Cork City ‘Public Participation Network’ (PPN) seeks volunteers for SPCs & JPC

2 September 2019
By Elaine Murphy

Cork City PPN (Public Participation Network) is calling for expressions of interest from those who wish to serve as representatives on Cork City Council’s Strategic Policy and Joint Policing Committees.

The PPN is an independent representative organisation that provides a bridge between the civil society and Cork City Council. It is made up of non-profit groups and organisations across the city from three sectors (Community & Voluntary, Social Inclusion, and Environment & Conservation) and it selects representatives to sit on a range of committees and bodies throughout the city.

Some of those committees are being reformed following this year’s local elections, they are the City’s Strategic Policy Committees (‘SPC’s’) and the Joint Policing Committee (JPC). The PPN is looking to spread the word among its members and any potential member organisations or groups in the city.

Speaking of the openings, PPN Coordinator Yvonne Murphy said: ‘One of our most important jobs is to grow public participation in public decision-making and our representatives are a huge part of that. By giving their time and energy they give a voice to the needs and interests of civil society at the top levels of Council decision-making, which is incredibly important to ensuring diversity is at the heart of the city’.

Commenting on the commitment required of representatives, Murphy stated: ‘Nobody’s going to get rich from these positions as they are unpaid, and there is a certain time commitment to be given, there’s no denying that. But we’re delighted to see the Council adopt measures that will make it easier for people to juggle work, other commitments, and committee appointments and we at the PPN are always there to give support, training, and a dig-out to our reps should they need it’.

The measures adopted by City Council include a schedule of meetings being set out months in advance for members so they can plan their time, holding meetings at 5.30pm in the evening to accommodate those working during the day, and holding meetings at most once every 2 months.

PPN member groups, potential member groups, and members of the public are encouraged to view details of the committee openings at The PPN will also hold a series of 4 public information sessions in the first week of September where PPN representatives and workers will be available to discuss these committee openings, how the PPN works, and other representative openings due to come up in the months ahead.

Murphy concluded in saying: ‘We want to engage as widely as we can, so I’d encourage anyone belonging to a non-profit group or organisation around the city, whatever its size or focus, to come along to one of our meetings or visit to see about getting involved’.

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