Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (565, 566)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

565. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide details of the funding allocation made to the CDYSB for each of the past five years with details of the element of this which was for the running of the CDYSM itself in each year; and if she will outline the steps that are being taken to ameliorate the most negative impacts on youth services of the significant funding allocation for the current year. [12733/13]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

566. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will explain the circumstance surrounding the recent downward revision of the 2013 budget allocation agreed last December with the CDYSB; and if she will outline the way it is proposed to achieve a further €600,000 in cuts in a manner that does do significant damage to existing services and where the burden is equitably shared. [12734/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 565 and 566 together.

Some €53.173m is being provided in 2013 by my Department to support the delivery of a range of youth work programmes and youth services for all young people, including those from disadvantaged communities, by the voluntary youth work sector. Youth work programmes and youth services are delivered to some 400,000 young people by over 1,400 youth work personnel, who in turn support a large volunteer base of some 40,000.

Having regard to the savings requirements identified in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE) my Department has tried to ensure that, in the determination process for the funding allocations, the front line youth services, particularly those for the most vulnerable young people are protected as far as is possible from the impact of any necessary reductions in funding. The savings required under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure in respect of this year amount to €5.393m which equates to almost a 10% reduction on 2012 funding.

The reduced allocation in the youth budget in recent years has required much tighter budget management and prioritisation. In the course of recent months I, along with officials of my Department have met with representatives of the youth sector on an ongoing basis with a view to determining how best to minimise the impact of the reduction in the 2013 budget on youth services in the challenging budgetary situation that we face at this time.

The funding is administered on behalf of my Department by some 33 bodies including Vocational Education Committees (VECs), Local Authorities, HSE and some sporting bodies. These administering bodies were notified of the 2013 funding allocation to projects in their respective areas in recent weeks.

In order to try and maximise the use of the funding available for youth services and programmes, my Department has afforded flexibility to the bodies administering funding on behalf of my Department to propose the reconfiguration of the allocations provided having regard to the knowledge available to these bodies about the needs of young people at local level. Any proposals or recommendations made by a body administering funding on behalf of my Department, in relation to the distribution of funding in its locality, requires the approval of my Department before they are implemented.

In this context the City of Dublin Youth Service Board (CDYSB), as the local grant administering body in the Dublin City area, submitted proposals last week to my Department requesting that percentage reductions, different to those outlined in the CRE, would be applied to the projects in the Dublin City area. CDYSB's proposed rationale is to seek to minimise disruption to frontline youth provision and to protect smaller projects.

It should be noted that under the CDYSB proposals the majority of projects would receive a significantly lower reduction than 10 per cent. However, as a consequence of that, CDYSB have proposed that some larger projects would receive greater reductions.

The CDYSB proposals and the final allocations which will be made to each project, are currently being considered by my Department and at my request officials of my Department met with CDYSB on Friday 1st March to discuss the proposals. My Department will advise CDYSB of the outcome very shortly.

Details of the overall funding allocations to CDYSB for the years 2008 to 2012 for the projects administered by that body under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund Rounds 1 and 2, the Local Drugs Task Force scheme together with the operational central administration costs in respect of CDYSB for the years 2008 to 2012 are outlined hereunder in tabular form.

Funding Schemes

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

14,891,663

15,266,221

14,733,827

14,053,650

13,107,529

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

226,126

173,099

179,990

212,037

153,180

Central administrative costs of the City of Dublin Youth Service Board provide for the following:

- IT and computer maintenance

- Wages for 1 cleaner

- Utilities, light and heat

- Equipment

- Maintenance of premises

- Staff travel

- Telecommunications

- Office expenses

It should be noted that under the CRE there has been no cut to the funding being provided to support local voluntary youth clubs. This modest funding (in excess of a million euro) plays an important role in supporting volunteer-led youth groups and in promoting and leveraging valuable voluntary activity in youth work.

In addition to the current funding provided by my Department, €1.5 million in capital funding is also being provided in 2013 for youth cafés and youth projects. My Department will be announcing further details regarding the application process for the 2013 funding programmes very shortly. This follows on from funding of €500,000 which was provided in 2012 for the development of a number of youth cafés which had applied for previous youth café funding schemes

With respect to future funding provision, my Department has commenced a comprehensive Value for Money Review of youth funding and this is expected to report later this year.

My Department has also prioritised the improvement of quality provision in youth work through publication and ongoing implementation of a National Quality Standards Framework for youth work. The Department has also developed National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led youth groups which were launched on Monday of last week.