Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (401)

Dara Calleary


401. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the status of the provision of a fire station (details supplied) in County Mayo. [38775/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The existing five-year Fire Services Capital Programme managed by my Department comes to an end this year. That programme has seen more than €60 million invested in fire appliances and specialist equipment, building or upgrading of prioritised Fire Stations, upgrading Communications and Mobilisation systems and improvements to Training Centres.

A new capital programme for the period 2021-2025 is currently being finalised which I anticipate will allow us to continue to invest further in our Fire Services. Following extensive engagement with fire authorities, a number of proposals for station works etc. have been received. Projects previously included in the 2016-2020 Programme which were not completed but which remain priorities for local authorities will be considered for inclusion in this Programme.

The proposals are evaluated and prioritised on the basis of the:

- Area Risk Categorisation of the fire station (population, fire risks, etc.)

- Established Health and Safety needs, and

- State of development of the project (is site acquired, etc.?)

In recognition of the current economic situation faced by the State as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the speed and extent to which proposed expenditure can stimulate local economies will also be a key consideration in the first few years of the new programme.

I hope to be in a position to make an announcement regarding this new programme in the near future. Following that my Department will continue to work closely to ensure that important fire services projects are progressed as expeditiously as possible during the coming period.