Planning Issues

Questions (183)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

183. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he considers that, in circumastances in which he and his Department have no function with regard to individual planning decisions, he and his Department do have a function in relation to the overall credibility and integrity of the planning system and if he considers that the continued operation of facilities that are themselves egregrious examples of bad planning will tend to undermine public confidence in the planning system that he supervises and oversees; if he wil provide a look-back mechanism in the Planning and Development Bill 2013, whereby instances of questionable planning since the 1963 Act can be referred to the regulator for adjudication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26395/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 167 of 29 May which set out the position in this matter.

Housing Adaptation Grant Funding

Questions (184)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

184. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he will be in a position to provide funding to Mayo County Council to enable it to provide grant aid to persons to improve their housing conditions under the special housing aid for the elderly scheme and mobility aid grant scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26403/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

On 22 February 2013 I announced capital allocations to local authorities under the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability amounting to €42.750 million. This year I allocated local authorities the full amount of their contractual commitments which, in the case of Mayo County Council, amounted to €1,658,576 . The balance of the available funding was allocated on the basis of each authority’s share of the new applications on hand in January 2013. This brought Mayo County Council’s overall allocation to € 2,575,216. In order to deal with any acute or particular strain which might arise in the operation of the schemes over the course of the year I have set aside a small capital reserve. I recently approved supplementary allocations totalling €1.2 million for 13 local authorities. I will consider further applications from local authorities where similar difficulties have arisen. No such application has so far been received from Mayo County Council.

Derelict Sites Notices

Questions (185)

Alan Farrell

Question:

185. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has received an official request for permission to demolish a semi-derelict building block (details supplied) in County Dublin; when permission will be granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26430/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department understands that any such work would be carried out by Fingal County Council in accordance with Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 and my consent/approval is not therefore required.

Water and Sewerage Schemes Status

Questions (186)

Alan Farrell

Question:

186. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he envisages funding being made available to Fingal County Council in order to proceed with the construction of a scheme to divert sewage from Rush Harbour, County Dublin, to the Portrane sewage plant; if this will be addressed urgently due to Rush Harbour failing to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards in 2013 for quality of bathing water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26431/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 197 of 15 May 2013; it remains my Department’s intention to issue a decision to the Council on the relevant proposal shortly. In addition, Fingal County Council wrote to my Department on 20 May 2013 requesting approval to move two further elements of the Rush sewer network (North Beach and East Shore sewers) from planning stage to contracts to go to construction in the Water Services Investment Programme. This proposal is under examination and will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Election Management System

Questions (187)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

187. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the contents of a letter he has recently received from the Chairman of the Standards in Public Office Commission (details supplied) regarding the reform needed of SIPO; if he intends to widen the current legislation to bring third party groups taking part in political campaigns within the commission's remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26460/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Chairperson of the Standards in Public Office Commission, Justice Matthew P. Smith, wrote to me earlier this month about the provisions of the Electoral Act 1997 as they relate to third parties. In his letter he recalled recommendations previously made by the Commission for amendment of the legislation and in particular those in a March 2009 report titled Third Parties and the Referendum on The Treaty of Lisbon. In my response to Justice Smith I have confirmed that consideration will be given to the Commission’s recommendations in the development and preparation of the Electoral (Amendment) (Referendum Spending and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill which is on the Government’s legislation programme. That Bill will provide, inter alia, for the disclosure of expenditure and donations at a referendum campaign.

Commercial Rates

Questions (188)

John Deasy

Question:

188. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount of commercial rates outstanding for each rateable local authority; the timeframe that the rates owed in each of these rateable local authorities have been in arrears for periods of more than one year, two years, five years and longer; and the amount that has been written off over the past five years. [26481/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

2010 is the latest year for which audited local authority Annual Financial Statement data is available. Detailed information in relation to the value of commercial rates outstanding to local authorities for 2010 and the amount that was written off in the five years up to 2010, sourced from audited Annual Financial Statements, is set out in the table. Information on the periods of time that ratepayers have been in arrears is not available in my Department.

Rates Outstanding (€)

