Dublin Docklands Development Authority Bill, 1996: Report and Final Stages.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 21, line 33, after "employment" to insert ", training and education".

Section 24 (2) (b) (xi) provides that the implications of the master plans on the employment of people living in the docklands area must be assessed. The amendment will extend this requirement in so far as it will also require an assessment of the training and education implications of the master plan for the people of the docklands area. A number of similar amendments were made to the Bill on Committee Stage.

On Committee Stage I tabled an amendment which proposed that the Minister would appoint, on nomination of the board, a person to be the educational officer of the Authority whose remit would be the promotion within the local community of the educational and employment opportunities within the area. The Minister said he would give further consideration to my amendment before Report Stage. While his amendment is an improvement it does not go far enough.

Reports on the socio-economic and employment structures in the Dublin docklands area refer to the massive levels of unemployment and poor opportunities for local people. One of the reasons is a lack of educational qualifications. People from the docklands area have stated that if the Authority does not make a real input into local schools then the renewal scheme will bypass the people of the area in the same way as other urban renewal schemes, which we all welcome, have by-passed people in other areas in recent years. I ask the Minister to appoint a person who will deal with this issue. The principals of primary schools in the area have stated that if parents are not aware of the educational and training standards required then their children will not be able to avail of the opportunities in their local communities.

I agree with the points made by Deputy Ryan. I wish to draw to the attention of the House the particular problems experienced by local schools in the area. The boys' national school in Ringsend which is at the edge of the Dublin Docklands development area, but nonetheless is probably one of the primary schools most concerned with the future of young children on the southside of the city, is hopelessly underfunded. I do not want to digress too much from the subject matter of this Bill but the fourth, fifth and sixth classes are being taught by two teachers. One teacher has to deal with the behaviourally problematic and educationally disadvantaged children and another with three classes of children who are making progress.

The extent of disadvantage in that area is significant and I contrast the amount of effort being put into infrastructure development with the complete absence of progress on social development in the area. This is a huge problem because there will be a colossal social injustice if people in deprived areas live cheek by jowl with massive investments in urban renewal. It is of the utmost importance that resources are put into education in the local communities so that they can take advantage of the economic potential in terms of jobs which this new development will bring.

I am not trying to castigate the Minister's proposal but if we do not move on two fronts at once — the infrastructure and redevelopment of the area and, on the other hand, the social development of the communities involved — we will create great resentment, bitterness, unhappiness and, in the last analysis, opposition to the docklands development project.

It is all very well to talk about absence of resources in education but——

I wish that the Deputy would not stray too far into educational matters.

Another Bill before this House proposes to establish ten regional education boards which will siphon £20 million into bureaucracy. If one school in our constituency cheek by jowl with this development suffers educational deprivation, then the Dublin Docklands Development Authority must be organised to progress social development through educational help because there will be a huge problem if we proceed down the road of developing the docklands in Dublin and having resentful, embittered and marginalised communities in the middle of the proposal.

I am glad to see the addition of training and education in the context of employment because it is important to start at grassroots level. We cannot talk about employment in the area unless we provide skills, education and training. This has been a particularly disadvantaged area on both sides of the Liffey. The previous two Deputies spoke about Ringsend but on the northside of the Liffey, there are the areas of Sheriff Street, East Wall and Séan McDermott Street which are perhaps the most deprived in the city. They have 80 per cent endemic unemployment and this is our last opportunity to foster social integration in the area.

The Custom House Docks development is very much an oasis in an area on which it has not made any significant impact in terms of the quality of life of the indigenous population and we do not want to see the docklands development go down that road. A great deal of thought and work has gone into achieving broader social integration in the docklands area but it needs to be done in a structured fashion and we need to ensure contact is made with school principals, teachers and parents. All schools in the area should be contacted but it must be done in a holistic and comprehensive fashion so that the likely skills and employment opportunities that will come on stream will be utilised. Parents must be made aware that if the youngsters stay in school and follow the curriculum they will find employment in the areas in which they live. That is what social integration is about.

There is no sense in talking about bricks and mortar and great ideas unless we put the people first in terms of the development and this issue is central to the Bill. The docklands area is massive, comprising 1,300 acres, and it is the last single major development that will take place in the inner city. I exhort the Minister to ensure that those responsible at present for drawing up the plans and those who will be responsible in future are given every support in this Bill and that they do their work in a comprehensive fashion.

I do not disagree with any of the views put forward by the Deputies. Too often in the past we have seen major investment in physical structures where social needs and education and training needs of people were either ignored or forgotten. The Government addressed this issue in a positive way under the urban initiative, which provides a major programme in regard to education and training and supporting people through social services.

The regional education boards are bringing education to the people and have been widely supported by consumers. As a result of comments on earlier Stages of the Bill, this amendment is included to reflect almost all the views expressed. The Authority will have an obligation to address the training and education needs of the people of the area as well as the physical development of the area. This is a good amendment and I ask that it be accepted.

I advise Members that in accordance with recent modifications to Standing Orders, they may speak twice. The second speech may not exceed two minutes.

