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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1 - 83
 Header Item Local Government Reform
 Header Item Security of the Elderly
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Private Rented Accommodation Provision
 Header Item Nuclear Plants
 Header Item Election Management System
 Header Item Leader Programmes Funding
 Header Item Building Regulations Application
 Header Item Motor Tax Yield
 Header Item Local Authority Funding
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Mortgages
 Header Item Local Authority Funding
 Header Item Voluntary Sector Funding
 Header Item Water Quality
 Header Item Water Meters Installation

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1 - 83

  The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies as received on the day from the Departments [unrevised].

  Questions Nos. 1 to 20, inclusive, answered orally.

  Questions Nos. 21 to 54, inclusive, resubmitted.

  Questions Nos. 55 to 66, inclusive, answered orally.

Local Government Reform

 67. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will list and describe any proposed transfer of functions to local government in his reform document Putting People First which might enact the suggestion in the President's Take Charge of Change Declaration that local government should be empowered in order that national representatives do not engage in parochial politics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54223/12]

 69. Deputy Seamus Kirk Information on Seamus Kirk Zoom on Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the timeframe for legislation for the implementation of Putting People First; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54192/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 69 together.

  The vision set out in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government: Putting People First is that local government will be the main vehicle of governance and public service at local level – leading economic, social and community development, delivering efficient and good value services, and representing citizens and local communities effectively and accountably. Consistent with this principle, the Action Programme gives a clear commitment that, in future, the functions of government at local level will be performed through the local government system to the greatest possible extent. This approach is consistent with the recommendation regarding local government in the “Take Charge of Change” Declaration, as are measures to strengthen the role and powers of local government, which is a core objective of reform. Government policy decisions in this regard are set out in the Action Programme. Additional local government functions are specified with particular regard to three key areas: the operation of the local micro-enterprise support service through Local Enterprise Offices; local authority oversight and planning of local and community development programmes; and an enhanced and clearer role in economic development. These decisions represent the most significant enhancement of the role of local government in many decades.

  In addition, in the course of drawing up the reform programme, Ministers were requested to identify further matters that could be devolved to local government. Initial proposals arising from this process are detailed in the Action Programme. There will be further engagement with a view to identifying additional activities ahead of the development of legislation to implement reform measures. The Action Programme also provides for delegation of greater authority to local level in functions such as environment, water, foreshore, roads, traffic, housing and energy efficiency. This involves giving greater responsibility or discretion to local authorities in relation to various areas in which they already have a significant involvement and where there is scope for reducing the degree of central control. The Action Programme also addresses the issue of citizen engagement and public participation in local government and indicates that mechanisms to promote greater community and citizen engagement with local government will be considered, including possible participative democracy arrangements.

  An essential component of the Action Programme will be the development and enactment of legislation. Wide-ranging and detailed legislation will be necessary to provide for a range of measures contained in the reform programme. This will include provision for amalgamation of local authorities in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, including the dissolution of existing authorities, the establishment of new unitary authorities, and the transfer of functions, assets, liabilities, staff, etc., from the existing councils to the successor authorities. Wider legislative provisions will also be required to provide for new arrangements at sub-county and regional levels, together with likely consequential amendments across a number of other legislative codes and to allow for the implementation of a range of new policy undertakings under the Action Programme. The local government reform programme is a high priority for Government as a key element of the overall reform agenda, and while I am not in a position to provide definitive timing details for the legislation, it will be brought forward for enactment in good time before the 2014 local elections.

Security of the Elderly

 68. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the amount of money spent in each of the last five years on the seniors alert scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54203/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd The aim of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to support independent living for those over 65 , and of limited means, who live alone or who live with a person who is also over 65 years of age. Over the five years 2007 to 2011, some €14.5 million has been spent on the Seniors Alert Scheme. A table showing the annual funding breakdown follows.

Year Money spent
2007 €3.71m
2008 €4.31m
2009 €2.13m
2010 €1.94m
2011 €2.47m
 

  Question No. 69 answered with Question No. 67.

