The Kerry County Development Board was established in February 2000, as an initiative of Government, with the objective of developing a County Strategy for the economic, social and cultural development of Kerry over the next ten years.
The Board is one of 34 Boards established throughout the country following a recommendation from the Interdepartmental Task Force on the need to co-ordinate local level service delivery within a policy framework at local level.
The Board brought together for the first time all the key players at local level to engage in a process of long-term planning for the County over the next ten years. The development of the County Strategy was highly consultative in nature and this has ensured a broad consensus on the key strategic objectives contained within the Strategy.
The legal framework for the Board is provided for by Section 129 of the Local Government Act, 2001. The Board is a statutory body which operates under the aegis of the County Council, but is otherwise independent in the operation of its functions. The membership of the Board is prescribed and is drawn from four sectors, Local Government, Local Development, State Agencies and Social Partners. The Chairperson is appointed by the Board on nomination by the Corporate Policy Group of the County Council. The functions of the Board include:-
· Taking steps to maximise the benefit by the various agencies in the County, which have functions relating to the economic, social and cultural development of the County.
· Promotion of co-operation and co-ordination of the activities of the bodies and interests represented on the Board so as to optimise resources for the common good of the community.
The County Strategy: ‘Meitheal Chiarraí – Working Together for our Future 2002 – 2011’ was adopted in April 2002 and represents a set of agreed priorities by all public and local agencies in Kerry on the future development of the County over the next ten years. The Strategy is a statutory document; this means that all public agencies must have regard to the Strategy in developing and implementing their own plans and programmes.
The Kerry County Development Board does not, itself, directly implement the County Strategy but relies on the agencies and organisations operating within the County to deliver and take responsibility for specific elements of implementation.
A Review of Meitheal Chiarraí and Action Plan 2009-2012 was completed and adopted by the County Development Board in April 2009.