Flood Risk Assessments

Questions (159)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

159. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 179 of 18 April 2013 and having regard to the ongoing concerns of residents and retailers in the area (details supplied) and keeping in mind expenditure undertaken by the local authority in the context of alleviation of flooding in 2009/2010, the extent to which the local authority can use its statutory powers and fulfil its commitments already entered into in respect of compliance with the conditions set out in the relevant planning permissions which impose certain obligations on the local authority; when it is expected that all outstanding issues will be dealt with in full and thereby ensuring the completion of the development as promised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42762/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) provides that a planning authority may attach conditions to a planning permission including related to the provision of infrastructure such as drainage. It is a matter for the planning authority to decide on the planning conditions to be attached including the enforcement of these conditions thereafter.

My Department understands from Kildare County Council that following the completion of significant works, undertaken by the Council, the matter is now largely resolved at catchment level. Within the development, other drainage works which are the responsibility of the developer remain to be completed. The Council is continuing to work with the relevant parties to ensure a permanent resolution of the remaining flooding issues within the development.

Pyrite Remediation Programme Issues

Questions (160)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

160. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if a decision has been made on the levy to apply to industry as part of the pyrite resolution process; if he will provide an update on the process; if legislation is needed and ready; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42770/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Following Government Decisions of 18 December 2012 and 30 April 2013 work commenced in my Department on developing the legislation required to provide for the funding of a pyrite remediation scheme and the necessary structures to deliver an effective and efficient remediation process. While it was my intention to have this legislation published and enacted in the previous Dáil term this was not possible as a number of legal issues arose which have to be addressed.

I am working, with my Department, to ensure that these issues are resolved as a matter of urgency and in this context I will be bringing proposals to Government shortly. In tandem with the development of the necessary legislation, I understand that the Pyrite Resolution Board is working on the delivery of its online application and processing system. While there has been some slippage in the timeline as originally envisaged, the Board is committed to having the system operable as quickly as possible.

I am acutely aware that many homeowners have been waiting for effective solutions for a considerable period of time and, accordingly, I will continue to attach the utmost priority to providing the structures necessary to deliver a practical resolution to the pyrite problem as early as possible.

Island Communities

Questions (161)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

161. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding island specific programmes and policies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42776/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Implementation arrangements for local development programmes under the new local governance arrangements set out under Putting People First - Action Programme for Effective Local Government, are being considered currently by an Alignment Working Group that was established to advise and assist my Department in the implementation of the alignment recommendations. Their considerations are now advanced regarding the optimum programme implementation arrangements under Local Community Development Committees, which will be established in each local authority area to have responsibility for planning and oversight of local and community development programmes.

These considerations include options to retain the expertise and experience that currently resides with local development bodies and their staff. Equally, we must look to implement arrangements that will deliver the best outcomes for citizens and communities in a time of constrained budgets. Pending finalisation of the Working Group’s considerations on this issue, it would inappropriate for me to commit to any particular implementation arrangement at this time. Putting People First recognised the challenges arising from the complexity of the local development structures and the high overhead and administration costs, but also the strengths of local development companies and programmes in respect of service planning and delivery.

Island Communities

Questions (162)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

162. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding firefighting training and safety on islands (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42780/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The provision of a fire service in its area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs, the provision of a premises and the making of such other provisions as it considers necessary or desirable, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003. My Department supports fire authorities through the setting of general policy, provision of training support and issue of guidance on operational and other related matters and the provision of capital funding.

Earlier in 2013 I published the policy document Keeping Communities safe (KCS), which is intended to keep fire safety and fire services in Ireland in line with international best practice. KCS was developed to ensure that Ireland manages its fire risk effectively and continues the downward trend in the level of fire fatalities recorded annually. The current annual rate of 6 .2 fire deaths per million of population places Ireland among the most fire safe countries. KCS is based on the systems approach which emphasizes the further development and enhancement of fire prevention and fire protection as well as fire service response. KCS places an appropriate emphasis on isolated communities being prioritised for Community Safety programmes to ensure that households in such areas are given advice on fire prevention and have smoke alarms and other appropriate fire protection facilities. These simple measures are regarded as the most effective means of ensuring the safety of persons in the case of fire. Community fire safety initiatives involving the provision of fire prevention advice and smoke alarms, fire blankets and fire extinguishers were developed and provided for off-shore island communities and are maintained and renewed as appropriate by the relevant local authorities.

The provision of fire services by local authorities is based on a risk management approach which involves an analysis of the nature of the fire hazards and the incidence and extent of fires which occur as well as the fire protection measures in place. Having regard to the need to ensure the safety of persons engaged in fire-fighting and the levels of training required, the provision by local authorities of training or equipment for members of the public is currently provided as part of community safety programmes of general application.

Departmental Staff Retirements

Questions (163)

Seán Fleming

Question:

163. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reduction in public expenditure numbers that will be achieved in 2013 and 2014 from targeted redundancy and early retirement in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43034/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

It is not possible to predict how many staff may decide to retire early between now and the end of 2014. There will, however, be 9 compulsory retirements in my Department over the course of 2013/14. There is no targeted redundancy scheme currently operating in my Department.

Garda Deployment

Questions (164)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

164. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 492 of 1 October, the total number of Gardaí assigned to the Divisional Drugs Unit in County Kildare; the number of divisional drugs units that are operational across the State; the number of Gardaí assigned to each unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42663/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As I have previously stated, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of demographics, crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

All Gardaí have responsibilities in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of burglary, drug offences or otherwise. I can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána continues to pro-actively and resolutely tackle all forms of drug crime in this jurisdiction. The Garda National Drugs Unit works closely with dedicated Divisional and District Drug Units and other national units in targeting persons involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs.

I am informed by the Commissioner that there are 317 Gardaí, 29 Garda Reservists and 28 Civilians assigned to the Kildare Division and two of these Gardaí are specifically assigned to Divisional Drugs Unit. I have further been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of each Divisional Drugs Unit on 31 August 2013, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was as set out in the table hereunder:

Division

Total

D.M.R.S.C.

10

D.M.R.N.C

16

D.M.R.N.

29

D.M.R.E.

13

D.M.R.S.

26

D.M.R.W.

26

Waterford

9

Wexford

4

Kilkenny/Carlow

7

Tipperary

9

Cork City

27

Cork North

10

Cork West

4

Kerry

8

Limerick

11

Donegal

10

Cavan/Monaghan

0

Sligo/Leitrim

8

Louth

6

Clare

6

Mayo

5

Galway

11

Roscommon/Longford

7

Westmeath

7

Meath

5

Kildare

2

Laois/Offaly

0

Wicklow

3

Total

279