Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Urban Development

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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59. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the details of the national town centre first office; when the office will be established; the location of the office; the number of employees; the grades that will be assigned to each; and the level of responsibility the office will have in supporting local authorities, town regeneration officers and technical expertise to assist local town teams in formulating their local responses and accessing regeneration funding. [15172/22]

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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The Town Centre First (TCF) policy, jointly developed by my Department and the Department of Rural and Community Development, sets out 33 actions which will provide a co-ordinated framework across established national policy objectives (in particular the National Planning Framework, Housing for All and Our Rural Future) to address the decline in the health of our towns and sets out actions to regenerate and revitalise them.

One of the key actions of the policy is the establishment of a National TCF Office to drive and coordinate the implementation of the policy across the whole Country. The policy also mandates the preparation of an Annual Implementation Plan by the National TCF Office to guide the delivery of the policy including producing regular progress reports.

The Local Government Management Association (LGMA) will play a key role in establishing the National Office and discussions with my Department are at an advanced stage in this regard. On foot of these discussions, it is expected that the post of National TCF Co-ordinator, the key leadership post in the National TCF Office, will be advertised shortly for recruitment via secondment at Director of Services level within the local government sector.

Other posts within the National TCF Office will be established further to the finalisation of the key national implementation structures and establishing of the office, but it is expected that the National Office will comprise of a team of 5-6 people with a range of skills appropriate to the responsibilities of the National Office.

Appropriate governance and oversight structures to support the work of the National TCF Office will be developed through the National Oversight and Advisory Group. It is intended that this group will set the agenda, prepare a high level action plan and ultimately oversee the implementation of the overall TCF programme. This group will be made up with representation from local government/government departments, agencies and wider expert representation. It is intended that recruitment to this group will take place once the National TCF Office is established.


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