Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (86)

Robert Troy

Question:

86. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of RAPID co-ordinators employed full time by local authorities on the RAPID programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12710/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) covers urban areas designated as disadvantaged by reference to a range of socio-economic criteria including the levels of early school leaving; the proportion of one parent households; the unemployment rate; the proportion of social housing; and the age dependency rate. The RAPID programme aims to ensure that priority attention is given to tackling the spatial concentration of poverty and social exclus ion in RAPID areas nationally. The programme has made substantial progress in identifying the needs of disadvantaged communities and in bringing forward appropriate local projects in response to those needs.

My Department’s funding for 2013 includes an indicative allocation of more than €2 million for RAPID, which will be used to meet the Department’s existing contractual commitments on RAPID projects throughout the country, mainly Sports Capital top-ups a nd CCTV systems, jointly funded with the Departments of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Justice and Equality respectively.

My Department is not in a position separately to meet the salary costs, for 2013, of RAPID coordinators, who are local authority employees , and information on the current number of coordinators employed by local authorities is not available to me. In 2011 and 2012 Local Authorities received funding for 50% of the salaries of 46 RAPID co-ordinators, totalling €1.58m in 2011 and €1.62m in 2012. The Local Government Fund continues to provide significant general purpose funding to local authorities to assist in meeting day-to-day operational costs. The RAPID programme like other community development programmes will now be taken forward in the context of alignment of Local Government and Local Development in the context of the Local Government Reform Programme Putting People First .