Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Youth Services Provision

Anne Rabbitte


1. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to Tusla's decision to terminate its service-level agreement with a programme (details supplied) in County Galway and the negative impacts this will have on young persons in the county. [46135/18]

My first question is to ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the Tusla decision to terminate its service-level agreement with a programme in Galway, Youth Advocate Programmes, YAP, Ireland, which has been in operation in Galway for the past 16 years and to the negative impacts this decision will have on all persons in Galway and Roscommon because the organisation does not provide the service only to Galway, but to Galway and Roscommon.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has an annual service level agreement in place with the organisation to which the Deputy refers, YAP Ireland. Under the terms of the current agreement, the organisation is contracted in the Galway-Roscommon area to provide a support service to 18 young people in need. The young people are assigned an advocate that will work with them over six months.

During the course of this year, Tusla developed an initiative called creative community alternatives which is designed to support the planned exit of children and young people who are in residential care or foster care and to avoid those at risk being placed in residential care. The overall aim of the community care alternatives is to enable children and young people at risk to live in their communities with wrap-around supports. Children and young people with very complex needs can display challenging and high risk-taking behaviours, drug and alcohol issues, mental health issues, attachment issues, educational problems and family environmental issues. The broad ranging intensive wrap-around supports provided through the creative community alternatives are designed to meet the identified needs of each child or young person.

One example is a nine-month programme which works intensively with a child or young person who is identified at high risk of admission to care. It is a partnership between Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board, Foróige and Tusla. The programme sets goals and measurable outcomes for each young person. There is a heavy emphasis on participation and citizenship.

With the roll-out of community care alternatives in Galway, Tusla made a decision not to renew its service level agreement with YAP Ireland in the Galway-Roscommon area. Tusla has also advised me that the decision not to renew the service level agreement was communicated to the CEO of YAP Ireland and its director of services on 28 June 2018 and that a meeting was held in September 2018. Tusla is also engaged with YAP Ireland in respect of the termination of the service level agreement.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House

I believe it is good practice for Tusla to review its services continually, including the work carried out by Tusla staff in the Galway-Roscommon area through its creative community alternatives plan. I have been assured by Tusla that the needs of children and young people in Galway will be met under the new arrangements. Tusla will continue to work with YAP Ireland in the region until the end of 2018 in line with the service level agreement signed by both parties. Tusla is engaged with YAP Ireland with regard to the termination of the service level agreement.

I thank the Minister for her response. Needless to say I would not have raised this question as a priority issue if I had not deemed it a serious priority for Galway. YAP Ireland has provided service for the past 16 years and has looked after people and provided a community for alternative care. The Minister has described what Tusla is looking for. YAP Ireland has a service level agreement nationally with Tusla. With regard to its own levels of governance, this decision goes directly against Tusla's corporate plan for 2018 to 2020 and its commitment to have a wide menu of services available to work with children, young people, and families in need. What the Minister is after describing is exactly what YAP Ireland does in Galway. It provides that wrap-around service. It may not be for nine months and it may not be for children exiting care, but guess what YAP Ireland does? It prevents children falling into the whole care set-up. That is what it is about. It provides a 26 week service during which there is a worker who works with not only the child, but with the family.

I appreciate the Deputy's questions and concerns in this regard. I do not dispute the fact that YAP Ireland has been providing those services. In light of the review of YAP Ireland's work in Galway and Roscommon, however it has been identified that the approach that has been developed there does not meet the identified needs of the children in that community in terms of both the length of service provided and the qualified professional staff to enable sustainable and local solutions. I have also been advised that there is no requirement for an advocate employed by YAP Ireland to have a recognised social care qualification. What I am describing in my response to the Deputy, while not disputing what YAP Ireland has done in the past but looking at moving forward, is the creation of a new approach and, in the context of Galway and Roscommon, this approach will be more appropriate in terms of the length of time and the professionals involved.

