Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (619)

Peter Burke


619. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16213/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The provision of fire services in local authority areas, including the establishment and maintenance of fire brigades, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of premises, is a statutory function of the individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Act 1981. My Department supports the fire authorities through setting general policy, providing a central training programme, issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding for priority infrastructural projects.

In February 2016, my Department announced a five-year Fire Services Capital Programme with an allocation of €40 million, based on an annual €8 million allocation, to be used for the purchase of fire appliances and specialist equipment, building or upgrading of prioritised Fire Stations, an upgrade of the Communications and Mobilisation system and improvements to Training Centres.

Prior to this programme, a project to construct a new two-bay fire station at Lanesboro was approved by my Department and completed in 2014, with my Department recouping €1.01m to Longford County Council for costs incurred on the project.

Longford County Council has since prioritised a project to extend Longford town fire brigade headquarters and my Department approved an allocation of €762,227 for this project in 2017, of which €294,384 has been recouped to the Council to date. 

Correspondence was received by my Department in July 2018 regarding a proposal for a new fire station for Ballymahon at an estimated project cost of €1.5m. This station is not included in the 2016 – 2020 Capital Programme, but all new proposals are considered as part of an annual review of project applications on hand. Currently there are no plans to approve funding for the Ballymahon proposal in the immediate term, but the case for a new station will be kept under review.