What’s your background and your current role within DCC?
I am the Assistant Area Manager for Dublin North West. This area covers Drumcondra, Glasnevin, Finglas and Ballymun. I have a B.A. and an M.B.A., with my initial degree being in Politics, Social Policy and Women’s Studies. I have been working in the City Council for the duration of my career.
Recently you have been supported by the EU Lab, what has been your experience of it?
We were part of a consortium applying for URBACT funding, for us the main benefit of engaging in this project was to share learning around the implementation and delivery of the Ballymun Local Area Plan. The application was successful. We worked for six months on a project only to discover that, because we didn’t have ‘Cities in Article 7’ (CIA 7) status, we weren’t eligible to continue in the second phase of the project.
This was unfortunate. I believe we need to have a central hub of information on EU funding to avoid these information gaps in the future!
It was a learning experience, though, and we also made good contacts with other cities
Would you recommend the EU Lab to other staff and why?
Yes, I would. Our objective is to find out what other cities are doing and to learn from their experience; how traffic is managed, for example, or the Smart Cities project. Staff need to know how to link up with those networks. At present, I think that they don’t. Apart from the content of a project, staff need to learn how to manage them. What expenses they are allowed to claim, how to calculate hours spent on a project as distinct from their other work and so on. The requirements from the EU are demanding.
Would you engage in the EU Lab in the future to develop your projects at an EU level?
Yes. These days, I think that there is a certain amount of cynicism about EU funding but it is worth pursuing nonetheless.
Interview with Mary Taylor, Dublin City Council
 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Urbact programme.