What the Minister is after telling me is quite worrying because it leads me to believe that, in terms of the work YAP Ireland carries out, Galway is just the first to see these jobs cut. That is what it would indicate to me. If that is the decision we have made at a local level in Galway, it means that the other 22 centres nationwide will possibly be hit. Tusla would not have made that decision if it did not intend to roll out its community care alternatives scheme nationwide. It is also worrying that Tusla is not listening to the fact that we have a shortage of skilled workers and to the fact that it is very difficult to recruit into Tusla and that sort of organisation. Where are we going to find the staff? The Minister talked about the fact that YAP Ireland does not have enough professional staff, yet at the same time it was able to provide a 24 hour wrap-around service for those families and those children who were on its books at any time. It is unfortunate that communications at a local level within Tusla and YAP Ireland have fallen down. That is becoming very apparent.

Again, I appreciate the questions and concerns of the Deputy. On her first issue, all I am doing is reporting on the decision of Tusla in respect of Galway-Roscommon.

I am aware that YAP has services that operate throughout the country. It does not necessarily follow that this is just the first of many, which is what the Deputy is suggesting. As I understand it with regard to the decision relating to Galway and Roscommon, Tusla developed an approach that had regard to the analysis of needs there and, on that basis, identified that it would terminate the service level agreement. I appreciate that this is very challenging and possibly disheartening for the people involved. That is the decision of Tusla, whose rationale I have described.

Regarding the question of whether Tusla has adequate services in Galway and Roscommon to address young people's needs and the Deputy's concerns about the necessary professionals, my understanding is that Tusla has developed significantly in the area of family supports. The local area has a contract with Foróige, and this service has 12 embedded staff working in the area of family support teams to respond to children's needs.

Aftercare Services

Denise Mitchell


2. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if additional resources are being provided to Tusla to provide aftercare supports, including housing and education supports, for young persons leaving State care; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45952/18]

Will the Minister tell me whether additional resources are being provided to Tusla to provide aftercare supports, including housing and education supports, for young persons leaving State care?

Aftercare constitutes a key element of how we, as a society, help young people leaving the care of the State to make the critical transition into adulthood. Aftercare was one of the areas I highlighted when I secured additional resources for Tusla in 2019. The aftercare provisions of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015 came into force on 1 September 2017. This means that there is now a statutory obligation on Tusla to prepare an aftercare plan for each eligible child and young person. This plan encompasses the range of supports that a young person may need from all service providers, including Tusla, to help him or her make the transition to independent adult life. This plan must specifically include consideration of the young person's needs with regard to education and accommodation and set out the assistance that Tusla will provide to the young person to meet this identified need either directly or through accessing external services. This support can include direct financial support in the form of the aftercare allowance, which Tusla provides to young people in aftercare to enable them to pursue further education and training.

The majority of young people who leave the care of the State each year upon turning 18 do so with stable accommodation in place. In this regard, 45.2% of young people leaving care remained with their former foster carers, 25.1% were living independently, 10.5% were at home with their birth parents and 9.3% were in a residential care placement or supported lodgings. However, 9% of young people leaving care are at a more pronounced risk of entering unstable accommodation due to the complexity of their support needs. It is for this reason, on foot of a specific suggestion by Fr. Peter McVerry, that I ensured funding was made available to approved housing bodies under the capital assistance scheme, CAS, to provide accommodation to these especially vulnerable young people.

It was difficult to adapt the scheme to the needs of young people leaving care. However, I am happy to say that the first care leaver has recently taken occupancy of an apartment in north county Dublin under the scheme. An additional 40 units consisting of a mix of one and two-bed units are sale agreed and should be available for many other young people leaving care in the near future.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House

These will become available in Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Sligo, Tipperary, Limerick, Kildare and Westmeath. The security provided by a tenancy in CAS accommodation, combined with the aftercare supports identified by Tusla as part of the aftercare planning process, can help ensure that these young people have a safe base from which to begin their independent lives.

I am pleased to be able to confirm that I have secured €33 million for additional investment in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, in 2019, bringing the total budget available to Tusla in 2019 to €786 million. The additional resources secured for Tusla in 2019 will assist in meeting key priorities. The extra investment will allow Tusla to recruit a range of additional staff to respond to areas of identified risk and to meet increased demand for services, including aftercare supports.

