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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 170-176
 Header Item Domestic Violence Policy
 Header Item Road Improvement Schemes
 Header Item Rural Development Policy
 Header Item Diplomatic Representation Issues
 Header Item Waste Water Treatment Inspections

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 809 No. 3

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Written Answers Nos. 170-176

Domestic Violence Policy

 170. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide a breakdown of the funding provided by his Department to agencies dealing with the issue of domestic violence in County Louth in 2010, 2011 and 2012; the amount that has been allocated for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32444/13]

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 Responsibility for the development and provision of services to support victims of domestic abuse rests with the Minister for Health and is delivered through the Health Service Executive. In addition Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, which was established in June 2007 as an executive office of the Department of Justice and Equality, works to ensure the delivery of a coordinated response across Government to issues of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. My Department’s responsibility is in respect of homelessness which in some cases involves the provision of current funding, under Section 10 of the Housing Act 1988, towards the operational costs of refuges for the victims of domestic abuse. Details of the funding provided by my Department, under Section 10, for the years 2008 – 2012 in County Louth are set out in the following table.   Section 10 funding is provided from my Department at the rate of 90% of costs incurred, with the housing authorities providing 10% of costs from their own resources.   

-

 
2010

2011

2012

Drogheda Borough Women’s Aid Refuge31,26729,70072,900
Dundalk Town Women’s Aid Refuge82,78296,30096,300
TOTAL114,049126,000169,200


A Protocol for the Delegation of Section 10 Homeless funding has been agreed between my Department and Louth County Council, as lead authority for the North East region. This arrangement provides for the delegation of €879,963 for homeless accommodation and related services to the North East region involving Louth, Cavan and Monaghan County Councils for 2013.

  In addition, details of the funding provided by my Department to organisations tackling the issue of domestic violence, under the Scheme to Support National Organisations, for the years 2010 - 2013 are set out in the following table. Details are not available on the expenditure by these organisations in County Louth.
-2010

2011

2012

2013

MOVE Ireland45,79232,82850,00047,100
Rape Crisis Network Ireland91,58481,17590,00084,780
Safe Ireland91,58481,17590,00084,780
My Department also provides funding to organisations under the Local and Community Development Programme with the objective of tackling poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government, its agencies, and people in disadvantaged communities. It is a key tool of Government in providing supports for the ‘harder to reach’ in the most disadvantaged areas and communities. A number of groups funded under this programme specifically target actions in respect of domestic violence initiatives. Many other projects funded under this programme, while not having a specific domestic violence focus, provide information on this issue. Details of the funding provided by the Louth Leader Partnership in respect of the issue of domestic violence in the County Louth area for the years 2010 - 2013 are set out in the following table.   

-2010

2011

2012

2013



(committed)
Glow Project – IT Programme for victims of domestic violence8,000   
Interagency network on domestic violence 4,000  
Predevelopment training for victims of domestic violence   500

Road Improvement Schemes

 171. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will clarify the basis on which Kildare County Council carried out improvements, upgrading and maintenance on a regular basis on the road serving the properties of persons (details supplied) in County Kildare while now maintaining that the road in question is not taken in charge and citing a requirement under the 2009 Act to the effect that the residents involved are required to obtain a court order to continue to enjoy the rights and entitlements they have enjoyed since the 1970s; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32463/13]

 172. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will clarify the position regarding the road (details supplied) in County Kildare with particular reference to when responsibility for maintenance was undertaken by Kildare County Council in view of the fact that the local authority has provided such services there since the 1970s and the requirements now being pursued under the 2009 Act affecting rights of way, easements and/or profit à prendre; if it is recognised and accepted that rights and entitlements have been established more than 20 years ago by an original land holder part of whose property has since been disposed of to the aforementioned including rights and entitlements envisaged under the 2009 Act but prior to the passage of the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32465/13]

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 I propose to take Questions Nos. 171 and 172 together.

  The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 is primarily the responsibility of the Minister for Justice and Equality and I have no direct function in this regard.   Furthermore, I have no function in relation to a planning authority as a roads authority as this is primarily a matter for the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Rural Development Policy

 173. Deputy Michael McNamara Information on Michael McNamara Zoom on Michael McNamara asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will apply to the appropriate national and European bodies to amend the rural development programme so that the Cnoc na Gaoithe project in Tulla, County Clare and other projects which similarly aim to promote culture and heritage conservation are no longer subjected to the de minimis rule when this is not required by Article 107 3 (d) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32478/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan There are 35 Local Action Groups contracted, on my Department’s behalf, to deliver the Leader elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP) throughout the country and these groups are the principal decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding. The project referred to received RDP funding, through Clare Local Development Company, of almost €150,000 under the Conservation and Upgrading of the Rural Heritage measure of the RDP during 2012 and the promoter now wishes to avail of further funding under the Programme but is prohibited due to State Aid/ “de minimis” rules.

