State Examinations

Ceisteanna (181)

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

181. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a reader in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12205/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. The State Examinations Commission operates a scheme of Reasonable Accommodations in the Certificate examinations, including an appeals process. Applications for such accommodations are submitted by schools on behalf of their students. Full details of the scheme are available for downloading from their website: www.examinations.ie/candidates/reasonableaccommodations. In view of this I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to him.

Appointments to State Boards

Ceisteanna (182)

Terence Flanagan

Ceist:

182. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the action he is taking to encourage more Irish executives to serve on State boards under the remit of his Department; his views on the recent Merc Partners survey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12459/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In accordance with Government policy, expressions of interest are sought through the Public Appointments Service (PAS) from suitably qualified and experienced persons for consideration for appointment to boards of Bodies operating under the aegis of my Department.

Since March 2011, 27 appointments have been made from members of the public who applied through the PAS process. It should be noted that Board appointments, while made by me as Minister, are not in all cases made at my sole discretion. Individuals may be nominated for appointment by various organisations as specified in the relevant statute of the body concerned.

The Deputy should further note that in making any direct Ministerial appointments, I am not necessarily confined to those who make such expressions of interest but will ensure that all of those appointed have the relevant skills and competencies for the positions.

Museum Projects

Ceisteanna (183)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

183. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has instructed the Office of Public Works to carry out any further work for and on behalf of the Irish Jewish Museum since the completion of the planning application; and if so, the extent of the support being now sanctioned by him to the Irish Jewish Museum. [11935/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works has received no request to further assist the Irish Jewish Museum.

Museum Projects

Ceisteanna (184)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

184. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will specify the provisions that have been made for the residents of Portobello, Dublin 8, in respect of the potential risk of flooding which emanates from a design of the Office of Public Works prepared on behalf of the Irish Jewish Museum in view of a statement (details supplied) from the inspector of An Bord Pleanála; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11936/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Planning approval for the proposed Irish Jewish Museum development has been granted subject to the revised conditions outlined by An Bord Pleanála. The final detailed design will be the responsibility of the Architects and Engineers to be appointed by the Irish Jewish Museum.

Flood Risk Assessments

Ceisteanna (185)

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

185. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the River Shannon flood issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12206/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has no overseeing role or authority in relation to the River Shannon. Operational control of water flows and levels on the Shannon is the responsibility of both the ESB and Waterways Ireland.

The core strategy for addressing flood risk in the Shannon Basin is the Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management (CFRAM) Study. The CFRAM Programme, currently being undertaken by OPW with its technical consultants, and in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders, entails comprehensive catchment-based studies. Under the Programme, following public consultation, detailed flood maps are produced and flood risk management measures are assessed and taken to outline design. These measures will be prioritised and set out in a Flood Risk Management Plan. More information on the Programme is available on www.cfram.ie.

The Shannon CFRAM Study is being conducted by Jacobs Engineering on behalf of the OPW and I am advised that good progress is being made on the project. The Shannon River Basin District covers some 17,800kms2 and includes parts of 17 counties. A total of 66 locations along the Shannon have been identified for further assessment under the Study. The output of this important project will be an integrated plan of specific measures to address, in a comprehensive and sustainable way, the significant flood risk factors in the Shannon basin.

Under the Study, work on Draft Flood Maps will be finalised during 2014 and Flood Risk Management Plans are due to be finalised in 2015. The Shannon CFRAM Study involves public consultation with individuals and organisations who have an interest in the Shannon including property owners, recreational users, the farming community and environmental stakeholders. The extensive consultation with stakeholder groups under the study is a recognition of the multifaceted nature of the Shannon river system and its diverse uses and functions. The examination of flood risk management options for the Shannon will also give due consideration to its varied uses and functions through the application of a Multi Criteria Analysis which takes into account Environmental and Social criteria as well as Economic and Technical criteria. This is very much in keeping with the recommendations of the Rydell Report. More information is available on the project website www.shannoncframstudy.ie.

Appointments to State Boards

Ceisteanna (186)

Terence Flanagan

Ceist:

186. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the action he is taking to encourage more Irish executives to serve on State boards under the remit of his Department; his views on the recent Merc Partners survey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11519/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy is aware in 2011 the Government introduced new arrangements for the appointment of State board members.  Under the new arrangements Departments now invite expressions of interest from the public in vacancies on the boards of bodies under their aegis on their websites. It is open to all members of the public regardless of gender, political affiliations or location to apply for appointment to these vacancies. I am satisfied that the new arrangements introduced by the Government in 2011 have significantly improved transparency in the making of appointments to State Boards compared with the making of appointments in previous years.