I thank the Minister for her response. I recently attended the launch of the annual report of Empowering People in Care, EPIC. EPIC works with young people in the care system and those leaving care. I cannot speak highly enough of the great work it does. As the Minister is aware, young people leaving care face unique challenges in housing and education. I found it particularly worrying that the report outlined that 12% of those leaving the care system face homelessness. I hope the Minister will work with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government on this because I find it unacceptable. These young people should be prioritised when it comes to housing and education. They are the most inspirational young people any of us could meet. Will the Minister commit to raising this issue with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and engaging with EPIC to find solutions?

I have done so and I will continue to do so. Not that long after I entered my Ministry and having met Fr. McVerry and other representatives of the housing and homelessness associations, we identified the need for accommodation for young people leaving care. I indicated in my initial reply that, on foot of that, we got access to funding through CAS to set up suitable accommodation and that it has taken time to establish that. However, I have a list of 40 units that have been identified and are sale agreed, and I am happy to share that list with Deputy Mitchell and other Deputies. Focus Housing Association is in the process of taking over a number of them in places like Dublin, Sligo, the mid-west and Limerick. The Peter McVerry Trust is also involved in other settings throughout the country where it will renovate, adjust and accommodate young people leaving care. Those are the additional supports that are coming on stream.

I thank the Minister for that response. It is to be hoped we will see the information she has at hand. It is unfortunate that in some cases, once a child turns 18, he or she is left with very few supports. We recently saw a report in the media where a young man in Clondalkin who was just four months out from sitting his leaving certificate was told he had to source accommodation or face homelessness. We can only imagine the stress and worry that caused this young person when he should have been concentrating on his examinations.

We also have a very serious shortage of aftercare workers. In my area of north Dublin, 35 young people are waiting for an appointment with an aftercare worker while 14 are waiting on residential services. In July, Tusla said it was developing supports for these young people, which is what the Minister is talking about here, so I would like to find out the status of that development and whether any other resources will be made available to EPIC.

It was reported that a professor of social work at Trinity College, Dublin, said that extending care until the young person is 21 should be considered. Is the Minister looking at that?

In my initial reply, I meant to say that I am very familiar with and have high regard for the work EPIC does in many different settings. In respect of the Deputy's question, we will continue to look at future resources or funding. I have spoken about the housing that will come on stream. What education supports are available? Encouraging and supporting young people leaving care who wish to pursue further education and training is a major priority in my Department's aftercare policy. Continuing in further education and training entitles them to receive the standardised aftercare allowance, even after they turn 21. This allowance is €300. When the young person in education and training remains with the former foster carer, the money goes to the foster parent, but if the young person is independent, it goes to him or her. Student Universal Support Ireland, SUSI, provides a targeted application process for young people leaving care. There are various supports but it is important to ensure that aftercare workers work with young people to find and access the supports that are available.

Affordable Childcare Scheme Implementation

Anne Rabbitte


3. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of the affordable childcare scheme; the date by which the information and communications technology system will be operational; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46137/18]

Will the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs tell us about the status of the implementation of the affordable childcare scheme and the date by which the information and communications technology system will be operational?

I am delighted to report positive progress regarding the development of the affordable childcare scheme and to confirm that I plan to introduce the scheme in October 2019. The scheme will open to applications in October 2019 with payments flowing from November 2019. The launch of this scheme will alter the landscape of childcare in Ireland. It will provide financial support for parents, establish a sustainable platform for investment in the childcare sector for decades to come and, crucially, allow us to continue to invest in giving our children the best start in life.

Legislation establishing the new affordable childcare scheme, the Childcare Support Act 2018, was signed by the President in July. This will be underpinned by detailed secondary legislation and formal policy guidelines. We will also bring forward regulations providing, for the first time, for the registration of school age childcare services by the Tusla early years inspectorate. This will ensure that such services can participate in the scheme from its inception.

Regarding the ICT system, my Department concluded a full open tender public procurement process earlier this year. A contract was awarded and our IT development contractor, Codec, is busy working with officials from both the Department and Pobal to develop the system. Consultation and engagement with stakeholders is ongoing and, in the new year, a comprehensive awareness campaign will be launched for parents and the public, alongside training and information supports for childcare providers and other key stakeholders. Finally, budget 2019 provided for significant enhancements to the scheme which will ensure that an even greater number of families will now benefit from it once launched.

