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Written Answers. - RAPID Programme.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 133. Mr. Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin  asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  the steps which have been taken to implement the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government, that each relevant Government Department will allocate specific staff whose principal duty will be to ensure that the Department is effectively engaged with the RAPID communities along the lines of the final report of the integrated services process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24456/02]

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív The Deputy will be aware that the RAPID programme is a focused initiative by Government to target the most concentrated areas of disadvantage in the country. Priority attention is given to tackling the spatial concentration of poverty and social exclusion within the designated areas through front-loading State resources, available under the national development plan.

The programme also calls on Government Departments and State agencies to bring about better co-ordination and closer integration in the delivery of services. There are three strands of the RAPID programme: strand one targets 25 urban areas and strand two targets 20 provincial towns around the country. Rural RAPID operates under the name CLÁR in 16 rural areas.

The allocation of specific staff to deal with the RAPID programme is a matter for individual Departments. However, the Deputy should note that a series of meetings at official level, between my Department and relevant Government Departments to discuss the implementation of the RAPID programme took place last July. From discussions at these meetings, I am satisfied that Departments have put in place sufficient staff resources to deal with the RAPID programme as outlined in the programme for Government.

Question No. 134 answered with Question No. 120.

 135. Mr. Boyle Information on Dan Boyle Zoom on Dan Boyle  asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  the moneys which have been expended, in which areas and in which projects to date, under the RAPID and CLÁR programmes. [24347/02]

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív It is the role of my Department, supported by Area Development [1009] Management Limited, to co-ordinate the implementation of the RAPID programme.

The Deputy will be aware that an area implementation team was established in each RAPID area and a plan for the area was prepared. My Department provided €840,820 to support the work of these teams in 2002.

Projects included in RAPID plans are to be funded through front-loading of existing NDP resources. The Deputy will appreciate therefore, that it is a matter for individual Departments to report on allocations made to RAPID projects from within their financial resources.

Proposals from strand I RAPID plans submitted to my Department fall to be considered under the young peoples facilities and services fund – YPFSF – the community development programme – CDP – and funding for the drugs initiative.

In the case of proposals relevant to the YPFSF, the position is that the national assessment committee of the fund, which is chaired by my Department, is currently examining capital proposals submitted by the development groups under round II of the fund. With regard to services projects, the committee is awaiting the completion of the external evaluation of the fund, which is due shortly, before seeking such proposals under round two.

Proposals submitted under the RAPID plans will be considered in the context of decisions to be made under round two and in the light of the overall financial position for 2003. A number of proposals from RAPID plans are relevant to the drugs initiative, are being pursued through the local drugs task force plans. Eight priority areas for development of a community development project have been identified in the RAPID plans i.e., Loughlinstown, Shanganagh, Crumlin, Bluebell, Dolphin House, Inchicore, CDP for the arts and Waterford city.

While there has been no allocation of funding in respect of community development projects in the aforementioned areas to date, the Deputy should note that pre-development work is under way in Loughlinstown, Shanganagh, Crumlin, Bluebell, Dolphin House and Inchicore. The full establishment of these groups as community development projects in 2003 is subject to available resources and competing commitments within the programme.

In the case of the CDP for the arts and Waterford city, I understand that the applications for inclusion in programme have yet to be assessed. Proposals under strand two of the RAPID programme were recently received in my Department and are currently being examined with a view to progressing them as soon as possible.

There are 18 measures in the CLÁR programme ranging from local road improvements to village enhancement and sports capital grants. It is not practical here to provide the information sought by the Deputy under each of the measures. However, I am arranging to have all of the information, as is available to me to date, sent [1010] to the Deputy immediately. In general, the measures are implemented by local authorities or other official agencies and not by my Department. Accordingly, in the case of some measures, such as village enhancement and bilingual signage, the beneficiaries only become known to my Department when the claims for payment of the CLÁR contribution are submitted by the appropriate agency.


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