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Ennis Hub Plan; People, Place, Potential

What Has Happened So Far

* Public Meetings
These were designed as general sessions for members of the public to discuss their vision and ambition for the town’s future development up to the year 2020.They were facilitated using a World Cafè methodology (see www.theworldcafe.com). The World Cafés combined a small number of inouts with conversations on ‘questions that matter’. Attendance at these session was less than anticipated, with approximately sixty people in attendance. The volume and depth of feedback, however was of a very high quality.
* Public Space Interactions
These sessions took place in Dunnes Stores Shopping Centre on a Thursday evening and a Saturday morning. These proved to be very successful and approximately one hundred and eighty public space conversations took place, recorded by the facilitators or directly by  facilitators themselves. These sessions were supported by a number of Ennis town councillors, members of the Clare Active Citizens Network and by staff and students from UL.
* Targeted Interactions
Two types of targeted interaction took place:
1. Decision Makers—These sessions, again using the World
Cafè methodology, were designed to secure the views and perspectives of those who currently occupy decision making roles, in particular, elected representative and public officials. Approximately  fifteen people participated in sessions for elected representatives and twenty in a
separate session for officials.
2. Engaging with younger people: This element of the project was designed to engage more directly with another group who are often absent from broader public meetings. In this case, by providing support to the Care Youth Services, one very successful World Cafèsession was
organized, involving over thirty young people. In addition, one targeted focus group was held with eleven participants on the Leaving Certificate applied programme at the Ennis Youth Centre.
* Public Space Interactions
These sessions took place in Dunnes Stores Shopping Centre on a Thursday evening and a Saturday morning. These proved to be very successful and approximately one hundred and eighty public space conversations took place, recorded by the facilitators or directly by  facilitators themselves. While these engagements were inevitably time limited, they did provide very  valuable opportunities to solicit a wider range of views and opinions. These sessions were supported by a number of Ennis town councillors, members of the Clare Active Citizens Network and by staff and students from UL.
* Virtual Space Interactions
The use of this final interaction space was designed to enable virtual participation for those who do not wish to participate in face to face discussions. These interactions were facilitated by the creation of a Facebook site, with the capacity for Twitter comments. However, participation in this option was quite limited.


World cafe Ennis town council
 
The Vision for the Future: Ennis in 2020
 
Several key themes emerge from the responses on how Ennis would look in 2020.
 
*
The historical dimension of the town and the town’s profile as a t raditional market town.
* Vibrant and culturally diverse.
* Strong economic foundation.
* An emphasis on pedestrianisation.
* Cleanliness and attractiveness.
* Outdoor leisure and entertainment.
* An enhanced relationship with the River Fergus.
* Energy sustainability and waste management.
* Development of local tourism.
* Infrastructure and third level education.

River Fergus
 
Building
on
Strengths
and
Assets

 
A strong emphasis is placed on Ennis' strengths and weaknesses and how its strengths can be used to develop the town.
 
*
People and place (Young population and community spirit. Proximity to a mix of larger urban settlements and natural landscapes).
* Economic potential (Business profile and industrial capacity).
* Infrastructure (Transport service, rivers and lakes, post office field).
* Heritage and Culture (Abbeys, churches and Glór as a performance venue). 
* Facilities and Recreation (Sports and youth facilities, clubs and entertainment).

World cafe table cloth


Enhancing

Ennis

2020


The enhancement of Ennis by the provision of a wider range of amenities featured prominently. Some suggestions included:
 
*
The development of aqautic amenities (The River Fergus and Ballyalla Lake).
* Provision of green and play areas.
* Creation and support for community infrastructure.
* Pedestrianisation and parking.
* Possible gig trails, jazz cafés and street entertainment.
* Arts and culture facilities.
* Provision of jobs and industrial development.
 

Public Consultation


Inclusive

Ennis

2020


Suggestions proposing ways in which Ennis can be a more inclusive society were put forward. These suggestions include:

*
Building cooperation (Community structures and involvement).
* Meeting opportunities (Community meetings, removal of barriers to stimulate participation).
* Community safety (Higher levels of policing, support services dealing with alcohol and drug abuse).
* Political Institutions (Creation of dialogue opportunities between Ennis residents and elected representatives).

Public space interactions in Dunnes Stores

Next Steps
 
The report marks the conclusion of the aggreed first stage of the development of the Ennis Hub Strategy, the Community Visioning exercise. At the last Ennis town council meeting, the councillors aggreed that they would like to proceed with Option two for developing the next stage of the Ennis hub strategy.
World café meeting.

Option Two
 
Option two entails proceeding to a second more detailed but time limited phase of community engagement. This would focus particularly on how to enhance Ennis as a place in which to live, work, visit and/or invest. 
For access to the full report on stage one of the Ennis Hub Plan, please click on the link below.
Ennis Hub Report
For access to the full Ff 
Copyright © 2011 Ennis Hub Project, All rights reserved.
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