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Our approach A key function of a local authority is to provide a democratic forum for the community. The local authority is also tasked with making decisions on behalf of that community. Our actions will reflect the views and needs of the public which will be influenced by the demographics of the county and underpinned by good information on what we do and why we do it. The establishment of the Local Community Development Committee LCDC together with the introduction of the Public Participation Network PPN will be fundamental to service provision for individual citizens businesses and local communities. The fact that Kildare continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in the country with the population increasing by almost 9 between the 2006 and 2011 census with one of the youngest populations in the country is a challenge that we will meet through public participation and community interaction. Coping with economic change and population growth requires us to constantly seek new and innovative ways to give effective courteous and efficient service to the community and this will be a key focus area in the coming years particularly having regard to the local government reform programme Putting People First. The introduction of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 will see significant change in local government in the coming years. Already we have seen the introduction of municipal districts following the abolition of town councils resulting in an increase in the number of elected members to Kildare County Council from 25 to 40. We are answerable to the community through our elected councillors. The incorporation of the Local Enterprise Office LEO firmly within the local authority structure has been a very positive outcome of the reform programme. Economic development is a key issue for our county and is at the forefront of our strategies and plans for the future. We have a special responsibility to protect the best of the countys physical natural environment and cultural characteristics and to ensure that everyone in our community benefits in terms of economic and social wellbeing. We have a special duty to ensure that those who are not well-resourced can have their say and achieve an adequate quality of life. Public information and consultation is fundamental to our work and our actions will always be open to independent judgement by the people of the county and by government and regulatory agencies at national level. Where we fit in 11