I thank the Minister for all of that information. The one question I have is on her degree of confidence that the scheme will be delivered in October 2019. To reel back through the years, the scheme was announced in budget 2016 but we realised legislative changes were required in March 2017. That meant we did not hit the targeted launch in 2017. We looked forward to 2018, but failed to deliver on that target also. The target is now 2019, which is why I ask about Codec and the Department's work. Are trials taking place? Is the scheme up and running in some of the various city and county childcare areas? Where exactly are we with a timeline? There is no point having an awareness programme if we are not fully confident that we are going to be able to deliver. Why is the target October 2019 instead of August 2019? Why not have it in place before the new year starts? It should be out ambition to deliver the scheme for August 2019.

On the Deputy's last point, if I said I hoped we could deliver it by August 2019, I would not meet that target. I know that right now. The Deputy is right as an Opposition Member to make critical comments on not meeting other targets. We know that because of the work that remains to be done, not only in relation to ICT but its underpinnings in the use of the mygov.ie website and the cards families will need to access through the Department of Social Protection to apply for the subsidies in the great scheme that will be available. We hope to have it available and up and running in November 2019. It will not be available until then because of issues around the GDPR and mygov.ie which must be resolved to allow families to get the subsidy in November. However, applications will be accepted in October.

Is the Minister saying that the families who apply in October 2019 will receive an immediate benefit under the scheme from November 2019? It is not the families coming forward in August 2020 that will be the first families to benefit. Rather, it will be the families in next year's cycle that will benefit. I pick up on the Minister's point about mygov.ie. Is it the case that when some families engage for the first time, they might find themselves very close to or outside a threshold? Will they have to go through other avenues within the social protection system to apply for cards or will the website cut away all of that red tape so that the decision will be made through mygov.ie in conjunction with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs?

In reply to the Deputy's first question, the single streamlined scheme will be implemented from November 2019. As the Deputy knows, families are currently accessing different schemes and providers are coping with administering those. From November, however, the scheme will be implemented and the new thresholds will apply. In light of the huge transition from one way of doing things to where we want to be, we are allowing families to continue to access the subsidisation of their childcare supports in the way they have been doing. They will be given time to move over to this new approach. They will have a number of months. We must also conduct a very significant awareness and information campaign from the beginning, probably, of next year to get people ready.

Child and Family Agency Funding

Richard Boyd Barrett


4. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the necessary funds will be made available to an organisation (details supplied) in order that it can continue to offer both the residential care and the early intervention family support service to families and vulnerable children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46128/18]

The value of early intervention for vulnerable young people and families is beyond question. All NGOs and organisations working in this area agree and I have seen the Minister at some of their gatherings, including a meeting of the Children's Rights Alliance at which the undeniable value of early intervention was discussed. In that context, my question is really a plea to the Minister to make funding available to the Cottage Home family support service in Shankill. The service needs just €400,000 to keep going. It has been funding itself from the proceeds of the sale of the Cottage Home in Tivoli Road, but that money is now running out and the service is under threat if it is not funded by the Minister.

I thank the Deputy for his question about the Cottage Home family support service, which provides family support services to children and families in the south Dublin area. The organisation also provides a residential care service for young people and, in 2018, Tusla is providing €1.6 million in funding for the residential component of this service. I have received correspondence from several Members of the Oireachtas, including the Deputy, on this matter. I have also received detailed correspondence from the management of the Cottage Home detailing the nature of the valuable work the organisation does, the cost pressures it is under and the reasons it wishes to receive State funding for its family support service to ensure its sustainability.

While the provision of family support services is a matter for Tusla, I have raised with it the concerns of the Deputy and others regarding the future funding of this organisation. I have been informed that the family support service has been in operation for a number of years and, to date, has been privately funded by the Cottage Home. It has not received funding from Tusla or the Health Service Executive, which provided child and family services prior to the establishment of Tusla in January 2014. Tusla acknowledges the value and benefits of this service in the community it serves and has advised me that its service director and the area manager are familiar with and have visited the services provided by the Cottage Home. At the time the Cottage Home made a request for funding, available resources for family support services had been allocated to services in the area. However, Tusla has advised the Cottage Home to apply for funding through one of its funding streams, including support for counselling, which would assist in the provision of some of its services.

