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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 660-678
 Header Item Building Regulations Compliance
 Header Item Building Regulations Compliance
 Header Item Community Development Initiatives
 Header Item Climate Change Policy
 Header Item Irish Water Establishment
 Header Item Motor Tax Collection
 Header Item Flood Relief Schemes Funding
 Header Item European Parliament Elections
 Header Item Planning Issues
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing Provision
 Header Item Pyrite Issues
 Header Item Pyrite Issues
 Header Item Water and Sewerage Schemes Funding
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Leader Programmes Funding

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 660-678

Building Regulations Compliance

 660. 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 if he has raised concerns regarding the issuing of an evacuation notice and subsequent rescinding of that notice in respect of a building (details supplied) by Dublin City Council; if he will provide the details of the fire safety certificate of the building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13060/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the individual local Building Control Authorities. Neither I nor my Department has any role in relation to such enforcement matters and cannot interfere in individual cases.

My Department does of course liaise with local authorities in relation to significant building control issues that have arisen in various multi-unit developments across the country, including the Aras na Cluaine Complex, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 which has already been the subject of court proceedings brought by South Dublin County Council. I have urged, and will continue to urge, local authorities to continue to use all of the powers currently available to them to address serious building defects.

Building Regulations Compliance

 661. 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 his plans to establish a process to deal with unviable buildings similar to Priory Hall that must be evacuated due to health and safety issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13061/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Building Control Acts 1990 to 2007 set out a clear statutory framework for construction activity based on: clear legal standards as set out in the Building Regulations; detailed Technical Guidance Documents to outline how these standards can be achieved in practice; the burden and responsibility for compliance resting first and foremost with developers/builders; a statutory responsibility for professionals who are engaged by developers to ensure that construction at least meets the legal minimum standards; and the responsibility for enforcing compliance with the building regulations resting with the 37 local building control authorities.

  Remediation of defects is a matter between the parties concerned, the owner and the builder/developer and their insurers. If satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved through dialogue and negotiation , the option of seeking civil legal remedy may be considered. Given that a clear statutory framework is in place, I have no proposals for the introduction of a remediation process along the lines suggested.

My Department continues to liaise with local authorities in relation to significant building control issues that have arisen in a number of multi-unit developments across the country . In this regard, local authorities have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Fire Safety Act 1981, the Building Control Act 1990 and the Planning and Development Acts, all of which may be relevant in relation to fire safety arrangements in residential buildings, and local authorities have successfully used such powers to deal with a number of instances of non-compliance.

I have also amended the Building Control Regulations to require, in respect of building projects commencing on and from 1 March 2014, lodgement of design documentation, inspections during construction overseen by registered construction professionals, and certificates of compliance signed by designers, builders and assigned certifiers. The new regulations are designed to ensure that competence and professionalism become part and parcel of building projects generally and will lead to a new era of quality in our construction industry and ensure that the legacy of defective buildings seen in recent years will not recur.   

Community Development Initiatives

 662. 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 a grant approved by Pobal (details supplied) can now be paid retrospectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13070/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan In May 2007 this company submitted an application for funding for the installation of 3 phase electricity under the CLÁR Programme. The application was refused on 8 June 2007 as it did not meet the eligibility criteria of the Programme. The CLÁR Programme is no longer accepting funding applications.

Climate Change Policy

 663. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will consider the points made in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13118/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan In response to the scientific advice from the Inter - Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the European Council has concluded that greenhouse gas emission s from developed countries as a whole must be reduced by 8 0-95% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. EU commitment to an effective, long-term globa l response to climate change is evident in the Climate and Energy Package adopte d in December 2008 , the Communication s from the Commission on A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050 , and A policy framework for climate a nd energy in the   period from 202 0 to 2030.    Ireland has consistentl y supported EU pro-activity and leadership on climate policy, both in relation to framing the internal agenda and to the positive influence which the EU seeks to bring to the w ider international agenda under the UNFCCC.

