Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (376)

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

376. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will clarify the position regarding a local and community development project procurement (details supplied); and if those involved will make a statement on the request. [12003/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) is the largest social inclusion intervention, of its kind, in the State. The current Programme officially ended at the end of 2013 having operated for four years. It is being implemented by the Local Development Companies (LDCs) on a transitional basis for 2014 pending implementation of a new Programme in January 2015. Management of contracts and Programme oversight will transfer to the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) of the Local Authorities from 1 July next.

Local Community Development Committees will be established in each local authority area over the coming months in line with the provisions in the recently enacted Local Government Reform Act 2014. These Committees will bring together both statutory and not-statutory partners, including the community sector, to bring greater co-ordination to area-based activity in their respective areas. The Committees will have responsibility for community and local development programmes funded by my Department and I am confident they will bring a strong, strategic focus to their implementation.

This implementation will involve local development actors and, therefore, the skills and experience that has been built up will continue to be available and utilised locally. In the case of the LCDP and in accordance with public procurement rules, the Local Community and Development Committees will procure the programme locally. While I cannot pre-empt the outcome of such a procurement process, I expect, given their experience in the area, that the LDCs will apply to deliver the programme in their areas.

The Local Community Development Committees will comprise stakeholders from local government, local development, State agencies and the community and voluntary sector and will focus on identifying the local and community development needs and priorities for their area. They will draw up Local Economic and Community Plans that will prioritise the needs of the most socially deprived communities and the means of addressing these needs, especially in the context of ensuring that programmes deliver best value for the scarce resources available at this time. In this way, we are strengthening the operational management, oversight and planning arrangements for local and community programmes.