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Ring, Michael

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme Administration

Was asked: his plans to put new tenders in place for the SICAP; his further plans to tender for the provision of this programme in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if tendering for the next SICAP will be focused on the needs of rural communities; if facilities will determine the location of services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 632 and 633 together.More Button

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, SICAP, is the largest social inclusion intervention of its kind in the State. The Programme was rolled out in April 2015 and will run unt...More Button

SICAP is a key intervention for the harder to reach, with delivery in each area (or Lot) overseen and managed by the relevant Local Community Development Committee, LCDC, in each local authority ...More Button

LCDCs bring a more joined-up and coherent approach to the local management of publicly funded programmes in the areas of economic, social and community development, including SICAP, through the d...More Button

The next iteration of the programme, SICAP 2018-2022, is due to supersede the current programme with effect from 1 January 2018. The programme has been refined to allow LCDCs to include their ow...More Button

Local Improvement Scheme Funding

Was asked: the reason the local improvement scheme allocation to Tipperary County Council was smaller and in some cases half of what was allocated to other smaller counties; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

On 21 September, I announced the provision of €10 million for a Local Improvement Scheme.  This is a nation-wide scheme which supports improvement works on private and non-public roads. More Button

My Department wrote to Local Authorities in August to establish the level of demand for an LIS scheme this year. The Local Authorities were advised that any requests for funds would be subject t...More Button

Within the budget available for 2017, it was not possible to fully support the level of projects that the Local Authorities indicated they could deliver in 2017.  However, all eligible Local Auth...More Button

The total value of submissions received from Tipperary County Council was €237,579, and a sum of €237,000 was allocated to them.  The Council was therefore one of the few Local Authorities which ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which Kildare County Council can apply for and obtain funding under the local improvement scheme in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 21 September, I announced the provision of €10 million for a Local Improvement Scheme, LIS.  This is a nation-wide scheme which supports improvement works on private and non-public roads. More Button

My Department wrote to Local Authorities, including Kildare County Council, in August to establish the level of demand for an LIS scheme this year. The Local Authorities were advised that any re...More Button

Kildare County Council indicated that they would not be requesting funding under the LIS for 2017. More Button

The level of funding available for the LIS in 2018 will be considered in the context of the 2018 Budget and Estimates process.  If funding for the scheme is available in 2018, I anticipate that t...More Button

Local Improvement Scheme Administration

Was asked: if a local authority is required by departmental guidelines to advertise publicly the local improvement scheme before particular works are agreed or completed; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

On 21 September, I announced the provision of €10 million for a Local Improvement Scheme which supports improvement works on private and non-public roads. More Button

My Department wrote to Local Authorities in August to establish the level of demand for an LIS scheme this year. The Local Authorities were advised that any requests for funds would be subject t...More Button

Within the budget available for 2017, it was not possible to fully support the level of demand which the Local Authorities stated they could deliver in 2017.  However, all eligible Local Authorit...More Button

It is now a matter for each Local Authority to decide which works should be completed from the list of potential projects submitted to my Department, having regard to the funding allocated to the...More Button

Banking Sector

Was asked: when the interdepartmental report into the provision of public banking will be published.More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government envisaged that An Post, the Irish League of Credit Unions and other interested stakeholders would be asked to investigate and propose a new model of commu...More Button

My officials have been working actively with the Department of Finance over the last number of months to progress these commitments. In addition, a public consultation process seeking views on t...More Button

The Departmental officials are currently finalising a report on the merits of establishing a local public banking model in Ireland. Their work is now nearing completion, and a report will be sub...More Button

Charities Regulation

Was asked: his plans to ensure the Charities Regulator is fully resourced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Charities Regulatory Authority, “Charities Regulator”, was established on 16 October 2014, pursuant to the Charities Act, 2009. Since its establishment, significant progress has been made in r...More Button

The 2017 budget for the regulator is €4,379,000, an increase of 64% on the available spend in 2016. This increased level of funding includes provision to increase the staff levels to 50, and my ...More Button

Ministerial Functions

Was asked: the powers he has delegated to the Ministers of State in his Department; the date on which such delegation was made; if there were changes in powers delegated relative to the situation in place pri...More Button

The Rural and Community Development (Delegation of Ministerial Functions) Order (S.I. No 432 of 2017) of 3 October 2017 delegates the following functions to my colleague, Mr. Sean Kyne, T.D., Minis...More Button