Tusla is currently compiling a services commissioning plan in order to assign resources to areas of the greatest need and ensure the best possible outcomes. Requests for funding from the Cottage Home will be considered in this context. The planning process will help inform any future spending in the area based on evidenced needs. Tusla has invited the Cottage Home to be involved in stakeholder consultations on the planning process early next year. As previously highlighted, Tusla is committed to working with service providers in the area to ensure services are available to vulnerable children and families.

I welcome the Minister's reasonably positive response and acknowledge her response to my previous correspondence. However, there is uncertainty here because the private funding from the proceeds of the sale of the Cottage Home on Tivoli Road is running out. There are six qualified staff here and they are, frankly, saving the State a great deal of money. This is the important point about early intervention. It is estimated that every child who has to go into State or residential care will cost the State €200,000 a year. Here we have a service with six qualified staff, which has dealt with over 150 young people in its few years of existence, keeping many of them out of residential care and saving the State money, and it is asking for what is really a pittance.

It needs certainty as it is very difficult without it for it and the service users it supports They are hoping for an assurance that this small amount of money will be made available to secure the future of the service.

Unfortunately, I cannot absolutely promise it right now, although I would like to be able to do so. Tusla and I acknowledge the excellent work of Cottage Home and the contribution it has made in providing residential and other services. Cottage Home came to Tusla with this request at a time in the year when resources had already been disbursed to other services Tusla provides in these and other areas. Tusla may have wanted to respond positively, but the resources had already been spent. It is developing a commissioning strategy and approach in every area to identify needs. It is changing its approach to provide funding on that basis, of which Cottage Home is aware. It will be able to apply for funding in 2019 in that context.

I am not quite sure what to make of the Minister's answer. If this service goes, it will be a major blow to an area where there is very substantial disadvantage and in which there are many vulnerable families and young people. Reviews and new ways of commissioning are fine, but this service needs to be maintained. If it is not, vulnerable families and young people will lose a vital service. The State would be cutting off its nose to spite its face. It will cost Tusla and the State more if the service is not maintained. I do not see why there is any ambiguity about this. It may be an issue that the funds have been allocated for this year, but we are very familiar with overruns in the health service and moneys being found in those circumstances. We are talking about a small amount of money in the greater scheme of things. I would like a bit more reassurance, as would the people who work in the service and the families and children who depend on it.

I have tried to be very clear in my answers. I acknowledge the contribution Cottage Home has made. The organisation, another or a combination of five or so organisations-----

By the way, these people are in the Visitors Gallery.

-----may decide midway through the year that their funding resources are drying up and that they want the State to give them additional money, but there is a process for resourcing the services provided for children throughout the country, including in the Deputy's area. If they need moneys now which they did not need before, they have to go through the process Tusla offers. I have agreed to meet the organisation and Tusla to look into the issue in more detail, but I believe the approach I have outlined is very reasonable. We are trying to run our budget in that context.

I appeal to all Members to stick to the time limits. A Member has 30 seconds to introduce his or her question. There are two minutes for the Minister to reply. There is one minute for a supplementary question and one minute for the Minister to reply. That is also the case for the final supplementary question and the Minister's final reply. I ask Members to stick to these time limits because it will allow more questions to be asked and answered.

Youth Services

Maureen O'Sullivan


5. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way in which voluntary youth work can be supported in view of the considerable demands on voluntary boards and volunteering. [45787/18]

I ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way in which voluntary youth work can be supported in view of the considerable demands on voluntary boards and volunteering.

I pay tribute to the fine work of the many thousands of volunteers within the youth work system. The contribution of volunteers to youth services, projects and clubs is very significant and their commitment is crucial to the strong and diverse youth infrastructure which has been developed across the country. In recognition of the contribution volunteers make for young people, I announced a 13% increase in funding for the local youth club grants scheme in 2018, bringing the overall funding allocation to €1.79 million.  The additional funding will result in a greater volume of volunteer-led youth activities over the course of 2018. In addition, last year I announced the local youth club equipment scheme, under which €6.35 million was made available to volunteer-led clubs and groups that worked with young people in communities throughout the country.  The scheme enabled these volunteer-led clubs to purchase equipment for sports, arts, adventure and other much needed items.

