Policy Instrument Addressed

Louth Local Economic and Community Development Plan 2022 – 2028

The Local Economic and Community Plans (LECP) support the sustainable development of our counties. They are statutory documents which form the local element of the National Development Framework in Ireland. The LECP has a statutory linkage with the regional plans and must align with them, bringing a regional dimension to the plan. 

Each county has an LECP which is individualised to the Socio-Economic needs of the county. The primary aim of the LECP is to set out, for a six-year period, the objectives and actions needed to promote and support the economic development and the local and community development of the relevant local authority area, both by the Local Authority directly and in partnership with other economic and community development stakeholders.

By focusing on the LECP, which is currently being reviewed, we feel this is an opportune moment for the action plan to make a direct impact on age friendly solutions and to design policy to reflect this.

Policy Change Desired

By targeting the LECP and the constituent members of the Economic SPC and the LCDC the issue of ageism will be highlighted across a broad range of sectors. It is hoped that other counties, services and organisations such as Age Friendly Ireland will follow the lead of Louth County Council in highlighting and addressing the issue of ageism.

Including ageism within the policy framework of the LECP will ensure that the topic is addressed through a designated funded action within the plan. Addressing ageism within the county through the LECP will not only raise awareness of both overt and covert ageism within our services but will change the behaviour of service deliverers, removing barriers to full participation of older people in all aspects of cultural, economic and social life in their communities. Highlighting the need to age-proof policies, actions and language within a statutory document will be a positive by-product of the envisaged action. 

The inspiration behind our action plan came from the Gizadiberri Good Practice which was put forward by Bizkaia under the Communication and Information Domain. During 2018/2019 the Gizadiberri project held a series of workshops on ageism in different municipalities of Bizkaia. We consider this and effective way of highlighting the issue of ageism and challenging ageist attitudes across our services. Working with the other Consortium partners and having access to their SHAFE Good Practices has made us aware of the many different approaches which can be taken in addressing issues in the field of Smart Healthy Age Friendly Environments and has inspired us in not only this action plan but in other areas as well

Territorial Impact

We do not foresee a major territorial impact at this time as we are addressing a local plan. We have previously made a submission to the consultation on ERDF funding in Ireland but we did not propose any specific action at the time the submission was made in September 2020 while Phase I of the project was just a year old.

While our action plan is targeting a local plan we do feel that it will have a greater impact than just within County Louth as local LECPs are available to all other counties and are consulted when the policy instrument is being reviewed to see if there are actions in other counties which can be replicated.  

While the LECP is owned by the Local Authority, it is developed through the Strategic Policy Committee for Economic Development and Enterprise (Economic elements) and the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) (Community elements). Membership for both committees is drawn from the health, social welfare, education, Community and Voluntary, and the Business/Commercial sectors along with Elected representatives. As such the issue of ageism will be highlighted across all sectors of society creating a groundswell of support for tackling the issue.

As Age Friendly Ireland are a member of our stakeholder group we would hope that with their assistance we can have an impact nationally.