  The programme for the development of national climate policy and legislation which I issued in January 2012 is the process under which national greenhouse gas mitigation policy and climate change adaptation policy are being progressed. In addition to the comprehensive open consultation undertaken by my Department in 2012, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht facilitated a round of stakeholder engagement on climate policy analysis undertaken by the Secretariat to the National Social and Economic Council and the outline Heads of the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill , both of   which I released in February 2013.   I am now considering the Joint Committee’s report, as well as a range of other issues, in the context of finalising the draft Heads of the Bill. Subject to the approval of Government, my intention is to publish the final Heads before Easter 2014.   

  In anticipation of the planned primary legislation, a National Low-Carbon Roadmap to 2050 is now being developed. At present, Departments with responsibility for the key sectors in the national transition agenda are currently preparing the sectoral elements for incorporation into the national roadmap. The key sectors are electricity generation, the built environment, transport and agriculture. I intend to release the first draft of the 2050 National Low-Carbon Roadmap, together with a draft Strategic Environment Assessment, for a substantial period of open consultation later this year.   

  In parallel to the mitigation agenda, the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework, which I issued in December 2012, provides for the development and implementation of sectoral and local adaptation action plans     which will form part of a comprehensive national response to the impacts of climate change. Under the framework, sectoral plans will be developed by the relevant Government Department or Agency and adopted by the relevant nister. Draft sectoral plans are due to be published by mid-2014, and details of the lead Departments and Agencies are set out in section 4 of the Framework. Local adaptation action planning will be undertaken by local authorities through the spatial planning process, with full engagement of key stakeholders, which provides an established means through which to implement and integrate climate change objectives, including adaptation, at local level.

Irish Water Establishment

 664. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the date on which local authorities were notified that contracts regarding the delivery of water services infrastructure, which were not signed before 31 December 2013, could not proceed and would become the responsibility of Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13149/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Legislation was enacted in December 2013 (The Water Services (No.2) Act 2013) which established Irish Water as the national water services authority from 1 January 2014. The Act provides for the transfer of water services functions from the 34 local authorities to Irish Water.

Section 14 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that the nister may, from time to time, designate the transfer of rights and liabilities from a water services authority to Irish Water. This would include contracts entered into by local authorities for the provision of water services. An Order providing for the transfer of 642 Design-Build-Operate (DBO) and capital project contracts to Irish Water was signed by me on 20 February 2014. It was only possible to proceed with the transfer of contracts when the appropriate legislation was enacted.

Steering Group meetings between my Department and each local authority were held on a quarterly basis during the lifetime of the Water Services Investment Programme. Over the past two years, since the announcement of the transfer of water services to Irish Water, local authorities were advised that the Department would cease to have responsibility for the delivery of water services from 1 January 2014; this responsibility would then transfer to Irish Water.

Correspondence to this effect issued from Irish Water to the local authorities in December 2013 outlining the capital delivery process which would be applied by Irish Water when it took water services in hand. Local authorities were not informed that contracts regarding the delivery of water services infrastructure not signed before 31 December 2013 could not proceed, rather that such projects would be reviewed by Irish Water in line with its’ strategic objectives.

Irish Water is currently preparing a Capital Investment Plan for 2014 – 2016 that will provide for the transition of projects included in the 2010 – 2013 Water Services Investment Programme. The further progression of all water services capital projects, including the associated funding is a matter for Irish Water.

Motor Tax Collection

 665. Deputy Jerry Buttimer Information on Jerry Buttimer Zoom on Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will consider reducing the cost differential which arises when paying motor tax quarterly as compared to the cost of paying by a single annual payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13113/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Motor tax is payable on an annual, half-yearly or quarterly basis. The rates of duty applicable for half yearly and quarterly options are 55.5% and 28.25% of the annual charge respectively. This additional cost element takes account of the extra workload for staffing in motor tax offices and the National Vehicle and Driver File, and the resultant administrative costs and printing costs that arise, including the issuing of renewal notices.