Authority Name

2010

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Carlow

1,973,035

4,247

48,659

63,701

84,558

65,201

Cavan

2,391,924

95,267

106,716

78,828

150,332

767,529

Clare

7,766,009

343,619

301,577

419,856

396,538

205,650

Cork

19,219,960

2,907,572

3,279,302

3,868,254

5,041,167

6,672,558

Donegal

8,978,984

2,011,539

2,137,878

2,302,580

1,363,280

2,492,414

Fingal

21,013,241

652,705

886,521

1,364,689

2,141,388

3,757,096

Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown

19,242,061

0

1,464,053

1,161,247

1,712,032

3,325,110

Galway

5,067,072

1,746,905

1,951,482

2,636,068

2,727,353

4,043,523

Kerry

3,684,073

1,628,376

2,050,403

1,719,763

2,362,878

2,368,421

Kildare

8,422,162

0

0

0

0

0

Kilkenny

1,401,179

507,459

498,011

1,013,476

1,237,416

1,699,530

Laois

1,916,639

158,592

119,570

172,267

271,481

659,583

Leitrim

1,033,781

250,336

339,461

439,741

545,554

696,734

Limerick

2,614,285

1,577,716

1,720,067

1,948,681

2,644,874

4,028,917

Longford

624,804

278,783

272,432

410,706

204,541

117,420

Louth

2,877,506

519,162

617,097

654,051

756,462

946,116

Mayo

2,114,317

1,370,803

1,438,372

1,649,093

2,484,383

2,533,929

Meath

2,998,706

0

0

0

0

0

Monaghan

1,458,576

290,748

211,786

274,444

602,947

1,022,223

North Tipperary

1,020,703

38,921

44,232

77,122

188,260

316,956

Offaly

516,184

689,566

395,289

567,400

803,689

937,826

Roscommon

2,340,196

26,299

31,383

751,669

1,563,232

1,688,361

Sligo

1,085,081

386,217

176,004

283,838

579,355

671,143

South Dublin

27,360,624

2,453,856

2,192,432

-188,700

1,687,009

3,012,133

South Tipperary

966,969

72,961

3,716

2,380

1,760

24,720

Waterford

2,078,117

364,132

509,005

383,252

408,964

530,506

Westmeath

1,405,350

34,301

66,805

1,480

236,607

178,733

Wexford

4,630,691

532,622

606,820

509,989

660,644

398,791

Wicklow

4,123,984

408,539

579,045

1,260,842

1,464,190

1,730,389

Cork

12,864,927

216,922

188,362

313,373

1,852,616

3,483,443

Dublin

63,446,842

19,900,844

17,718,465

5,616,183

6,247,794

9,035,651

Galway

14,502,756

1,358,281

1,500,777

2,627,132

2,435,131

4,664,801

Limerick

14,349,874

2,454,506

2,742,128

2,079,954

1,823,528

2,676,147

Waterford

2,784,426

116,822

89,214

143,235

189,950

192,323

Clonmel

1,047,678

32,531

0

0

47,189

38,886

Drogheda

3,484,434

368,612

952,938

928,391

2,149,886

2,517,366

Kilkenny

1,575,708

148,418

234,328

457,958

555,533

838,460

Sligo

2,697,570

745,744

1,322,193

661,977

890,046

1,127,339

Wexford

3,317,643

292,330

303,771

209,381

467,995

714,075

Arklow

1,989,988

87,576

258,683

413,109

520,877

638,080

Athlone

1,066,455

0

14,374

0

0

99,142

Athy

376,238

0

0

0

0

0

Ballina

679,060

479,587

554,858

525,779

729,526

851,891

Ballinasloe

368,680

234,974

272,079

321,894

324,172

437,460

Birr

314,570

197,494

205,713

270,109

233,453

0

Bray

2,079,907

467,251

541,561

734,883

704,429

369,999

Buncrana

787,813

359,229

282,927

282,303

762,828

569,131

Bundoran

423,118

30,008

36,039

54,630

87,232

76,240

Carlow

1,741,387

62,202

58,618

161,463

110,825

116,322

Carrick on Suir

291,231

69,100

14,523

3,253

4,606

0

Carrickmacross

338,964

44,482

36,121

51,037

88,280

78,791

Cashel

98,900

0

0

0

0

0

Castlebar

731,267

374,745

424,300

537,165

682,085

800,826

Castleblayney

536,426

78,488

90,093

150,298

133,134

143,966

Cavan

704,417

85,465

259,398

213,192

300,985

271,722

Clonakility

322,179

20,874

12,773

12,343

52,862

159,339

Clones

222,016

113,373

65,752

51,175

128,492

121,380

Cobh

250,676

88,714

64,784

125,741

146,664

303,998

Dundalk

7,382,613

816,465

874,504

409,189

966,133

1,831,808

Dungarvan

2,084,189

372,368

434,906

276,356

311,792

478,296

Ennis

1,754,132

263,553

339,577

540,437

591,822

528,930

Enniscorthy

535,799

10,588

11,661

51,780

58,316

131,649

Fermoy

116,267

112,936

102,313

138,402

204,826

224,882

Kells

90,986

0

0

0

0

0

Killarney

2,880,804

759,775

715,466

654,326

833,203

918,274

Kilrush

186,646

16,304

4,793

1,970

7,777

12,820

Kinsale

479,229

19,041

15,216

51,171

14,472

309,488

Letterkenny

3,835,422

147,578

154,583

347,679

388,328

869,900

Listowel

242,301

96,957

103,557

217,702

209,707

244,837

Longford

914,715

117,150

339,919

339,023

591,740

526,848

Macroom

156,528

34,395

4,899

5,855

51,661

191,450

Mallow

498,038

54,023

56,559

135,168

171,242

246,973

dleton

356,423

42,296

94,332

80,524

108,601

159,674

Monaghan

781,009

234,785

308,221

299,864

538,040

566,891

Naas

1,477,192

27,490

5,473

886

0

3,828

Navan

1,147,224

0

0

0

331,598

996,615

Nenagh

529,237

310,078

177,348

247,242

377,330

386,733

New Ross

335,005

0

24,976

12,565

8,065

93,602

Skibbereen

238,477

89,479

118,618

133,064

161,644

168,981

Templemore

68,147

7,002

5,925

14,354

16,509

39,623

Thurles

610,362

92,734

121,320

215,490

344,008

409,940

Tipperary

123,768

0

1,278

0

0

39,348

Tralee

1,821,045

974,664

982,956

1,179,870

2,912,370

2,696,114

Trim

360,297

0

0

0

0

0

Tullamore

1,184,004

346,570

543,070

855,628

736,996

701,140

Westport

328,554

89,385

164,327

121,984

149,391

282,849

Wicklow

454,121

207,178

191,001

230,205

291,953

256,035

Youghal

265,473

178,204

182,887

440,598

339,981

321,338

Departmental Budgets

Questions (189)

Seán Fleming

Question:

189. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has received any indicative figure from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regarding the fiscal adjustments his Department will be asked to make in 2014 and 2015; the size of those adjustments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26547/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