A new website portal, www.stateboards.ie, created by the Public Appointments Service is offering a single dedicated point of contact to all Government Departments as a support to existing Board member selection procedures. This portal facilitates:

- The advertising of opportunities to express an interest in state board vacancies and the terms and conditions pertaining to same;

- The registration by prospective Board members of their general interest in a position on a state board;

- The sending of alerts to those registered on www.stateboards.ie (and formerly on publicjobs.ie) of state board vacancies as and when they arise.

There may have been a different ethos in the public sector compared to the private sector a few years ago but large changes have been made in the public sector in recent times leading to very similar fundamental values now. I agree that there may still be a need for a more proactive approach in attracting expressions of interest but I think the public is beginning to realise now how much the public service has changed which will hopefully alter any negative perceptions of the public sector as an employer in the future. The work expected of a candidate would be very challenging and the remuneration package would reflect this. Being previously employed in the public sector does not gain any advantages for a candidate.

Persons being proposed for appointment as chairpersons of State Bodies/Agencies may be required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the body or Board in question and, following that discussion, decisions will be taken by either the Government or myself, as appropriate, to confirm the nominee as chairperson.

Since the formation of this Government 22 members have been nominated to the two State Boards under my remit.  In view of the statutory procedures for the appointment of members of the Public Appointments Service, there is limited scope for me to make such appointments.

Office of Public Works Projects

Ceisteanna (187)

Jerry Buttimer

Ceist:

187. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount the Office of Public Works has invested in Cork city since March 2011; the key projects that were supported; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11573/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The information sought by the Deputy is currently being collated. A detailed response will issue as soon as possible.

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

Ceisteanna (188)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

188. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when he will provide the allocation to Kerry County Council which has been requested to carry out works to different areas on the Kerry coast which have been damaged and battered by the recent storms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11736/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government decided on 11 February 2014 to make available up to €69.5 million (based on estimates provided by the local authorities concerned) for a programme of repair and remediation works to roads, coastal protection and flood defence and other public infrastructure damaged in the storms from 13 December 2013 to 6th January 2014. Of the total amount being made available up to €19.6 million is available via the Office of Public Works for the repair of damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure.

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government wrote to Kerry County Council on 27 February, 2014 indicating that, based on the estimates submitted by the Council to that Department, an amount of up to €2,699,991 is being made available to the Council to undertake the necessary repairs works. Of that total, an amount of €1,226,920 is available via the OPW in respect of the cost of repairs to damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure in the county.

Kerry County Council must submit a programme of works to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government indicating how it proposes to spend the overall allocation that is being made available to it. The Council has also submitted applications for funding to the OPW in respect of the coastal protection and flood defence repair works it proposes to undertake. These applications have been reviewed by the OPW and it will be writing to the Council shortly in relation to the matter.

Drainage Schemes Applications

Ceisteanna (189)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

189. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding river cleaning works in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11758/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works has responsibility for approximately 11,500 km of arterial drainage channels, about 2,200 km being subject to routine maintenance each year as part of an ongoing programme of arterial drainage maintenance. This leads to an average cycle of maintenance taking place just over once every 5 years. This work is carried out to ensure that the State's investment in the Arterial Drainage schemes continues to provide the intended benefits.

There are 230 kms of river channels, 96 kms of flood defences, 180 sluice structures and 222 bridge structures on the River Maine. Significant damage to OPW assets on the River Maine catchment occurred during the recent storms. The OPW is currently in the process of rectifying these issues, but it is difficult to provide a time-line on when exactly specific areas of damage will be addressed due to many of the sites being inaccessible at this time and the solutions complicated. The works at these sites require planning and preparation and must take into account environmental considerations and other factors. However, I am advised that any major blockages within the system have been addressed to date and the OPW is continuing to deal with the issues as quickly as possible with the resources available.

Traffic Calming Measures

Ceisteanna (190)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

190. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the public spending code which is to be applied to the local and community development programme and Leader programmes will be applied across all Departments and schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11839/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The new Public Spending Code, which was formally notified to Government Departments in September 2013, applies to all public expenditure programmes. The overall aim of the new Code is to improve how public money is allocated and managed, and it contains guidelines and instruction on the application of ex-ante appraisal to spending proposals, and on expenditure planning and design, management, evaluation and post-implementation review.  The new Code reflects best international practice and replaces a suite of value for money and cost-benefit guidelines issued over the last decade or more. 

Government Departments and their agencies are responsibile for applying the new Code to expenditure within their ambit. The role of my Department - the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform - is to provide technical assistance, training and other expert advice to help Departments in their application of the Code and in their developing the in-house capacity and skills sets required. The Code is freely available at http://publicspendingcode.per.gov.ie.

