Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Questions (387)

Fergus O'Dowd


463 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the reason a significant amount of money allocated under the sport capital programme, as part of the young people's services and facilities fund, as far back as 2000 has not been drawn down; his plans to remedy the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3736/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

As the Deputy is aware, the young people's facilities and services fund, YPFSF, was established in 1998 to assist in the development of facilities, including sport and recreational facilities, and services in disadvantaged areas where a significant drug problem exists or has the potential to develop.

To date, the main focus of the fund has been in the 14 local drugs task force, LDTF, areas, which were established in 1997 in the areas experiencing the worst levels of drug misuse. However, recognising that the drug problem is not confined to the LDTF areas, funding was also allocated to four urban areas, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Carlow. In excess of €68 million has been allocated or spent to fund almost 350 projects in the areas identified. While a small number of projects have yet to draw down the full amount of funding allocated to them, that sum is not significant in the overall context of the fund. In any event, I am confident that a significant proportion of the unspent moneys will be drawn down in the current financial year.

With regard to the sports capital programme, the Deputy should be aware that the administration of that scheme is entirely a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Deputy O'Donoghue.