Written Answers. - Community Development Support Programmes.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

470 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will make a statement setting out the role of his Department and any board, group or agency under the aegis of his Department, in combating the drugs problem, together with available statistics on the scale of the problem and forecasted figures for the next decade. [8008/01]

The Cabinet committee on social inclusion oversees and supports, in particular through significant funding, a very wide range of initiatives in combating the drugs problem. My Department is representing the national drugs strategy team – NDST – set up on the recommendation of the first report of the ministerial task force on measures to reduce the demand for drugs. The national drugs strategy team's remit is to ensure effective co-ordination between the Departments and agencies involved in responding to the drugs problem.

My Department is also represented on the drugs supply-control sub-committee of the north inner city drugs task force.

The Combat Poverty Agency, which comes under the aegis of my Department, is represented on the national drugs advisory committee which comes within the responsibility of the Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation.
In addition, the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs funds the Dublin citywide drugs crisis campaign as a specialist support agency to the community development support programmes. The role of this support agency is to provide technical assistance and expertise to local communities to develop their capacity to respond to the drugs crisis in their areas and work alongside statutory and other agencies in tackling the problem at local level. As a support agency, citywide is committed to a community development approach to tackling the drugs issue.
The co-ordination of data relating to the scale of the drugs problem and forecasted figures are matters for the Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation.
Question No. 471 answered with Question No. 458.