Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Ceisteanna (125)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

212 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress to date under the young peoples facilities and services fund in identifying the recreational needs and facilities required in disadvantaged areas; the action and funding which has been provided for these facilities to date; and if the fund can now be used by communities identified as being in need by the regional drugs task forces which were recently established. [3237/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

As the Deputy is aware, the young people's facilities and services fund, YPFSF, was established in 1998 to assist in the development of facilities — including sport and recreational facilities — and services in disadvantaged areas where a significant drug problem exists or has the potential to develop.

To date, the main focus of the fund has been in the 14 local drugs task force, LDTF, areas, which were established in 1997 in the areas experiencing the worst levels of drug misuse. However, recognising that the drug problem is not confined to the LDTF areas, funding was also allocated to a number of urban areas, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Carlow. To date, just over €68 million has been allocated or spent to fund almost 350 projects in the areasidentified.

Proposals submitted as part of a second round of allocations in LDTF areas are currently being examined by the national assessment committee, which is chaired by my Department. I hope to make announcements in this regard in the near future. There are no plans at present to extend the YPFSF to regional drugs task force areas.