In addition to this funding, my Department provides annual funding for the National Youth Council of Ireland, NYCI, the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland.  The NYCI supports the interests of volunteering youth organisations and provides an online resource for anyone interested in volunteering in youth work.  This online resource brings together useful information on volunteering opportunities, advice and downloadable resources such as a national induction training programme and details of the NYCI policy on volunteering to assist youth work organisations in the recruitment and retention of volunteers.

I am conscious that owing to their size smaller youth organisations can find it difficult to meet compliance and administrative requirements. With this in mind, my Department is engaged in a process to provide funding for the NYCI to enable the recruitment of a suitable provider to offer professional assistance to smaller voluntary youth organisations. It is intended that the chosen provider will offer a shared service to support the organisations in meeting their compliance, legal and regulatory duties.

I have asked the question to highlight the tremendous work done over many years by volunteers in the real meaning of the word, for which they are not remunerated. They are, however, finding it very difficult and it could come to the point where we will have no voluntary boards of management, no voluntary directors and no volunteers in the youth service. As there are 600 volunteers in Dublin alone, we should reflect on what would happen if a significant number felt they were no longer welcome, or that what they were contributing was being undermined. The one-size-fits-all approach makes it difficult. I agree with good governance, transparency and accountability, but there is no allowance for the difference between the directors who are really voluntary and those who are being remunerated. There is so much administrative work to be done that one has to ask if the quality of youth working has improved as a result. The most vital component is the relationship between a young person and a youth worker. I do not dispute the need for rules and regulations, but we need to look at this issue because we are in danger of losing many volunteers.

I always welcome the Deputy's passion for these issues, her commitment and the experience she brings. I acknowledge everything she has said about the contributions of volunteers and the additional burdens they face, some of which I understand are being addressed by my Department and the National Youth Council of Ireland. My Department met representatives of smaller national youth organisations at the end of August, with the aim of agreeing to a sustainable long-term approach to assist in reducing the impact on small youth organisations of the compliance and associated administrative burden. They identified possible solutions and came up with prioritised shared services, shared systems and a provider to support them in meeting their administrative requirements. We listened to them and are putting in place what they recommended.

There are a lot of requirements in the supervision of volunteers in the City of Dublin Youth Service Board, while some volunteers have to complete the Tusla online safeguarding programme. Some older people do not have the IT skills to do this and some of the retraining courses are being offered at times that do not suit volunteers because they work on a full-time basis. Some may feel insulted that after many years of volunteering they now have to be Garda vetted.

For example, I have some 40 years behind me of volunteering with a youth service. If I was to go back and offer the service one night per week I would have to be Garda vetted. Another example is a youth service whose buses are now under Tusla, but Tusla is saying that it does not recommend using volunteers even though the service has been using volunteers with clean driving licences for many years. The alternative is that the youth service now must train some of its own workers, at a lot of expense, to be drivers and to have the D licence. I agree with the paid youth service conditions of employment but the volunteer is the person who can give the hours late at night, who can work weekends and holidays. They are not looking for overtime and they are not looking for time off work.

I thank Deputy O'Sullivan. While I appreciate the concerns the Deputy brings with regard to the volunteers on whose behalf she speaks, and while I understand what the Deputy is saying, the example given is the person who has years of experience in volunteer work. Am I correct in hearing that even as we move towards having a system for the safety of young people and children of which Garda vetting is part that we should just suspend the vetting requirement for people who have been in the field for a while? I do not believe that is what the Deputy is saying, but I appreciate the additional burden it may require. I also hear the number of other issues raised by the Deputy. There have been meetings with my Department and with smaller organisations to try to take account of the concerns of some of the volunteers. I understand that there is another meeting of these organisations on 12 November. I will ask them to pay attention to the issues raised by the Deputy and to ensure they are taken into account in that meeting in moving forward.