Departmental Reports

 70. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan when he will publish the Thornhill report on property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54187/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd The EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland contains a commitment to introduce a property tax for 2012. The Programme reflects the need, in the context of the State's overall financial position, to put the funding of locally-delivered services on a sound financial footing, improve accountability and better align the cost of providing services with the demand for such services. It was considered that, in light of the complex issues involved, a Local Property Tax would take time to introduce and accordingly to meet the requirements in the EU/IMF Programme, the Government decided to introduce a Household Charge in 2012 as an interim measure. This was done via the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011.

An appropriate broadening of the revenue base for local government will be achieved through the Household Charge and the forthcoming full Local Property Tax. Income from the Household Charge and from a future Local Property Tax is critical in ensuring that local authorities have the necessary resources to continue to deliver services to their communities. The independently-chaired Inter-Departmental Expert Group was established to consider the structures and modalities for an equitable Local Property Tax in the context of decisions to replace the Household Charge. It would not be appropriate to comment on the content of the Expert Group’s report at this point. It is a matter for Government to decide on the exact details of implementation, taking into account the modalities involved. I anticipate that the Report of the Interdepartmental Group on the Design of a Local Property Tax will be published shortly after Budget 2013.

  Question No. 71 answered with Question No. 60.

Private Rented Accommodation Provision

 72. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to incentivise landlords and developers to place their unoccupied sale properties for rent in order to reduce spiralling rents particular in high demand areas.  [54244/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The Government’s housing policy statement, published in June 2011, sets out a vision for the future of the housing sector based on choice, fairness, equity across tenures and delivering quality outcomes for the resources invested. Consistent with the Government’s commitment to equity across tenures, I will not incentivise one form of tenure over another but rather will seek to enable all households to access good quality housing appropriate to their household circumstances and in their particular community of choice.

  The Government has already taken a number of steps in this regard. The emphasis in the social housing programme in recent years has shifted from highly capital intensive modes to more flexible delivery models. In this regard the introduction of the social housing leasing initiative and the rental accommodation scheme have served to deliver more housing units more speedily to service the needs in this sector. They have simultaneously served to absorb some of the overhang in the housing rental market, and their continuing deployment will further serve to relieve pressures for people in this sector.

  Furthermore, my Department has had on-going engagement with NAMA in order to provide units for social housing and a Steering Group comprising my Department, the Housing Agency and NAMA have been working together with housing authorities and approved housing bodies (AHBs) towards achieving this objective. While progress to date has been slow this is due in the main to the complexities of getting agreement from multiple parties operating within an environment subject to a range of legal and financial constraints. I hope that the recent establishment by NAMA of a Special Purpose Vehicle, to facilitate the leasing of units, will ensure speedier delivery of a social housing dividend from NAMA’s operations. Notwithstanding the difficulties encountered, of the units identified by NAMA for consideration for social housing, to the end of September 2012 demand has been confirmed for over 1,300 available units and these are currently being processed.

  Data from the Central Statistics Office show that during the 2006 – 2011 inter-censal period the residential rented sector grew by 47% and its share of the overall housing market grew from 22% to 29%. The single biggest component of the rented sector is households rented from private landlords which, in 2011, numbered more than 300,000 tenancies. The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 provide s for security of tenure for tenants, minimum obligations for landlords and tenants, and the establishment of the Private Residential Tenancies Board to operate a system of tenancy registration and dispute resolution. The 2004 Act also contains provisions relating to the setting of rent and procedures for rent reviews. It specifically prohibits the setting of rent above the market rent and provides both tenants and landlords with the right to a review of rent, which review may not take place more frequently than once in each period of 12 months nor in the first 12 months of the tenancy. I have no plans to introduce any further measures in relation to rent control at this time.

