Criteria for Membership

What are the general criteria for membership of the Westmeath Public Participation Network (PPN)?

  • Groups must be active in County Westmeath, have aims and objectives which are compatible with the principles of the PPN, and be not for profit.
  • Groups must be in existence at least twelve months prior to affiliation, must have a minimum membership of five and, be open to new membership.
  • All organisations registered for the PPN should have an agreed set of rules and a working structure that informs the appropriate workings and structures for that organisation, which may differ across organisations. In most cases, this will likely be a constitution; terms of reference, a bank or credit union account, etc.
  • Groups can only register once.
  • Political parties will not be able to affiliate.
  • Public representatives (Councillors, TDs, Senators, MEPS etc), or those who have held such office within the past 12 months may not participate in the PPN. In addition, individuals who are declared as candidates for public representative office (Councillors, TDs, Senators, and MEPs etc) must step aside from all PPN roles for the duration of their declared candidacy.

Groups who have representational rights through the national pillars, local authorities, local development or other mechanisms may affiliate to and participate in the MD and county PPNs but should not participate in the election of representatives to Local Authority Committees.

Criteria for the Community and Voluntary College:

Community and voluntary organisations range in size and activities and a precise definition would be impossible. Their primary objectives focus on community responses to local issues and have activities that promote the overall wellbeing in their community.

Examples of types of Groups within the Community and Voluntary College
  • Residents groups
  • Self-help groups
  • Youth groups
  • Community Associations
  • Arts groups
  • Playground Associations
  • Community councils
  • Issue based groups
  • Sporting/leisure clubs/groups
  • Active retirement groups
  • Broad based Service provision groups
  • Festival groups

Criteria for the Environmental College:

The primary objectives and activities of the organisation must be Environmental (i.e. ecological) protection and / or environmental sustainability. For this college the national guidelines provide that groups selecting the Environmental sector must have their registration verified by the national Environmental Pillar.

The Environmental Pillar as the validating body for the membership of the Environmental Electoral Colleges of the City and County PPNs provides a list of criteria and areas of activity that qualify a local/regional group to be members of an Environmental Electoral College of a PPN, together with a list of all the national networks whose local/regional groups are automatically eligible.

Examples of types of Groups within the Environment College:

Criteria for membership of the Environmental College
  • Permanent protection of wildlife
  • Environmental education or protection
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Invasive alien species prevention/removal
  • Organic horticulture or education
  • Species specific care/
  • Resource efficiency and recycling

Criteria for the Social Inclusion College:

A working definition of Social inclusion organisation is one whose main activity centers on working to improve the life chances and opportunities of those who are marginalised in society, living in poverty or in unemployment using community development approaches to build sustainable communities, where the values of equality and inclusion are promoted and human rights are respected.

Examples of the types of groups within the Social Inclusion College
  • Disability groups
  • Traveller Groups
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Women?s Groups
  • Family Support groups
  • Literacy Groups
  • Older Peoples groups
  • Groups promoting equality
  • LGBT Groups
  • Youth service and groups
  • Children services and support groups
  • Mental health
  • Suicide prevention groups
  • Drug and alcohol support & information groups
  • Rural isolation and disadvantage groups
  • Urban disadvantage groups