The estimated annual income from the increased charges for half-yearly and quarterly vehicle licences is in the region of €50m. A loss in income from this source would have a negative impact on the Local Government Fund and consequently on grant allocations to local authorities from the Fund, and would have to be borne elsewhere in the motor tax system, or through the taxation system generally. I have no plans to adjust the basis for paying motor tax on a half-yearly or quarterly basis.

  Question No. 666 answered with Question No. 647.

  Question No. 667 answered with Question No. 647.

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

 668. 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 consideration that has been given to particular areas in County Wicklow that were subject to recent storm damage; if he will provide in tabular form the allocation his Department have provided the county to the local authority or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13183/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Following consideration of a report from me on the severe weather that affected Ireland in the period from mid-December 2013 to 6 January 2014, the Government decided on 11 February that a sum of up to €70 million will be made available for a programme of repair and remediation works. €62 million of this will be for local authorities in the areas worst affected by severe weather to help affected communities by restoring roads, coastal protection and other amenities, facilities and infrastructure, including piers and harbours. The Government decision was based on estimates provided by local authorities.

The Report on the Severe Weather from 13 December 2013 to 6 January 2014 contains details of estimates of the cost of damage caused on a county by county basis and has been published on my Department’s website ( www.environ.ie  ).

Wicklow County Council did not report any infrastructure damage resulting from the severe weather from 13 December 2013 to 6 January 2014. However, it did estimate that it incurred costs of €26,329 associated with the response to the storms. This includes the costs of response, clean-up works and necessary immediate works which were undertaken in the aftermath of the storms. Wicklow County Council was notified on 7 March that a once-off allocation in this amount is being made to the Council to recoup these costs. This allocation will be drawn down from my Department on provision of appropriate documentation.   

  Further considerable damage has been caused by flooding and storm events that have occurred since 27 January, particularly the severe storm which impacted on 12 February. Details on damage caused and estimated repair costs in relation to these more recent events are being collated by my Department based on estimates provided by local authorities, including Wicklow County Council. These costs are currently being assessed.

European Parliament Elections

 669. 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 procedures in place by his Department where notification is received from another EU member state that an Irish citizen has registered his or her European Parliament vote in that member state; if an Irish citizen who switches his or her European Parliament vote to another EU member state and avails of early voting in that member state, if he or she will retain his or her right to vote in local elections in Ireland should he or she be in Ireland on the day of polling; the number of notifications his Department have received from other EU member states regarding Irish citizens registering to vote in the European Parliament elections in another EU member state since 2004 on a year-by-year basis; if he will break down the figures in tabular form on how many notifications his Department has received from each individual member state in each year since 2004; the number of counties that have been notified by his Department that an Irish citizen has switched his or her vote for the European Parliament in another member state, and to break this data down on a local authority basis and yearly basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13185/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The European Parliament Elections Act 1997 gives effect to the detailed arrangements in place in Ireland for implementing the requirements of Council Directive 93/109/EC of 6 December 1993. That Directive provides that EU citizens, who are not nationals of the Member State in which they reside but who meet the same conditions in respect of the right to vote as that State imposes on its own nationals, have the right to vote in that Member State at European Parliament elections.   

  Within this framework, the Directive provides for a system of declarations by non-national EU citizens, including a declaration of intent to exercise the right to vote in their Member State of residence only. The Directive also provides for information exchange between Member States to help ensure that no person votes more than once at European Parliament elections.   

  Subject to the requirements of electoral law, an Irish citizen resident in another Member State can vote at the European Parliament election in their Member State of residence and also vote at the local elections in Ireland, either in person or through the post if they are on the postal voters list.    

  In relation to the transmission of data between Member States, data is transmitted in the year the European Parliament election is held – it is not transmitted annually. The number of notifications received by my Department from other Member States in 2009 was 4,795, as detailed in the following table.   