Departmental Schemes

Was asked: if he will reintroduce the funding scheme that was previously available to support the installation of three-phase electricity for rural businesses; and the supports available for a business seekin...More Button

The CLÁR scheme previously provided funding to support micro enterprises to convert from single-phase to three-phase electricity. However, the scheme was closed for new applications in 2009.
...More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: the amount of moneys prepaid by his Department for all schemes to local authorities toward the close of 2016 for work to be carried out in 2017; the amount of expenditure allocated to each county, ...More Button

As part of the Government’s programme to support rural development, a number of initiatives including CLÁR, the Rural Recreation Scheme, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, and REDZ, Rural Economi...More Button

Departmental Offices

Was asked: the location of the headquarters of his Department; the number of civil servants based there; the number of civil servants based in each location where his Department has an office; the town in whi...More Button

The Department of Rural and Community Development was established 19 July 2017. As of 10 October 2017, there were 109 staff employed in my Department, although discussions are ongoing to finalise ...More Button

Charitable and Voluntary Organisations

Was asked: the charitable status of an organisation (details supplied); and the timeframe for the number to be issued.More Button

I am advised that the organisation referred to by the Deputy does not appear on the Register of Charities and therefore is not a registered charity. The Register of Charities is publicly available...More Button

Lobbying Data

Was asked: the number of occasions on which he has been lobbied in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill since March 2016; the persons he has met; the dates of these meetings; the details of the basis o...More Button

Since the establishment of my Department, the Department of Rural and Community Development, in July this year, I have not been lobbied in relation to the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. However, on...More Button

Regional Development Policy

Was asked: if the functions of his Department extend to ensuring balanced regional development; his views on a recent EUROSTAT report that states that over 50% of development is in the Dublin region; his plan...More Button

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, on behalf of the Government, is currently coordinating the preparation of a new National Planning Framework for Ireland to guide national, r...More Button

The National Planning Framework will, among other issues, address the future development direction of our cities, towns and rural areas.  In this context, Ireland 2040 underpins two key policy in...More Button

I and my Department are actively involved in the development of the Framework, with a particular focus on ensuring that development is balanced and recognises the contribution of the regions to t...More Button

My Department is also responsible for progressing the Atlantic Economic Corridor, AEC, proposal, which aims to contribute to effective regional development by creating sufficient scale along the ...More Button

Earlier this year, I established a Taskforce to progress the AEC proposal.  The Taskforce comprises representatives from the business sector, key Government Departments, public bodies, and the th...More Button

In addition, my Department has responsibility for oversight of the Western Development Commission, which has a particular remit in relation to the economic and social development of a number of s...More Button

Local Authority Functions

Was asked: the measures he plans to put in place to ensure that local authorities are prepared for the roll-out of broadband once the tender process is concluded; the cost of the measures; and if he will make...More Button

The report of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, which was published last December, recommended the assignment by each Local Authority of an officer with responsibility for broadband and mob...More Button

The Department of Rural and Community Development has provided funding to all 31 Local Authorities to co-fund the assignment of a Broadband Officer. More Button

The remit of the Broadband Officer is primarily to manage interactions with any company that is seeking to roll out telecommunications infrastructure in their county.  The Broadband Officers will...More Button

The telecommunications providers have widely welcomed the assignment the Broadband Officers by the Local Authorities and are actively engaging with them. More Button

The Department of Rural and Community Development has, additionally, established two Regional Action Groups involving all Local Authorities to ensure consistency in their engagement with the tele...More Button

The appointment of Broadband Officers is just one of 40 actions contained in the report of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce.  An implementation group has been established to oversee the d...More Button

Action Plan for Rural Development

Was asked: his plans to commission research on the impact of Brexit on rural communities as committed to in the Action Plan for Rural Development; when this research will be commissioned; and if he will make ...More Button

The Action Plan for Rural Development, which was published in January of this year, envisaged that a piece of research would be commissioned on the impact of Brexit on rural areas.More Button

Since the publication of the Action Plan, a number of papers and commentaries has been published on the potential impact of Brexit on Ireland, including rural Ireland.  In addition, a number of s...More Button

In light of these developments, I do not propose to commission the carrying out of further research on the impact of Brexit at this time.  However, the Government is continuing to work, through v...More Button

Seniors Alert Scheme

Was asked: the funding allocation for the senior alert scheme over each of the past ten years; the number of beneficiaries of the scheme per year, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is responsible for the Seniors Alert Scheme, which encourages support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them ...More Button