublin’s inner city migrant population  depends on building a fertile ground for the next generation. Segregated neighbourhoods of immigrants experiencing deep poverty in the inner city presently are in need of supports from the six front line organisations who are deeply embedded in the migrant community.

The position of inner city communities is also within the wider context of increasing long term unemployment which has placed further pressure on disadvantaged communities. In May 2013 the CSO[9] announced the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 13.7%.  While this is the national rates it hides alarming rates of unemployment in some communities. The census figures in the small areas highlight unemployment rates in excess of 70%[10] in parts of the inner city for men.  Although the census figures are now two years out of date unemployment has largely risen since March 2011 and not receded, therefore, even if not specially accurate they highlight that in the inner city there are pockets where unemployment rates are many multiples of the national rate.

Whatever the chances of gaining employment for those who are most disadvantaged during a boom period, they are now competing with much better educated and skilled unemployed workers, in a much tighter labour market, therefore their chances of employment look even more remote.  These communities are also struggling with the myriad of other issues such as poor education, addiction, poor accommodation and health problems. We are working specifically with these communities.

In summary

We are anxious to ensure that community programmes are maintained in the inner city of Dublin, that independent community projects are maintained and included in future plans and that cognizance is taken of the current structures and community representation. This is in the light of the fact that the inner city of Dublin still contains some of the most disadvantaged communities in the state.

We are asking that when the budgets for 2014 are finalised that they do not further erode the community organisations and services in the inner city, and bare in mind the already significant cuts that the inner city has taken under the current Local and Community Development Programme.


Who are we?

This submission has been presented on behalf of community projects that were formally funded through the Dublin Inner City Partnership, which was closed in May 2010. The DICP had used a different model to many other partnerships, it had a small number of core staff and outsourced much of the on the ground community work to local organisations, such as ourselves, based across the city.

We are now funded directly through Pobal under the Local Community Development Programme.

We are Inner City Organisations Network (ICON), the New Communities Partnership, the North West Inner City Network, the South West Inner City Network, Taca Clann Community Project and Community Technical Aid (CTA).

Taca Clann

Taca Clann Community Project provides a range of supports to local residents from the Dominick Street-Dorset Street catchment area of Dublin’s north central inner city. Activities include advice, information, advocacy childcare, after-school and homework clubs.

CTA

CTA provides technical support to local communities and projects as well as carrying work for statutory, community and partnership organisations. Services and support offered by CTA include: Training,  Social research, Urban planning, Regeneration Work

NCP

The New Communities partnership (NCP) is the sole network of over 120 representing ethnic minority led organisations and individuals in Ireland from over 78 nationalities. Its overall objective is to create opportunity for Minority ethnic community leaders to engage directly with services planners and providers to articulate, in their own words, the needs of the communities whilst at the same time promoting intercultural dialogue at all levels to help develop common understanding of our shared citizenship.

Networks of ICON, NWICN, SWICN

ICON, the North West Inner City Network and the South West Inner City Network are forums of community and voluntary groups which actively seek to enhance the quality of life for all in the community through facilitating a collective and co-ordinated response to influence policy and issues that affect the community with a clear focus on disadvantage and social inclusion.   ICON operates in the north east inner city, NWICN in the north west and SWICN in the south west of the city.  All three organisations promote a collaborative partnership between statutory, community and business groups in their areas.

Overall principles which guide and inform the ongoing work of the above groups are:

We have an anti-poverty /social inclusion focus;

We work across a wide geographical area of Dublin’s inner city;

We are all frontline workers;

We work in partnership with each other and with different groups across the inner city

As a result, we are flexible and can respond to emerging needs;

We work in partnership with a range of statutory agencies including. RAPID, Dublin City Council, the HSE, Gardai, the City of Dublin Youth Service Board.


[1] Smith Everett and Associates (2013) An Analysis of Local Development Companies Staff and Administration Cost the Net Contribution their Services Make to the Irish Exchequer, Irish Local Development Network

[2] Putting People First Action Programme for Effective Local Government, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. October 2012

[3] Fine Gael (2009) Power to the People

[4] Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (2012) Putting People First, Action Plan for Effective Local Government

[5] Putting People First, 2012, p17

[6] Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (2012, p19) Final Report of the Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group

[7] The Smith Everett & Associates (2013) report ‘An Analysis of Local Development Companies Staff and Administration  Costs and the Net Contribution the Service makes to the Exchequer’

[8] Trutz Haase & Jonathan Pratschke, February 2008

The New Measures of Deprivation for the Republic of Ireland, are the latest deprivation figures drawing on the 2006 Census of Population. Building on the innovative approach to the construction of deprivation indices developed in previous research (Haase & Pratschke, 2005), the New Measures of Deprivation provide an up-to-date analysis of the changes in deprivation that have occurred in each local area over the past fifteen years.

https://www.pobal.ie/whatwedo/deprivation/pages/informationforbeneficiaries.aspx

[9]Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS)  first quarter of 2013 - http://www.cso.ie/en/newsandevents/pressreleases/2013pressreleases/pressreleasequarterlynationalhouseholdsurveyquarter12013

[10] http://maps.pobal.ie/#/Map see small area 268109005 (North Wall Area) male unemployment 72.2%; see small area 268104007 (NEIC Railway Street) male unemployment 72.7% ; see small area 268139010 (Sheridan Court/Place) male unemployment 72%

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