Member State Number Notified to registration authorities
Austria 89 0
Belgium 0 0
Bulgaria 0 0
Czech Republic 2 2
Cyprus 15 0
Denmark 392 0
Estonia 4 0
Finland 85 19
France 1,465 0
Germany 958 31
Greece 84 7
Hungary 0 0
Italy 337 56
Latvia 1 0
Lithuania 1 0
Luxembourg 99 0
Malta 25 6
Netherlands 729 0
Poland 1 0
Portugal 66 0
Romania 1 0
Slovenia 0 0
Slovakia 0 0
Spain 0 0
Sweden 441 87
Total 4,795 208


  As the information provided in the majority of the 4,795 notifications received from Member States in 2009 was insufficient to identify citizens and/or relevant registration authorities, it was only possible to transmit the information supplied to the re levant registration auth orities in 208 cases, as detailed in the following table.   
Local Authority Number transmitted to local authoritie s
City Councils  
Cork 1
Dublin 4
Galway 2
Limerick 2
Waterford 0
County Councils  
Carlow 3
Cavan 4
Clare 11
Cork 9
Donegal 9
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 27
Fingal 3
Galway 3
Kerry 11
Kildare 15
Kilkenny 6
Laois 4
Leitrim 1
Limerick 1
Longford 1
Louth 9
Mayo 7
Meath 9
Monaghan 2
North Tipperary 6
Offaly 6
Roscommon 3
Sligo 7
South Dublin 4
South Tipperary 4
Waterford 4
Westmeath 6
Wexford 9
Wicklow 15
Total 208


  When this information was sent to registration authorities they were asked, if they were able to identify satisfactorily the persons concerned, to place an appropriate mark beside their names on the register of electors to be used in the polling station. In the unlikely event that these persons presented themselves at the polling station on polling day, the register would indicate that they were not entitled to receive a ballot paper for the European Parliament election and would not be permitted to vote.   

  The number of notifications received by my Department from other Member States in 2004 was 5,697. As the information received on that occasion was generally insufficient to identify citizens and/or relevant registration authorities, it was not transmitted to registration authorities.   

Planning Issues

 670. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if live planning applications can be deferred or suspended when judicial reviews regarding such planning matters are underway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13269/14]

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 There is no provision for deferring or suspending live planning applications when judicial reviews are underway. While planning law is kept under review in my Department, I have currently no plans to introduce such a provision.

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

 671. 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 in view of the need for additional social and affordable housing in Wicklow, if he will provide a breakdown of the number of ghost estates in County Wicklow together with the number of individual units; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13275/14]

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 information that my Department holds in relation to unfinished estates is from the National Housing Development Survey 2013 which is available at www.housing.ie.There were, at the time of the survey, 32 developments remaining within Wicklow which are categorised as ‘unfinished housing developments’ (UHDs), comprising of 36 vacant housing units and 17 vacant apartment units.   

  Budget 2014 contained a special provision, in the form of a targeted €10m Special Resolution Fund (SRF), to assist further in addressing the legacy of unfinished housing developments. The SRF has been proposed to encourage the resolution of the remaining tranche of unfinished developments identified in the 2013 survey and, particularly, those developments not likely to be resolved in the normal way through solely developer/owner/funder action because of the presence of specific financial barriers. It is envisaged that the SRF should be particularly targeted to address the remaining unfinished developments with residents living in them and, in particular, any developments that local authorities identified, for the purposes of the Local Property Tax waiver, as in a seriously problematic condition.

My Department is currently evaluating SRF proposals from local authorities. I hope that the SRF will enable very substantial progress to be made in resolving as many of the remaining unfinished developments as possible.   