There were very few amendments to this Bill because it was widely accepted and supported. I tabled only two amendments and the most important one concerned education. We got a progress report on the master plan yesterday. The crazy waste of taxpayers' money on the publication of a full colour brochure detailing the progress made on the master plan is outrageous. We are halfway through the master plan and we are saying that the training and education elements proposed in the amendment will be incorporated in it. If a person is not appointed to deal with this issue on a full time basis the proposals will not work. There are endless examples of where urban renewal has not worked. The Minister for Finance supports the idea and it should be put in place. One person should deal specifically with training and education and the employment opportunities that will accrue. That is not covered in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 2 in the name of the Minister is a drafting amendment. Amendment No. 3 is related. I suggest, therefore, that we discuss amendments Nos. 2 and 3 together, if that is satisfactory.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 31, lines 20 to 22, to delete "section 15 (inserted by the European Parliament Elections Act, 1993) of the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977," and substitute "section 19 of the European Parliament Elections Act, 1997,".

Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 relate to section 38 and are purely technical. They are necessary to replace references to provisions of the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977 and the European Parliament Elections Act, 1993 being repealed by the European Parliament Elections Act, 1997 which concluded its passage through both Houses of the Oireachtas on Thursday last.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 31, lines 30 to 32, to delete "section 15 (inserted by the European Parliament Elections Act, 1993) of the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977," and substitute "section 19 of the European Parliament Elections Act, 1977,".

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

I want to express considerable reservation about the education issue. I am not happy that it has been dealt with satisfactorily. I accept the Minister's amendment is some progress in that way but if we are talking about regeneration, not merely of the 1,300 acres involved, but also of the hopes of the communities in these areas, more has to be done than is provided for in the Bill.

On the same theme, the prospects for employment for inner city young men in particular are dim. A holistic approach must be taken to the question of inner city regeneration. A strong stance must be taken by Government to integrate the futures of these young men with the physical regeneration of their areas. The Bill does not go far enough along those lines.

If all we succeed in doing when regenerating these areas is "yuppify" south and north inner city areas and make them look nice, and if we leave in being deprived communities where there is 60 per cent to 80 per cent endemic unemployment, problems with drugs, social marginalisation and educational disadvantage, we will produce a disillusioned, alienated and hostile community cheek by jowl with the new development. The cost in terms of delinquency, drug addiction and other social problems will be enormous. The hap'orth of tar that will save this ship is expenditure, not simply on physical regeneration of the area but on social regeneration also. The key to that is making sure boys' and girls' national schools in these areas educate children so that they will attend training courses and that those courses will educate them into taking a meaningful part in the renewal promised in the Bill. If we do not do that, the Bill will achieve far less than could otherwise be done.

The Bill, is a welcome initiative but it behoves us to draw to the Minister's attention, and particularly to the attention of those currently compiling the master plan, any lacuna in it. My concerns about the Bill have always related to its effectiveness in addressing the entire needs of the community with which the master plan will deal. Section 4 states that the Minister may alter the docklands area so as to include an area of land contiguous to and wider than that prescribed in the Bill. In terms of the master plan that should be done at an early stage. The planned area on the northside should have been widened to include Sean McDermott Street, Summerhill, Foley Street, Corporation Street and Railway Street. Those disadvantaged areas are in need of regeneration and the only way to do that is to include them in the overall plan.

The area identified for this development has been a blackspot for the past 30 years. It has a high level of unemployment as well as major drug abuse and joyriding problems. For that reason we should have treated it not merely as a docklands development but as a blackspot area. It has potential, however, in terms of development.

I hesitate to interrupt the Deputy but on Fifth Stage Members should confine themselves to addressing what is in the Bill rather than what should be in it, the main debate on Second Stage.

I was merely referring to the Minister's powers in section 4 to widen the scope of the Bill which ties in with the question of education and employment. I am aware that the people involved in drawing up the master plan have consulted with local politicians and the local authority, but we must ensure that this area is properly developed. This is our last opportunity to do so and I urge the Minister to bring that to the attention of those currently drawing up the master plan. He must ensure that the broadest consultation takes place with the community as well as educational and training interests.

I welcome the Bill. A large area of Dublin is in a run-down state but I am disappointed that the educational and training aspect of the Bill is not sufficiently strong. The reports prepared for the Dublin docklands area master plan indicate that 30 per cent of the population is unemployed. These people are living in the middle of an area where there is a high level of employment. They have a tradition of working on the docks but, unfortunately, the Dublin Port & Docks Board no longer employs people in the way it did in the past. Irish Shipping, the Irish Glass Bottle Company, Guinness's and the other traditional employers in the area have either gone out of business or are producing more with fewer employees. Those traditional industries no longer provide employment for the young people of the area; they must find employment elsewhere. School principals in the area have highlighted this problem.

I must dissuade Members from making what could be regarded as Second Stage speeches on the Fifth and Final Stages of the Bill.

I am trying to ensure that in 20 years' time the people of the area will have more than cleaning jobs. I want them to be employed in productive employment in the Docklands area. What is the purpose of the Bill if it does not provide employment for the people of that area? It does not make sense to pass legislation dealing with education and training when the master plan is nearly complete. We should progress at a slower pace to ensure that correct decisions are taken. The educational aspect of the Bill is not strong enough.

I agree with most of the comments because similar difficulties arise in my area. This legislation will enable the authority to uplift the economy of the docklands area. The locals are confident the area will benefit economically as a result of this legislation and the setting up of the authority. The Government is conscious of the educational and training needs of the people involved. The report is an interim one. Educational and training matters will be an integral part of the final report which will be published by the end of March. The authority as a whole, not one person, will be responsible for developing educational and training programmes for the area.

Question put and agreed to.