Nuclear Plants

 73. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will advise on any possible risk factors that may be brought about by the decommissioning and cleaning up of Sellafield; his role in monitoring this process and protecting the environment and persons in exposed areas of the east coast of Ireland due to the difficulty that has arisen out of what has been regarded as the historical neglect of the plant in recent reports by the UK National Audit Office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54230/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd In 2008 arising from contacts at Head of Government level, a confidential technical information exchange project relating to the Sellafield Site was established, with the cooperation of UK authorities. Through this process, an assessment of the potential risks to Ireland posed by the Sellafield Site and the nearby Low-Level Waste Repository was undertaken on Ireland's behalf by a Team of independent, international experts. The project included site visits by the Team to Sellafield where they were given the opportunity to examine various facilities, access extensive documentation not previously released, and interact with local staff and management. This enabled the Team to develop reliable, accurate risk models and calculations. The work on this project has now been completed and last week a public summary of the assessment was released, and is available on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.

  Based on the results of this Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), the key finding of the Team was that an incident at Sellafield or the nearby Low-Level Waste Repository (LLWR) causing the release of radioactive material would result in no observable health effects in Ireland. Possible scenarios, or combinations thereof, considered by the PRA Team in reaching this conclusion included natural phenomena including earthquakes, meteorite strikes and incidents such as airplane crashes, terrorist attacks, explosions, fires, and human error. The PRA also found that some severe incidents at Sellafield/LLWR have the potential to create significant socioeconomic impacts in Ireland, such as loss of tourism and markets for Irish seafood and farm products because of concerns that radioactive materials may be present, despite monitoring data confirming that all food for sale or export complies with limits set to protect consumer health. The Department will now study the Report and use it to feed into Government policies relating to Sellafield and nuclear policy in the UK. The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland monitors routine operational discharges from Sellafield, and also monitors developments abroad relating to nuclear installations and radiological safety generally, and keeps the Government informed of their potential implications for Ireland.

  I welcome the recent publication of the Report by the UK ’s National Audit Office (NAO) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – Managing risk reduction at Sellafield. Particularly given Ireland’s longstanding concerns in relation to Sellafield, I believe it is important that the Sellafield site and its operations are subject to regular, independent scrutiny, such as that undertaken in the preparation of the NAO Report. I also welcome the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority statement that it will continue to work to improve capability and performance at the site. Ireland must continue to be vigilant in relation to Sellafield as work to decommission the site over the lifetime of the “Sellafield Plan” continues. It is critical from an Irish perspective that the UK decommissioning of the site is undertaken safely and in accordance with best international practice. I look forward to the continued timely sharing of key information with the UK Authorities in the future on nuclear matters.

Election Management System

 74. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the discussions he has had regarding the possibility of extending the right to vote in elections here to the Irish diaspora. [50094/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd I understand that Minister Hogan has not been involved in any such discussions. The Constitutional Convention will be considering a number of issues, including giving citizens resident outside the State the right to vote in Presidential elections at Irish embassies or otherwise. Proposals for change to electoral law will be brought forward in light of the decisions for change which may arise from that process.

Leader Programmes Funding

 75. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the amount of money allocated for projects in the 2007- 2014 Leader Programmme; the percentage of this approved for projects to date; the amount spent, broken down by company; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54201/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd The LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013 currently has a minimum project allocation of €252 million based on the revised programme complement which came into force in January 2012, and further allowing for a maximum of 20% for administration costs . Of this allocation project funding of €171 million has been approved, which represents 67% of the current minimum project allocation (€252m). The table details the project expenditure to date broken down by Local Development Company (LDC) as requested.

