Community matters – restructuring voluntary advice bodies

 

Sir, – My thanks go to your columnist Breda O’Brien for an insightful article on the Money, Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and Citizens Information Service (CIS) (“Restructuring voluntary advice bodies is arrogant and unwise”, Opinion & Analysis, May 13th). These important organisations operate mostly in areas experiencing disadvantage and within a community sector in which local knowledge and local participation are crucial ingredients of development programmes. In this context, the proposed idea of replacing local structures with regional ones flies in the face of good community development practice. One would have hoped that lessons would have been learned from the damaging replacement of local structures in the Community Development Programme (CDP) in 2010 with more centralised planning and more remote structures. The significant story of the death of the CDP dream, and of its underlying approach, is yet to be told but needs to be visited now before further damage is done within and beyond the community sector. – Yours, etc,

JA O’GRADY,

Dublin 6W.