Written Answers. - Community Development.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

429 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 108, 116, 126, 137, 139 and 141 of 26 March 2003, the process of consultation he has used to consult with projects and the Regional Support Agency in the south-east region apart from a letter from his Department inviting comments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10740/03]

Letters inviting comments, as indicated in the earlier reply referred to by the Deputy, are the basic instruments of the consultation process. I expect that the responses to the letters will be crucial in informing the review process as it moves forward. As it happens, my Department will shortly meet the community development standing operations committee, which was set up by my Department and community development support programme groups for the purpose of discussing operational issues, to discuss the consultation process and to answer questions that the projects may have about the review process. In addition, my Department has offered to meet any of the projects' regional networks, including the south-east network, to discuss progress in the consultation and review process.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

430 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 330 and 331 of 1 April 2003, if he will elaborate on what he means by satisfactory progress being maintained within individual projects. [10741/03]

Brian O'Shea

Question:

431 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 330 and 331 of 1 April 2003, if he intends to honour all existing project funding contracts to 2004 and extend the funding commitment to existing projects beyond the current interim contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10742/03]

Brian O'Shea

Question:

432 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if projects within the CDSP will continue to be supported in the same framework and process of support that currently exists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10743/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 430 to 432, inclusive, together.

As I have indicated to the House on a number of occasions, I intend to honour existing commitments to established community development projects. Accordingly, funding to projects which are under contract with the Department will continue for the duration of the contract period. Pro jects whose contracts expired at the end of 2002 and are currently in receipt of interim funding will be offered a further one year contract if there has been satisfactory progress in the implementation of the work plan in respect of the previous contract period and if a satisfactory work plan is submitted in respect of the new contract period.
Support to projects funded under the community development support programme is provided by regional support agencies, as well as a number of specialist support agencies. As I outlined to the House in the reply to Questions Nos. 108, 116, 126, 137, 139 and 141 of 26 March 2003, a comprehensive consultation process has been initiated with the providers of schemes and programmes and the social partners on improving local delivery structures. All projects and support agencies under the community development support programme have been included in the consultation process, which it is hoped will conclude with a national seminar next July.