  As regards other housing related supports made available, or potentially available, to County Wicklow, under my Department’s Social Housing Investment Programme (SHIP), funding is provided to local authorities for a range of measures to improve the quality and standard of the social housing stock, including the regeneration of disadvantaged estates and flat complexes, estate-wide remedial works, the energy retrofitting of older properties and the provision of adaptations and extensions to meet the specific needs of tenants, along with the provision of social housing.  This year my Department has allocated funding of just under €3 million to Wicklow County Council in respect of their 2014 social housing programme. In addition, earlier this month, as part of a two year local authority home building initiative, I announced the provision of 10 social units in the Wicklow County Council area at an estimated cost of €780,000.

  My Department has also recently written to local authorities asking them to issue a “Call for Proposals” to Approved Housing Bodies for a new Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) for the period from 2014-2016. Some €41 million is being provided nationally for projects assisted under CAS in 2014. Separately, my Department has also been in contact with local authorities advising that funding of up to €30,000 per dwelling will be provided for a suite of retrofitting works to bring vacant properties back to a high standard.  In these two programmes, funding will be allocated on the basis of equitable and evidence based criteria which reflect the merit and cost effectiveness of proposals and the degree of local housing need. Local authorities are required to submit proposals to my Department by the end of March and I intend to announce details of the funding allocations as soon as possible afterwards.

Pyrite Issues

 672. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan further to Parliamentary Question No. 342 of 11 March 2014, in relation to the quarries which where identified as possible sources of hardcore, if he will make this information available to the public in view of the fact that a new housing estate has been identified in South Dublin County Council, an area excluded from protection by the Pyrite Resolution Board. [13278/14]

 673. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will amend the pyrite resolution scheme and legislation regarding mediation scheme and legislation in view of the fact that evidence has emerged of pyritic heave being present in an estate in south Dublin, an area which is presently outside the protection of the scheme. [13279/14]

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. 672 and 673 together.

  As stated in my reply to Question No . 342 of 11 March 2014, it would not be appropriate to publicly name quarries alleged to be suppliers of hardcore material used in dwellings which may   display signs of pyritic damage in the absence of evidence establishing traceability of the hardcore material.   

  While the Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 does not specify the geographical areas to which the pyrite remediation scheme applies , it does allow for the eligibility criteria for inclusion in the scheme to stipulate specific geographical areas. The scheme as currently devised was made on the basis of the information available to the Board at that time. The Act provides that the scheme may be amended, replaced or revoked as may be required.   

  Any proposal to amend the scheme is ultimately a matter for the Pyrite Resolution Board; however, any such proposal would require detailed consideration of the evidence to support a case for an amendment to the scheme and would have to take cognisance of a number of pertinent factors including the fact that the scheme is one of last resort.

Pyrite Issues

 674. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the mechanisms that are in place to ensure that the properties which have the most severe damage as a result of pyritic heave are remediated first, even though some of those properties may be single dwellings and the pyrite resolution board has stated a preference for remediating groups of houses together. [13280/14]

 676. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of applications received by the Pyrite Resolution Board; and when residents may expect to receive feedback on whether their application is being processed to the next stage. [13311/14]

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. 674 and 676 together.

The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 provides that the Pyrite Resolution Board may group dwellings together for remediation works having regard to the need to secure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of available resources and it is the Board’s stated intention to do this where feasible and practical. However, in setting priorities for remediation works they will also have regard to severity of damage in individual cases.

I understand that the Board has received approximately 350 completed applications at this stage and these are currently being processed. While the Board is keen to ensure that there will be no undue delay in the validation, assessment and verification processes, it is inevitable it will take some time to undertake the processing of the 350 applications currently on hand and the others that will be submitted over the next while. The Board will endeavour to keep scheme participants informed of progress on their applications. An acknowledgment with a unique reference number will issue when an application is lodged and on being validated by the Board a scheme participant will be able to track the progress of an application online.

