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Social Inclusion

Information about social inclusion, the prioritisation of the needs of marginalised groups and those living in poverty.

What is Social Inclusion?   Social inclusion is the prioritisation of the needs of marginalised groups and those living in poverty - by state bodies and by national legislation in particular- to ensure that the life outcomes of these groups are equal to those of the rest of the population, and ultimately, to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty. These groups should also be given meaningful participation in the decision-making processes and structures which affect their lives.

Marginalised Groups:   Travellers; One-parent families;  People with disabilities;  Long term unemployed;  Early school leavers;  Migrants/minorities/refugees/asylum seekers;  Homeless;  Women;  Substance mis-users;  Ex-prisoners/offenders;  Unskilled/ Semi-skilled/those with low educational attainment; Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/ Transgender community;  Children;  Young People;  Older People;  Rurally isolated/Small farm-holders;  Large Families;  Marginalised men;  Family Carers;  Low income Households.

Social Inclusion Issues:   Unemployment, Physical health, Mental health, Housing, Literacy & Numeracy, Education, Childcare, Social welfare payments/poverty trap, Accessibility issues (hard and soft), Transport, Social isolation (in both rural and urban areas), Racism, Security/crime/Intimidation, Drug misuse,  Discrimination on religious or cultural grounds, sexism, food poverty, fuel poverty, human rights/equality issues.


What is Poverty?  

There are two key measurements of poverty.

(i) Relative Poverty: This refers to lack of Income                          

(ii) Consistent Poverty: This refers to lack of income coupled with severe material deprivation due to lack of income


What is Marginalisation?  

Groups or Individuals experiencing the following:

  • Poverty
  • Vulnerability
  • Unacceptably low standard of living
  • Excluded from activities considered the ‘norm’ in society

Disability and Inclusion Steering Committee

Wicklow County Council Access & Inclusion Committee - Terms of Reference


Terms of Reference


Committee Name

Wicklow County Council Access & Inclusion Committee


1.   The purpose of the committee is to achieve a multi-departmental approach to making the services provided by Wicklow County Council accessible to all citizens in the county. 


2.   The committee are responsible for ensuring the implementation of existing relevant policies at local authority level, namely the 

a)   Disability Act 2005, 

b)   National Disability Inclusion Strategy, NDIS, 

c)   United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, UNCRPD, 

d)   Public Sector Duty. 


3.   The committee are also responsible for ensuring that the above policies are incorporated into the development and implementation of the Wicklow Local Development Plan, the Local Economic Community Plan (LECP), the Corporate Plan and all other internal documents and strategies.  


The committee will be focused on responsibilities which fall within the remit of Wicklow County Council in relation to access and inclusion. This includes the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and the wider community and public sector, within Wicklow. 


The Director of Services of the Community Cultural and Social Development Department will be responsible for convening and chairing the Steering Committee.  


The Committee will report via the Director of Services to:  

1.   The Chief Executive, for inclusion in the Chief Executive Monthly report, 

2.   The Strategic Policy Committee, SPC, on Community, Cultural and Social Development.

3.   The public through ‘CountyWise’ magazine and dedicated Wicklow County Council Website page.  




The committee will include:  

Process for Appointment 
1.   The Disability Officer from DFI, 

2.   The Access Officer from Wicklow County Council, 

3.   A maximum of five people with a lived experience of disability, from access groups or disability interest groups operating in Wicklow or from the wider community.





4.   Representative from the Housing and Disability Steering Group

5.   At least one representative from a disability organisation

6.   One Elected member from each of the five Municipal Districts


7.   The Sports Inclusion Disability Officer from Wicklow Local Sports Partnership, 

8.   The Healthy Ireland Coordinator, 

9.   One representative from the County Wicklow Partnership and the Bray Area Partnership respectively, in recognition of their role as SICAP/ LEADER implementors

10.                Age-friendly coordinator 

11.                PPN representative  

12.                CYPSC
1.   Post holder

2.   Post holder

3.   Candidates will be asked to nominate themselves, or in the case of groups or networks, another member. The most suitable candidate will be chosen based on their ability to represent the wider disability community or unique expertise in a relevant area. 

4.   Appointed by Wicklow County Council

5.   As above no.3/

6.   Item will be added to Chamber meeting and nominations will be sought as per membership protocol outlined below. 

7.   Post holder

8.   Post holder

9.   Appointed by the organisation 


10.                Post holder 

11.                PPN Coordinator or support person

12.                CYPSC Coordinator 

Membership Protocol 

1.   A member of the committee, nominated on the basis of 

·         their role as an elected representative, 

·         position as a named post holder, 

·         representative of a group or organisation 

who ceases to be such shall also cease to be a member of the Committee. Nominations to fill casual vacancies will be sought from nominating bodies as required.  

2.   The Director of Services, as Chairperson for the group, will conduct a review of membership every three years.


3.   Members of the committee, who are not nominated to the committee on one of the three basis outlined above (1), shall serve no more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms.


4.   Members who wish to resign from the committee must do so in writing to the Director of Services. 


5.   Where a member of the Committee is absent from three consecutive meetings, without adequate reason, as determined by the Chairperson, the member will be asked to resign or the nominating body or in the case of elected representatives, Municipal district area, will be asked to provide a replacement representative. 


Voluntary members of the committee, representing people with a lived experience of disability will be reimbursed for out of pocket travel expenses. Expenses will be reimbursed as per Wicklow County Council’s agreed policy on expenses. 

Meeting arrangements

Meetings will take place a maximum of every six weeks apart on a recurring date/ day to be confirmed. (eg. Second Wednesday of every month). 

Members who are unable to attend meetings face to face will be supported to attend online. 

The DFI Disability Officer/ Access Officer will deputise in the event that the Director of Services is unavailable. 

Minutes of each meeting will be taken by the designated Wicklow County Council administrative staff and sent at least one week in advance of the following meeting.

A quorum of nine people will be required for meetings to be convened.  

The agenda for each meeting will be circulated by administrative staff at least one week in advance of each meeting. Members will be given the opportunity to add to the agenda for upcoming meetings at the end of each meeting and again via email two weeks before the date of the next meeting. 

Resources and budget

As agreed in the annual budget review by the Chief Executive. 

The committee can decide to apply for relevant external funding streams for specific projects, as opportunities arise and if the project fits the criteria for funding. 


1.   Deliverables and action items will be clearly outlined in the committees workplan. 

2.   The workplan will act as a live document to be updated and added to regularly as actions are completed. 

3.   The DFI disability officer is responsibility for keeping the workplan up to date. 


The terms of reference of the committee will be reviewed annually, twelve months from the date of the first meeting taking place. 


Terms of Reference agreed by the committee on November 11th 2020. 

Proposed by Cllr. Miriam Murphy, seconded by Michael Nicholson.