Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (338)

Dara Calleary

Question:

338. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will confirm that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is preparing to transfer the operation of the rural development programme to his Department; if his attention has been drawn to theimplications of same for rural LEADER companies and small rural communities; the measures that will be taken to protect LEADER companies in the event that the functions of the programme transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11701/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Managing Authority for the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government already being the delegated paying agency for Axes 3 & 4 (LEADER Axes) of the Programme. There are no plans to transfer any other element of the Rural Development Programme to my Department. The funding arrangements and value of the next round of Rural Development Programme funding for 2014-2020 have yet to be determined. As part of the reforms set out by Government in Putting People First – Action Plan for Effective Local Government, greater alignment between local government and local development will bring greater coherence to the range of local development funding available.  I am keen to see a sustained focus on funding for communities as part of those reforms, supported by a streamlining of delivery structures. I anticipate a continued role for local development companies in the delivery of local development interventions, and funding for purposes such as rural development interventions will continue to be used for the benefit of rural communities.