I recently met briefly with the project promoters and outlined to them that in accordance with the State Aid rules/‘de minimis’ (Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1998/2006) the overall limit of ‘de minimis’ aid cannot exceed €200,000 over any three year period under the Conservation and Upgrading of the Rural Heritage measure of the RDP. The three year period is from the date of award of funding, and the ‘de minimis’ limit in this case will apply until the end of 2014. The rule applies to both the project and the promoter.

It is possible to seek a derogation in relation to the Conservation and Upgrading of the Rural Heritage measure. However, the Programme amendment process, as stipulated in the regulatory framework, is quite complex and can take some time to complete with no guarantee that the amendment submitted would be approved by the European Commission. As funding commitments under the current Programme are closing at the end of the 2013 there would not be enough time remaining to facilitate the programme change process for the current programming period. My Department will consider this issue when developing the framework for the Rural Development Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period.

Diplomatic Representation Issues

 174. Deputy Andrew Doyle Information on Andrew Doyle Zoom on Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the parameters of the Minister of State's recent address to the International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, Austria on 30 June and 1 July; if he will detail the bilateral engagements and other meetings he had at the conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32482/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan My colleague, the Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd, attended the opening day of the International Conference on Nuclear Security organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on 1 July 2013. The Conference, which will continue until 5 July, is the first time that all Member States of the IAEA have had the opportunity to attend, at ministerial level, a Conference on Nuclear Security and it is therefore a welcome step forward in multilateral engagement.

The Minister of State, Deputy O’Dowd made a statement to the Conference during the afternoon session of the opening day. In his statement, he confirmed Ireland’s policy position not to use nuclear energy for the generation of electricity but highlighted the high value Ireland puts on the peaceful use of nuclear technology. He noted that Ireland was conscious of the risks which may be associated with nuclear power and technologies, in particular the risk of malicious acts and of nuclear terrorism.

Minister of State O’Dowd stressed Ireland’s commitment to effective multilateralism as the best way of achieving and upholding the rule of law, ensuring international peace and security, and advancing international cooperation. The Minister of State noted that Ireland has been associated , from the outset, with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the multilateral basis for achieving complete nuclear disarmament, preventing nuclear proliferation, and facilitating the peaceful uses of nuclear energy subject to strict international controls and standards.

He also referred to Ireland’s positive contribution to the dialogue aimed at improving Government to Government communications on nuclear shipments, which has been underway at the IAEA since late 2012.

Finally, he concluded that it is appropriate for the international community to use the opportunity of the Conference to take stock in assessing lessons learned in the area of nuclear security; to identify those areas for further action; and to act collectively for the common good. The on-going contribution which the IAEA is making in this area is to be welcomed and Ireland offers its full support in drafting and implementing the Nuclear Security Plan for 2014 – 2017.

In terms of his international engagements during his time in Vienna, Minister of State O’Dowd and my Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs had a pre-arranged meeting with the IAEA Director General Mr Yukiya Amano on 1 July. The Minister of State also met informally with representatives from Italy and Portugal. A meeting also took place with the delegation from Lithuania, which assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU from 1 July.

Waste Water Treatment Inspections

 175. Deputy Andrew Doyle Information on Andrew Doyle Zoom on Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan further to Parliamentary Question No. 191 of 27 June 2013, and the recently signed Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013, when he expects grants to be made available for the upgrading of households whose septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems are deemed to require remediation following an inspection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32492/13]

 176. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the position regarding the new septic tank grant €4,000 if a person sells a house; will the new purchaser be entitled to claim the grant for upgrading the septic tank; if there is a time limit on the application and or work . [32538/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 175 and 176 together.

The Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013 , which I recently signed, provide for a scheme of grant assistance for the remediation of domestic wastewater treatment systems. Grant assistance will only be available to an owner whose treatment system was registered before the prescribed date of 1 February 2013 and is deemed, following an inspection under the EPA’s National Inspection Plan, to require remediation or upgrading. The owner must also meet the eligibility criteria specified in the Regulations .

Purchasers of houses may subsequently apply for grant aid once they meet all eligibility criteria, including the requirement that the treatment system serving the property was originally registered before the prescribed date of 1 February 2013. The only exceptions to this are houses that have a treatment system constructed or installed after 1 February 2013; in such cases the owners should register their systems within 90 days of the connection of the premises to the treatment system. The timeframe for completing remediation work will be specified in the advisory notice issued by the water services authority and will depend on the nature of the problem revealed by the inspection and the extent of the risk to human health or the environment. There is no time limit set for submission of grant applications.


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