Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (305, 306)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

305. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department will provide a specific grant to Kerry County Council for repair works to an embankment at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21095/14]

View answer

Brendan Griffin

Question:

306. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department will provide a specific grant to Kerry County Council for repair works to an embankment at a location in County Kerry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21096/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 and 306 together.

As has been indicated in replies to previous questions on this matter, the Office of Public Works (OPW) is not responsible for the maintenance of the embankments at Cromane, Incherea and Glenbeigh. The OPW allocated funding to Kerry County Council of €180,000 under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme in 2012 for works to embankments at Cromane and Incherea. This funding has been drawn down by the Council and the works in question have been undertaken.

The Government decided on 11 February, 2014 to make available funding of up to €69.5 million for a programme of repair and remediation works to roads, coastal protection and flood defence and other public infrastructure damaged in the storms from 13 December, 2013 to 6 January, 2014 based on estimates provided by the local authorities concerned. Of the total amount being made available, up to €19.6 million is available via the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the repair of damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure. The allocation of funding to local authorities under the Government Decision was to specifically address the repair of existing damaged infrastructure as a matter of priority.The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DoECLG) wrote to Kerry County Council indicating, based on the estimate submitted by the Council to that Department, that up to €1,226,920 is being made available to the Council via the OPW to undertake the necessary repair works to damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure. The estimates submitted by Kerry County Council to the DoECLG included strengthening works at Incherea and Glenbeigh and both repair and strengthening works at Cromane Lower. Strengthening works fall outside of the scope of the Government Decision, and the Council will need to address this separately and outside of the current process aimed at repairs and emergency works.

The Council must submit overall programmes of works to the DoECLG detailing how it proposes to spend the total allocation that is being made available. The Council must also submit the relevant elements of its programme to each Department from whom funding will be made available for consideration of technical aspects of the proposed works. When the Council's programme of coastal protection and flood defence projects is received by the OPW it will be reviewed having regard to related guidance issued by the DoECLG to the local authorities.

The OPW has informed the local authorities that in order to assist them in a practical way and to avoid any potential cash-flow issues, it will consider requests for advance funding of up to 80% of the estimated cost of approved projects where a contract for works has been made.