Agreement was reached by all the agencies on the draft Clare County Enterprise Strategy in December 2007. The strategy will be launched in early 2008.
Significant work on increasing the provision of third- level courses in County Clare took place in 2007. In late 2007, the Community & Enterprise Directorate in partnership with Shannon Development and Clare VEC achieved a legal structure for Clare College of Further and Higher Education with directors from the three agencies. Clare College was successful in its application for a Skillnets project of €350,000 which is offering certified programmes for participating companies.
The Group Broadband Scheme which saw communities throughout the county benefit greatly from access to broadband is now finished and is being replaced in 2008 by the National Broadband Scheme by Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources. The Kilrush MANs was completed and will prove to be of key strategic benefit to the area.
In 2007, some of the projects completed included:
- County Housing Strategy
- County/Area Development Plans
- Customer Satisfaction Survey
- Shannon Rail Study
- North Clare Tourism Study
The sixth Clare Comhairle na nóg (Young People's Council) was held in November 2007.
The event was organised by Community & Enterprise, in conjunction with Clare County Childcare Committee, Clare Sports Partnership, Clare Youth Services and an Garda SiochÁna on behalf of Clare County Development Board.
Five representatives from County Clare were selected to attend the 2007 Dáil na nóg, along with other representatives children from all over the country. Dáil na nóg will be held in Croke Park, Dublin in Spring 2008.
Under this scheme, by June 2007, €1million, had been allocated to 18 community groups developing community playground and play areas throughout the county. Providing financial assistance towards the provision of playgrounds in the County is a key objective under the Play Policy and Action Plan for County Clare 2004-2008.
The following playgrounds have been either provided directly or facilitated by the Clare Local Authorities.
Cappa, Kilrush, Stone Court, Drumbiggle, Ennis, Cloughleigh, Ennis, Fairgreen Ennis - Tim Smyth's (Courthouse), Fairgreen Ennis - Opposite St Joseph's -Lifford, Shannon, St Claire's Special School (Ennis), Kildysart, Corofin, Doolin, Skate Board Park- Lees Road, Ennis.
Under the Social & Community Capital Facilities Grant Scheme 2007 community projects in Kilfenora, Killaloe, Shannon, Cooraclare and Raheen, each received €30,000 in grant assistance.
€596,640 was allocated by Clare County Council in 2007 to 67 Community groups in the county under the Assistance to Projects Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to recognise the work of the community and voluntary sector. It is intended that these awards acknowledge existing contributions and encourage more people to become involved in making County Clare a better place to live.
Under the Community Smoke Alarm Scheme vulnerable homes were targeted in 5 areas within Clare, based on geographical distance from the nearest Fire Station. 100 households in each area were provided with two self-contained 10 year smoke alarms.
The aim of SPC is to ensure that council policy in these areas is developed through a process of consultation and that it is linked to the development of the Integrated Strategy of the Clare County Development Board.
During 2006 /2007 five meetings of the Community, Culture & Heritage SPC were held.
During 2007 a further investment of €0.4m was secured for a number of service and capital Programmes. In addition a number of new services and capital projects were initiated.
The new services included: a Community Transport Service; a 'Family Support' programme (Springboard); 'Panic Buttons' for Older People; 'Football Association of Ireland' Summer Camps and Inter-Cultural Games; 'Support for School Retention', etc.
The capital projects completed in the year included: purchase of a 'Community Bus'; re-surfacing of and dressing rooms at Coote Park; Playgrounds at Cloughleigh and Stonecourt; Estate Enhancement involving traffic calming and green areas.
The Community and Enterprise Directorate continues to co-ordinate the delivery and implementation of the Ennis Rapid programme.
- 16 Travellers in employment or working in enterprise - 5 Travellers employed by Clare County Council.
- Traveller Support Worker positions developed in two secondary schools in Ennis - pilot evaluated by Department of Education, funding secured for 2007-2008 school year.
- Student mentoring programme piloted - developed for Traveller students, to bridge summer months between completion of Junior cert and resuming school in September.
- Liaison officers designated by Gardai. Joint Traveller -Garda Initiatives being developed.
- Mediation process - pilot project commenced.
- Improvements in Communication.
- Newsletter "Traveller Focus" - second issue published in December 2007.
- Public meeting for Traveller Community held in December 2007.
Traveller/Agency -Training and Development Programme - funding of €49,500 approved by Pobal for development of programme in cooperation with IPA.
- €48,000 secured through the Department of Social & Family Affairs, to continue the Schools Traveller Support Worker pilot, until June 2008.
- €5,000 received to fund development work with the Travellers on Ballymurtagh Halting Site Shannon.
- €6,000 received from the St Stephen's Green Trust, to coordinate the pilot Mediation Project.
- €5,000 from the Department of Social and Family Affairs to support St Martin's Traveller Pre School.
- €127,060 from Pobal secured for Traveller Homework Club and Parent Support Programme.
- €139,000 secured from FAS for employment and enterprise initiatives