Of the Exchequer contribution of £30 million committed to the Young People's Facilities and Services Fund, £20 million is being targeted at the local drugs task force areas. The development groups, comprising representatives from the task forces, local authorities and vocational education committees, set up in these areas have prepared integrated facilities and services plans which are currently being assessed by the assessment committee chaired by my Department. I understand that initial recommendations regarding funding to implement the plans are nearing completion and will be submitted to the Cabinet committee on social inclusion for approval shortly.
Up to £7.2 million of the remaining £10 million has been allocated to a children at risk programme developed by Minister of State, Deputy Fahey. The remaining £2.8 million is earmarked to support strategies and projects aimed at young people at risk of becoming involved in drug misuse in areas outside the local drugs task force areas. In this regard the vocational education committees in Galway, Limerick, south cork city and Waterford have been asked to take the lead in preparing strategies that meet the objective of the fund for submission to the assessment committee by end January 1999. Some £1.8 million has been set aside for this purpose. A further £0.5 million has been earmarked for other large urban areas, where again the vocational education committees, in consultation with relevant bodies, are being asked to identify suitable proposals. Recommendations in relation to the allocation of £0.5 million funding to voluntary organisations with a national and/or regional remit have already been made to the Cabinet committee and a decision is imminent.