Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Enda Kenny


143 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he has received a submission from the Irish Wheelchair Association in respect of the provision of a centre with access for the disabled in Bemullet, County Mayo, to serve the Erris area; if so, if he has considered this application; if his attention has been drawn to the needs of the disabled in this locality; if he will make a contribution for the provision of this centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22248/98]

An application was received from the Erris branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association for inclusion in the community development programme. The application was for a broad based project in the Belmullet area and not exclusively for people with disabilities.

The community development programme (CDP) was established in 1990 in recognition of the role of community development in tackling poverty and disadvantage. The programme provides financial assistance and support towards staffing and equipping of local resource centres which provide a focal point for community development activities. An independent technical group was set up to asses applications by individual groups and to advise on selection of new areas for the CDP. The group's membership is drawn from the CDP projects, support agencies, combat poverty agency, ADM and my Department. The Department, with the assistance of the technical group, is drawing up a list of 30 priority areas/communities of interest to be targeted for inclusion in the CDP over the next few years, as provided for in Partnership 2000. The technical group, which examined the application from the Irish Wheelchair Association, Erris, at its October meeting, has agreed to examine the application further in this context.

I hope to be in a position to announce these priority areas shortly.

My Department will notify the group when a decision has been made with regard to the application.