LDC
Total project spend to 31st October 2012
Avondhu/ Blackwater Partnership Limited
€2,931,283.55
Ballyhoura Development Limited
€4,461,545.76
Carlow County Development Partnership Limited
€2,596,290.91
Cavan/Monaghan Area Partnership Ltd.
€2,466,540.32
Clare Local Development Company Limited
€4,254,631.90
Comhar na nOileáin Teoranta
€1,480,983.19
Donegal Local Development Company Limited
€3,109,674.29
Fingal LEADER Partnership
€667,080.92
FORUM Connemara
€1,523,228.14
Galway Rural Development Company Limited
€3,781,212.46
Inishowen Development Partnership
€2,850,544.34
I.R.D. Duhallow
€3,410,632.77
Cill Dara ar Aghaidh Teoranta
€1,707,400.13
Co Kilkenny LEADER Partnership Co Ltd
€3,378,474.57
Laois Community & Enterprise Development Co Ltd
€2,314,739.90
Leitrim Integrated Development Company
€2,498,424.72
Longford Community Resources Limited
€2,137,263.91
Louth LEADER Partnership
€2,057,339.87
Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Co Teo
€2,722,202.70
Meath Community Rural & Social Devel P/ship Ltd
€2,622,237.68
M.F.G. (Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta Teoranta)
€1,996,933.14
North & East Kerry LEADER Partnership Teoranta
€2,297,199.99
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership Company
€3,791,986.25
Offaly Integrated Local Development Company
€3,099,392.61
Roscommon Integrated Development Company
€2,977,791.34
Sligo LEADER Partnership Co
€3,984,928.73
South & East Cork Area Development Limited
€3,129,942.51
South Kerry Development Partnership Limited
€2,050,915.60
South Tipperary Local Development Company Limited
€3,167,322.24
South West Mayo Development Company Limited
€3,595,570.76
Waterford LEADER Partnership Limited
€3,348,972.06
West Cork Development Partnership Ltd
€3,501,607.99
West Limerick Resources Ltd
€2,127,994.87
Westmeath Community Development Ltd
€1,958,832.23
Wexford Local Development
€3,757,659.92
Co Wicklow Community Partnership
€2,255,248.09
Total
€100,014,030.35

Building Regulations Application

 76. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of timber framed apartment buildings over two storeys that have been completed here between the granting of an Irish Agreement Certificate in February 2004 for such structures and June 2009 when the Irish Standard IS 440 was introduced; and if he is satisfied that these structures comply with fire safety building regulations. [54255/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Part B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations sets out the legal requirements in relation to fire safety in the design and construction of new buildings, including apartments, and existing buildings which undergo an extension, material alteration or material change of use. The related Technical Guidance Document B (TGD-B) provides guidance on how compliance with the legal requirement of Part B can be achieved in practice.

In addition to the above, the Department in 2002 commissioned an independent study on the use of timber frame housing in Irish conditions which, following public consultation, was published in December 2003. The study included recommendations which have since been implemented in relation to the development of standards and on-site quality assurance procedures. A Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) is currently required before construction work commences on new non-domestic buildings and apartment blocks and extensions to or material alterations/changes of use of existing buildings. The FSC is issued by the Building Control Authority and certifies that the building, if constructed in accordance with the plans and documentation submitted, will comply with the requirements of Part B of the Building Regulations.

The Building Control Act 1990 places responsibility for compliance with the building Regulations firmly on the owners, builders and designers of building works. Implementation and enforcement of the building control system is a matter for the local building control authority. The Department has no function in assessing, checking or testing compliance, or otherwise, of specific works or developments.

While the Department produces annual housing statistics, it is not possible to isolate timber framed apartment buildings as referred to in the question. The Act of 1990 does however require each Building Control Authority to maintain a statutory register of building activity within its functional area. The statutory register must include details of commencement notices, describing the nature and scale of the building works involved, together with details of the Fire Safety Certificate, where relevant, and any other statutory building control processed concerning the building in question. These registers are available for public viewing.

Motor Tax Yield

 77. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the total amount of money paid nationally in motor taxation in 2011 and to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54175/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Total gross motor tax receipts for 2011 and for 2012 (to the end of October) are set out below.

YEAR
TOTAL GROSS MOTOR TAX RECEIPTS €
2011
1,010,419,164
2012 (to 31 October 2012)
900,493,004

Local Authority Funding

 78. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will consider a radical overhaul of local government funding with a view to giving each local authority more autonomy, and in accordance with the State's commitments in the European Charter of Local Self Government, particularly Articles eight and nine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54224/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Action Programme for Effective Local Government-Putting People First   reinforces local government as the primary means of public service at local level. The programme sets out a comprehensive range of measures to address the challenges of the local government system. The sustainable funding of local government is one such challenge and the programme provides for a strengthening of local government funding, accountability and governance.

