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Background

Background to the establishment of Westmeath County Development Board.

In 1998, the Government established an Inter-Departmental Task Force to address the issue of the integration of the Local Government and Local Development systems. The Task Force issued two reports:

Report of the Task Force on the Integration of the Local Government and Local Development Systems (August, 1998)
"Preparing the Ground" – Guidelines for the Progress from Strategy Groups to County/City Development Boards (April, 1999).
Both of these documents can be downloaded from County and City Development Board website http://www.cdb.ie or are available from the Department of the Environment and Local Government.

The Task Force looked at how the activities of various organisations could be co-ordinated in a more effective way at local level. It identified that a major difficulty for planning and delivery of public services at the local level is the absence of a single template to guide the activities of the many public sector agencies operating within the county. In order to address this, the Task Force recommended the establishment of a County Development Board in each county (or City Development Board in each city) which would consist of broad sectoral representation and which would work towards a single strategy for the county.

Strategy

The Westmeath County Development Board Strategy for the Economic, Social and Cultural Development of Westmeath 2002 – 2012, “Bringing Quality to Life”, provides an integrated framework through which publicly funded agencies can work together to deliver better services and improve the quality of life for people in Westmeath.

The County Development Board has produced a summary, bilingual version of the Strategy, setting out the background to the establishment of the Board and giving an overview of the work of the County Development Board, in the context of the numerous challenges that face the county over the next number of years.