County and City Management Association (CCMA)

The County and City Management Association (CCMA) is the “representative voice” of the local government management network. Its members are Chief Executives of the County and City Councils and the Assistant Chief Executives of Dublin City Council .  It is a non-statutory body that works to ensure that the influence of local authority Chief Executives is brought to bear on the development and implementation of relevant policy.

It operates through a number of established committees each of which is concerned with a specific policy area as follows:
  • Corporate;
  • Economic, Enterprise, Community and Culture;
  • Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Planning;
  • Finance;
  • Housing and Building;
  • Land Use and Transportation;
  • Water.

Each Committee, which is made up of County and City Council Chief Executives and Directors of Service / Heads of Finance, interfaces with senior management of the Department of the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG) and other relevant Departments and organisations.  The CCMA represents its members on external committees, steering groups and organisations and develops evidence-based positions and makes submissions on relevant issues.

The Office for Local Authority Management (OLAM), a division of the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) provides support and acts as point of contact for the CCMA. OLAM supports the committee structure and influences and implements the Association’s work programme through targeted research and identification of best practice.

Objectives of the CCMA

The strategic objectives of the CCMA are set by the Association’s Executive, an eight member committee comprising of the CCMA Chair, Vice Chair, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Chief Executive of Cork County Council and four elected Chief Executive Members. They are influenced by the economic, political and legislative environment in which the CCMA operates and their objectives are to:

• Influence and shape emerging and future policy affecting local government through direct engagement with key stakeholders on a range of diverse subjects;
• Advocate on behalf of the system for necessary resources, identify strategic choices to be made in the allocations of resources and demonstrate the system’s capability to ensure the provision of value for money;
• Develop and present an accurate and positive view of the worth of local authorities in the public domain by building an understanding of the broad range of work that local authorities are involved in and the issues that drive and influence it;
• Demonstrate evidence of best practice and innovation within the sector for the purpose of supporting the wider development of such practices for example in the areas of shared service and procurement;
• Support individual members of the Association;
• Ensure that the Public Sector Reform Agenda is pursued and has a measurable positive impact through the implementation of the Croke Park Agreement.

How this Works on the Ground

Through the committee structure, the CCMA evaluates and disseminates the impact of specific policy measures on the local authority sector. This informs and influences the position adopted by the Association.  The CCMA Executive leads on key issues to be tackled – mainly “Big Picture” / High level issues.  This shapes the agenda of the CCMA and the six committees.

Through structured, high level engagement with key stakeholders the CCMA puts forward the considered views of the Association. This engagement can be through the
• Committee structure;
• Interface / plenary meetings with the DHPCLG and other government departments;
• CCMA Executive / Departmental Senior Management meeting;
• Political system – e.g. with Ministers, Secretaries General, Joint Committees.
• CCMA representation at meetings such as on the Board of the NRA;
• Direct engagement with organisations / agencies e.g. EPA, RSA;

In cases where a group, with specific terms of reference, have been established to review issues identified by national Government the CCMA would normally make a submission to the group in question followed by direct engagement.  Recent examples include engagement with:
• Local Government Efficiency Review Implementation Group;
• Tourism Renewal Implementation Group;
• EPA Review Group;
• Inter Departmental Working Group on Local Property Tax;

The CCMA works in partnership with Departments and Agencies to develop and implement effective, streamlined legislation e.g. the implementation of NPPR, the design of the Carbon Calculator, joint inspections with Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.  As representatives of management of local authorities, the CCMA are key stakeholders in the areas of planning, the provision of infrastructure, housing, environment and sanitary services as well as recreational, social inclusion and cultural and tourism services and as such are consulted with by a broad spectrum of organisations.  Informally the CCMA develops strategic alliances with stakeholders and opinion leaders, e.g. Chambers Ireland, IBEC, Forfas, EPA, Arts Council  etc.  CCMA identifies, shares and publicises good practice with relevant stakeholders through submissions to Government, the development and promotion of material on the work of local authorities, internal communications and media communications.

Contact
CCMA Chairperson: Mr Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive, Tipperary County Council

County and City Management Association
Office for Local Authority Management (OLAM)
Local Government House
35 – 39 Ushers Quay
Dublin 8
olam@lgma.ie