Local Authority Housing Mortgages

 79. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will review the criteria covering the issuing of local authority mortgages and shared ownership schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53805/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan Two types of house purchase loan are available from local authorities: standard annuity loans targeted at lower income first time buyers and those under the Home Choice Loan scheme which are available to qualifying middle income first time buyers affected by the “credit crunch”. The terms and conditions governing the operation, including eligibility terms, of annuity mortgages and the Home Choice Loan are set out under the Housing (Local Authority Loans) Regulations 2009-2012 and the Housing (Home Choice Loan) Regulations 2009 respectively. These are available on my Department’s website: www.environ.ie.

  While there is no reference in the Regulations to a lower income limit threshold for mortgage applicants, the associated credit policy provides a procedure for calculating the maximum amount of mortgage repayments permissible as a percentage of the household income. Local authorities are advised to examine each application on its own merits in determining whether an applicant is eligible for a house purchase loan. It is the case that the rate of refusal of applications has increased since the credit policy was introduced. However, it is also clear that the loans issued under that credit policy are more likely to be fully performing. I consider that the current arrangements for mortgage lending are fair and adequately meet the needs of prospective home owners in a prudent manner.

  In relation to the Shared Ownership Scheme, the terms provide that rent charged on the local authority’s equity in a shared ownership transaction is to cover the funding costs to the Housing Finance Agency which are based on borrowings at the prevailing interest rates. Any difference between the rent and prevailing interest rate is reflected in the capital outstanding on the property, i.e. if the rent charged in any period is greater than the prevailing mortgage interest due on the local authority’s share the purchase price of the outstanding equity will be reduced accordingly. To take account of the current housing market conditions, the Government's housing policy statement, published in June 2011, announced the standing down of all affordable housing schemes, including the shared ownership scheme, in the context of a full review of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000. That review is now underway and it is expected to conclude early next year. Any future changes to legislation governing affordable housing schemes, including shared ownership, will be informed by that review.

Local Authority Funding

 80. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the total amount of money reduced from local government fund payments per local authority area due to their payment rates of the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54185/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The two principal sources of revenue for the Local Government Fund are the proceeds of motor tax and the income from the Household Charge. The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides that income from the charge is to be paid into the Local Government Fund. The proceeds from the household charge are being re-distributed on an equalised basis to local authorities within the context of the annual allocations of general purpose grants. General purpose grants contribute towards meeting the reasonable cost to local authorities of providing services to their customers. Some €651m in general purpose grants had been allocated to local authorities for 2012. It has been necessary to reduce general purpose grant funding to local authorities in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 in light of the level of compliance with the household charge.

  It is estimated that there are some 1.6 million residential properties potentially liable for the household charge. As such, if collected in full, the household charge has the potential to raise €160 million annually. As of 29 November 2012 some €111.2m had been collected nationally. A reduction of some €15.7m was applied to the third quarter general purpose grant payment. In the final quarter of the year those authorities achieving a collection rate of 65% or above have not had a further reduction in their general purpose grant payment. Local authorities achieving a collection rate of 60-65% have incurred a further reduction of 0.5%, while those authorities achieving a compliance rate below 60% have incurred a further 1% reduction in their annual allocation. For those authorities with a collection rate below 65%, and thereby incurring a further reduction in quarter 4, the final amount of general purpose grants available for 2012 will be revisited and reviewed at end year to take account of the financial position at that stage, including progress on securing an increased household charge yield. The table sets out the information requested.

