Written Answers. - Leader Programmes.

John Browne


99 Mr. Browne (Wexford) asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if his attention has been drawn to the operational difficulties with the Leader programmes in Wexford; if he will have a full investigation carried out regarding the operations of the board; the total amount of expenses paid each year to the board members; the way in which these expenses compare with other Leader programmes around the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8285/98]

My Department monitors closely the activities of all approved groups under the Leader programme and has been in contact with the Wexford group in recent weeks about some issues. In accordance with the ‘bottom-up' philosophy of Leader, the day to day implementation of the local business plans is a matter for the groups themselves. Under the operational rules which my Department has laid down, the payment of reasonable expenses of board members related to their attendance at board meetings is a matter for groups to decide. I have asked my officials to examine further the situation in relation to the operation of the programme by the Wexford group.