Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (264)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

264. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if an application submitted by a local development group (details supplied) requesting additional centre staff as part of the Pobal-administered community services programme has been received; his views on the benefit that the additional resources being requested by the applicant could yield for the community in question; when a decision will issue in respect of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14402/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports around 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model, with funding provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. Some €46m is available under the programme in 2019.

The organisation in question receives funding under the CSP as a contribution towards the cost of two FTEs. It sought additional support for a manager post and additional FTEs as part of the normal CSP Re-contracting Process in 2018. However, the application did not demonstrate sufficient need for the additional support sought. The organisation was given a one-year contract at existing levels but was afforded an opportunity to submit a revised business plan in 2019 to support its application for additional support.

To this end, Pobal has been working closely with the organisation in recent months and a revised business plan is expected to be submitted to Pobal for assessment by 30 April 2019. This assessment will include inter alia consideration of the impact of the additional support sought for the community.

I expect Pobal to complete its assessment and submit a recommendation to my Department for decision before end-June 2019. That said, should the organisation submit its revised business plan to Pobal earlier than the deadline, this would allow Pobal complete its assessment and submit its recommendation for decision earlier than planned.