Social inclusion & equality

Social inclusion & equality

 

“Our house was a wonderful place for a child to live in. It was just an ordinary three-bedroomed Corporation house at the top of Gurranabraher. Although there were 10 children and my parents living there, we still had room for a wonderful variety of birds and animals.” Denis Leahy; From Cork to the Congo, p21

Social Inclusion & Equality - Policy

The Lisbon Strategy published in 2000 stated that the EU had to address economic, employment and social priorities equally. In it the member states agreed a Social Inclusion Strategy that uses an Open Method of Coordination (OMC) to develop National Plans in the areas of Social Inclusion, Pensions and Health and Long-Term Care every two years. In December 2010 the European Commission published the EU 2020 Strategy in which it commits to creating local structures that are effective for both community representatives and public bodies, that are strengthened and resourced with the aim of further empowering communities and are better tailoring services to meet local needs.

The National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016 is based on the lifecycle approach set out by the National Economic and Social Council and adopted in the national partnership agreement, Towards 2016. The plan provides supports at key stages of the lifecycle: children, people of working age, older people, and people with disabilities. Other National level strategies developed to tackle specific issues that relate to social exclusion, include the following:

  • National Drugs Strategies 2009 – 2016
  • A Way Home: A Strategy to address Homelessness in Ireland 2008-2013
  • Youth Homelessness Strategy (2001) and subsequent reviews
  • National Children’s Strategies, including Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The national policy framework for children & young people 2014-2020
  • National Disability Strategy 2016-2019
  • National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016
  • The National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (2016)

A number of structures and programmes have been established and subsequently reformed at local level to help drive social inclusion and community participation. County and City Development Boards (CDBs), established in 2000 in each local authority, have recently been replaced by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDC’s). LCDC’s were established under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, to develop, co-ordinate and implement a coherent and integrated approach to local and community development and to develop and monitor the community dimension of the Local Economic and Community Plan. LCDCs membership includes representatives of the local authority, public bodies, local community interests, local community representatives, and publicly funded and supported development bodies.

Cork City’s Social Inclusion Units supports the local authorities’ involvement in tackling social exclusion across the range of their activities through policy analysis. Their role also involves raising awareness of social inclusion within and outside the City/County Council and supporting the LCDC. The units are also a key mechanism for embedding the National Anti-Poverty Strategy and developing a strong anti-poverty focus within local authority actions, policies and initiatives. The City Council’s network of libraries also contributes to social inclusion with equitable access to resources for personal development, for individuals and communities.

Social Inclusion & Equality - Stats and Facts

Nearly 40% of the population living in Cork City Centre in 2011 were non-Irish nationals

Cork City has a diverse mix of nationalities with 13% (14,611 people) of the total population in 2011 being non - Irish nationals. Nearly 25% are Polish, 30% are ‘Rest of the World’ nationalities, 29% are other EU states.  Lone Parent families accounted for 24% of the families living in the City, significantly higher than the State average of 18%.

In December 2013, there were 682 Asylum seekers in the five Direct Provision Accommodation Centres in the county of Cork. The two centres within or adjoining the city (Glenvera, Wellington Road and the Kinsale Road Centre) have the highest number of residents (357 persons). There are an estimated 12,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people living in Cork City (10% of the total population), with an absence of research relating to the size and nature of the Transgender community.

The Trutz-Haase Deprivation Index for Cork City shows the four designated RAPID Areas suffer disproportionately from deprivation, as well as other pockets generally in close proximity. Over one quarter (29%) of the 519 small areas making up Cork City are defined as being disadvantaged or very disadvantaged.  The four designated RAPID areas in the city have deprivation index scores of between -13.2 and -16.6, significantly lower than both the city (-1.9) and the State average (+0.24).