Local Authority
Q3 deduction
Q4 deduction
Carlow County Council
246,235
 
Cavan County Council
419,804
 
Clare County Council
243,631
 
Cork County Council
979,559
167,478
Donegal County Council
1,016,872
309,458
Fingal County Council
545,285
 
D.Laoire/Rathdown Co Co
343,583
 
Galway County Council
779,835
 
Kerry County Council
417,043
 
Kildare County Council
564,622
 
Kilkenny County Council
412,407
 
Laois County Council
409,600
65,949
Leitrim County Council
291,318
 
Limerick County Council
453,821
 
Longford County Council
330,750
 
Louth County Council
278,293
45,652
Mayo County Council
641,589
 
Meath County Council
644,835
108,425
Monaghan County Council
340,589
 
Tipp NR County Council
376,593
 
Offaly County Council
386,784
121,648
Roscommon County Council
436,249
 
Sligo County Council
325,113
 
Sth Dublin County Council
475,210
84,820
Tipp SR County Council
462,782
 
Waterford County Council
507,283
 
Westmeath County Council
414,356
 
Wexford County Council
481,697
 
Wicklow County Council
369,163
 
Cork City Council
446,103
 
Dublin City Council
1,172,960
 
Galway City Council
123,887
 
Limerick City Council
203,098
 
Waterford City Council
154,343
 
Total
15,695,293
903,431

Voluntary Sector Funding

 81. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans for the future of funding for the community and voluntary sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49896/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan My Department provides funding to the community and voluntary sector through its many community, housing and environment programmes and initiatives. My Department is responsible for a range of programmes to support communities including the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP), the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP), the Seniors Alert Scheme, RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) Programme, the Scheme to Support National Organisations in the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Forum on Philanthropy and Fundraising and Dormant Accounts disbursements.

My Department also provides funding to various community and voluntary sector organisations for the purpose of promoting environmental awareness and participation in environmental activities. This includes funding:

- through the LA21 Environmental Partnership Fund to assist small scale, local, non-profit environmental projects aimed at increasing environmental awareness and developing sustainable communities;

- to Environmental NGOs, directly and via the Irish Environmental Network, to assist their participation in environmental activities, and

- to An Taisce to run the Greens School Programme.

Under my Department’s Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS), funding of up to 100% of the approved cost is provided to approved voluntary housing bodies for the provision of accommodation for older people, people with an intellectual, physical or mental health disability, the homeless, returning emigrants and victims of domestic violence. The administration of the scheme, including the detailed appraisal of new projects and the certification that proposals comply with the terms and conditions of the scheme, is the responsibility of the relevant housing authority. Funding is also allocated to housing authorities on an annual basis under the Social Housing Investment Programme and includes a provision to meet existing commitments for projects that are underway under CAS.

Future funding for my Department’s programmes and initiatives will be considered in the overall context of the annual Estimates process.  All decisions in this regard will seek to maximise protection and prioritisation of front line services and support to customers and beneficiaries. Supporting a continued positive impact across the community and voluntary sector will be a key part of my Department’s work in the coming years.

Water Quality

 82. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the decisions taken by the previous Government in relation to private waste water systems on foot of the judgement in the European Court of Justice in October 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54197/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Following the European Court of Justice judgment against Ireland in October 2009, my Department commenced the preparation of legislation to ensure compliance with the Court’s ruling; this included extensive stakeholder consultations between October and November 2010. On taking office in March, 2011, I prioritised the finalisation of the legislation and this culminated with the publication of the Water Services (Amendment) Bill 2011 on 3 November 2011 and its enactment at the start of 2012.

Water Meters Installation

 83. Deputy Seamus Kirk Information on Seamus Kirk Zoom on Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan when the contracts for the roll out of water metering will be issued; the number of contracts involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54191/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Government has decided that Irish Water, a new State-owned water company to be established as an independent subsidiary within the Bord Gáis Éireann Group, will be responsible for the domestic water metering programme. The Government has recently approved the preparation of legislation to assign the necessary powers to allow Irish Water to undertake the metering programme. A number of procurement notices were published on the Government e-tenders website last month for elements of the metering programme. Bord Gáis Éireann has published details of the procurement process for the meters and associated equipment and for regional contractors for the metering programme. My Department published details of the qualification system for the sub-contractors for the installation of the water meters on 23 November 2012. No contracts have been awarded at this stage.


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