Written Answers. - RAPID Programme.

John Perry


588 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation if he will include Sligo North Ward area in the RAPID regeneration programme under his Department to upgrade the community's footpaths, to include brick pavement, public lighting with underground cabling and housing conditions; if he will provide a report on the consideration he has given to the submission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8013/01]

Under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness the Government was committed to targeting investment under the national development plan on a priority basis to the 25 most disadvantaged areas in the State. To ensure a fair and transparent process the selection of these 25 areas was made on strictly objective criteria. Using factors such as unemployment, income levels, family and social structure, educational disadvantage and high levels of rented local authority housing to identify the priority areas Sligo did not qualify for inclusion amongst the 25 most disadvantaged areas in the State.

However, there are other initiatives which have been put in place by Government to tackle problems associated with social exclusion, under which the Sligo North Ward area may be eligible to benefit for projects such as that outlined by the Deputy. Local authorities have now been given a wide social inclusion remit and the main purpose of the recently established county and city development boards is to address such matters at local level on an ongoing basis.