In the context of the forthcoming Budget, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has asked my Department to identify savings which will feed into the expenditure decisions by Government for the Estimates 2014 and the setting of future ministerial ceilings. The scale of proposed savings for 2014 was set out in part 1 of the Expenditure Report 2013, which was published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in December 2012.

Juvenile Offenders

Questions (190)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

190. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has considered the findings of recent research by a team from the Central Mental Hospital on the mental health needs of inmates in St. Patrick's Institution; if he has plans to ensure that his Department will assist St. Patrick's Institution to make a drug-free unit available for inmates under 18 years of age in the institution without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26364/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the report referred to has not yet been received by the Irish Prison Service. Notwithstanding that I can confirm that the National Forensic Mental Health Service has been providing an in-reach service to St. Patrick's Institution for the last two years. Currently a consultant forensic psychiatrist attends one day a week, a community psychiatric nurse attends one and a half days' a week and a non-consultant hospital doctor attends for a half day. In addition a multi-agency healthcare meeting is convened on a weekly basis in St. Patrick's Institution attended by the prison doctor, a representative from the psychiatric in-reach team, nurses, psychologist, addiction counsellors, probation officer and chaplain for the purpose of addressing healthcare issues pertaining to the inmates which includes mental health.

It is Irish Prison Service Policy not to mix under 18s with adult prisoners and while there is a dedicated Drug Free Unit in St. Patrick's Institution it facilitates those over 18. However, there are a range of drug rehabilitation programmes available to those under 18 in St. Patrick's Institution which involve a significant multidimensional input from general primary care, mental health services, psychology, addiction psychiatry and addiction counselling. Any inmate who is engaged with services whilst in prison are referred to community addiction services as part of their pre-release plan. Once the report is received it will be given due consideration by the Irish Prison Service.

Garda Equipment

Questions (191)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

191. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of marked and unmarked Garda vehicles that are fitted with automatic number plate recognition; and his plans, if any, to increase the number of vehicles fitted with ANPR in 2013. [26293/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have sought the information referred to by the Deputy and I will contact him in relation to this matter as soon as possible.

Immigration Policy

Questions (192)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

192. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the reasons given to the 2,240 persons who were refused entry into the State in 2012; and if he will provide, in tabular form, the nationalities of the various persons who were thus refused. [26294/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The legal provisions governing refusals of permission to land are set-out in Section 4(3) of the Immigration Act, 2004. I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the principle reasons persons are refused permission to land are as follows:

– that there is reason to believe that the person intends to enter the State for purposes other than those expressed by the non-national concerned;

– the person is not in possession of a valid Irish visa and is not exempt from this requirement;

– the person concerned is not in possession of a valid passport or other equivalent document; or

– the person concerned intends to travel (whether immediately or not) to the UK and would not qualify for admission had they come directly to the UK.

The principal nationalities of persons refused permission to land in the State and subsequently removed were Brazil, South Africa, China, Bolivia, and Albania. I might add that in all cases, removals from the State, whether in respect of those who are removed on arrival at ports of entry or those already in the State, are conducted in accordance with the law with removals at the Port of Entry being, essentially, an operational matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

The removal of illegal immigrants from the State is a necessary feature of the enforcement of immigration legislation with the purpose of upholding the integrity of the immigration system. In enforcing the law in this respect, Ireland is no different from other countries who also remove individuals who have no lawful right to remain within their territory.

Road Traffic Offences

Questions (193)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

193. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of fixed penalty notices that have been issued to motorists in each of the past four years for the offence of breaking a red light. [26295/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table shows the number of fixed charge notices issued for the offence of breaking a red light for the years 2009 to 2012 and in 2013 up to 30 April. Figures provided are operational and liable to change.

The number of fixed charge notices issued for the offence of breaking a red light for the years 2009 to 2012 and in 2013 up to 30 April

Year

Fixed Charge Notices

2013 (up to 30 April)

1,264

2012

5,516

2011

6,236

2010

7,416

2009

8,667