Water and Sewerage Schemes Funding

 675. 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 if he will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the amount of money invested by the Government in water and sewerage infrastructure in County Donegal yearly since 2008. [13297/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Investment in water services infrastructure in County Donegal provided under my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme during the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 is set out in the following Table:

YEAR
Sewerage
Water
Total
2008
5.145
4.826
9.971
2009
5.599
9.306
14.905
2010
11.579
6.159
17.738
2011
28.367
3.103
31.470
2012
9.088
1.434
10.522
2013
3.442
3.465
6.907


Details of payments made to Donegal County Council under my Department’s Rural Water Programme are set out in the following Table:

YEAR
Small Public Water & Sewerage Schemes
Group Water Schemes & Miscellaneous Grants.
Group Water Scheme Subsidies & Administration Costs
Total
 
€m
€m
€m
€m
2008
1.353
5.229
0.311
6.893
2009
0.675
3.071
0.497
4.243
2010
0.938
2.668
0.185
3.791
2011
2.110
1.026
0.158
3.294
2012
0.786
0.821
0.200
1.807
2013
1.231
0.295
0.158
1.684


Responsibility for the administration of the Rural Water Programme has been devolved to local authorities since 1997. The selection and approval of individual scheme proposals for advancement and funding under the programme, within the overall priorities set by my Department and subject to the block grant allocations provided, is therefore a matter for the local authorities. A more detailed breakdown of the amounts spent on sewerage or water under this programme would, therefore, be available from the County Council.

  Question No. 676 answered with Question No. 674.

Departmental Staff Data

 677. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on behalf of the Minister of State with responsibility for housing in his Department; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties. [13314/14]

 702. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties. [13683/14]

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. 677 and 702 together.

  Staffing of my constituency office and that of my colleague, Ms. Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., Minister of State, is in accordance with the agreed staffing numbers set out in the Instructions on Ministerial Appointments for the 31st Dáil and the Guidelines on Staffing of Ministerial Offices of March 2011.

The current information in relation to my constituency office is set out in the following table:   

Position
Date Appointed
Salary Point / Scale*
Personal Assistant
15/04/2013
€43,715 - €56,060
Personal Secretary
15/07/2013
€23,820 - €47,755


#   The Personal Assistant and Personal Secretary are engaged as temporary, un-established civil servants for the duration of my term of office.   

* Salary scales are in line with those as determined at central level by my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.   

The current information in relation to the constituency office of Minister of State O’Sullivan is set out in the following table:   
Position
Date Appointed
Salary Scale*
Personal Assistant
20/12/2011
€43,715 - €56,060
Personal Secretary
20/12/2011
€23,820 - €47,755
Clerical Officer
20/12/2011
€23,042 - €36,267


# The Personal Assistant and Personal Secretary are engaged as temporary, un-established c ivil servants for the duration of the Minister of State’s term of office.   

* Salary scales are in line with those as determined at central level by my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.   

Overtime costs relating to the Minister of State’s constituency office amount to €29,746 since December 2011.   

There are no travel and subsistence costs associated with any of these staff and no additional accommodation costs are incurred by my Department in respect of these offices.   Minister of State O’Dowd has no staff assigned to his constituency office in my Department.

Leader Programmes Funding

 678. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan in view of the 19.73% or €1.7 million cut in funding to Longford Leader in May 2013 and the high level of applications from high quality projects being shelved as a result of the cut, if he will look at allocating additional funding to LCRL and allow any returned unspent grants to LCRL to be reallocated within the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13327/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan In December 2013 I announced an additional €4 million under the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP). Funding of €1 million was targeted at the Gaeltacht areas which suffered a loss of funding when Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta went into liquidation in 2011 and €3 million to the areas which experienced a reduction of greater than 15% in the revised allocation awarded in May 2013.

The €3 million was apportioned using the relevant Local Development Company’s original percentage of the Programme. Accordingly, Longford Community Resources Ltd (LCRL) was allocated an additional €172,105 and in line with the ‘bottom-up’ approach to rural development it is a matter for the Board of the LCRL to decide on what projects should be funded with this additional funding.

While the current programme is fully allocated, I anticipate the commencement of the LEADER element of the new 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme during 2015.


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