Departmental Legal Costs

Ceisteanna (191)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

191. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will set out in tabular form, by reference to each named firm, the amount paid out in respect of legal fees during 2013 by his Department to law firms in or outside the State for services rendered to it; if he will provide in a similar format the amount paid out in respect of legal fees during 2013 by State bodies including commercial or non-commercial and regulatory bodies established by or under his Department, to law firms in or outside the State for services rendered to it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11876/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

In response to the Deputy's questions the following is a list of all legal fees paid by my Department, and those under my remit, in 2013: 

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Bodies under aegis Legal fees paid in 2013

Department / Office

Name of Law Firm

Amount Paid

Total Amount

Office of Public Works

A&L Goodbody

€5,058.84

 

 

Arthur Cox Solicitors

€11,445.15

 

 

Beauchamps Solicitors

€51,794.26

 

 

Michael A O'Brien & Co.

€922.50

 

 

Brady Shipman Martin

€5,535.00

 

 

McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors

€44,238.92

€118,994.67

Office of the Ombudsman

A&L Goodbody

€220,914.06

 

 

Mason, Hayes & Curran

€73,770.63

 

 

Matheson

€34,534.86

€329,219.55

Institute of Public Administration

Eversheds

€9,320.00

€9,320.00

Special EU Programmes Body

Elliot Duffy Garrett

£7,392.00

 

 

Pinsent Mason

£9,763.00

£17,155.00

State Properties

Ceisteanna (192)

Andrew Doyle

Ceist:

192. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide an update on the usage that has been allocated for the former Garda stations in Hollywood and Donard, County Wicklow; the use to which the property will be put and by whom; the length of any potential lease; the lengths his Department has gone to for making use of the properties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11900/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

In line with the previously stated Disposal Policy, the Commissioners of Public Works are currently assessing the property options arising in respect of all closed Garda Stations including the former Garda Stations in Donard and Hollywood in County Wicklow. A Community use proposal has been received in relation to the former Garda Station in Donard and this is currently being examined.

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

Ceisteanna (193)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

193. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has received an application in respect of a project (details supplied) in County Clare; if he will explain the associated process from receipt of such an application to the development taking place, indicating timelines and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11970/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government decided on 11 February 2014 to make available up to €69.5 million (based on estimates provided by the local authorities concerned) for a programme of repair and remediation works to roads, coastal protection and flood defence and other public infrastructure damaged in the storms from 13 December 2013 to 6 January 2014. Of the total amount being made available up to €19.6 million is available via the Office of Public Works for the repair of damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure.

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government wrote to Clare County Council on 27 February, 2014 indicating that, based on the estimates submitted by the Council to that Department, an amount of up to €16,205,637 is being made available to the Council to undertake the necessary repairs works. Of that total, an amount of up to €8,276,433 is available via the OPW in respect of the cost of repairs to damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure in the county.

Clare County Council must submit a programme of works to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government indicating how it proposes to spend the overall allocation that is being made available to it. The Council has also submitted applications for funding to the OPW in respect of the coastal protection and flood defence repair works it proposes to undertake. These applications have been reviewed by the OPW and it will be writing to the Council shortly in relation to the matter.

The applications submitted by Clare County Council to the OPW included an application in relation to Cloughaninchy. This application was for the construction of a new coastal protection rock armour or similar structure at this location and so is outside the scope of the Government Decision on funding for repairs to and reinstatement of existing structures. A new coastal protection scheme for Cloughaninchy would involve very significant investment and require detailed prior study and assessment to determine that it will achieve the intended design objective(s) and be economically and environmentally viable. Clare County Council will need to address this separately and outside of the current process aimed at repairs and emergency works. However, if Clare County Council has carried out temporary emergency works at this location the cost of these may be eligible for funding or re-imbursement.

Northern Ireland Issues

Ceisteanna (194)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

194. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the discussions he has had with his Assembly counterpart in Northern Ireland, the Minister for Finance and Personnel, regarding public sector reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11987/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I have regular engagement on a range of issues of mutual interest with my Northern Ireland counterpart, the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Simon Hamilton MLA, both in the context of the North South Ministerial Council and bilaterally. Minister Hamilton has identified public service reform as one of his priorities.  This is a priority that I share and which lies at the heart of the work of my Department. Following his appointment, Minister Hamilton and I had an opportunity to meet and discuss public service reform, amongst other issues, and there have been follow up discussions at official level.  Indeed, officials from Minister Hamilton's Department are in Dublin this week to meet my officials and continue these discussions.

Flood Relief Schemes Expenditure

Ceisteanna (195)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

195. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the €70 million fund to assist persons affected by the severe weather from 13 December 2013 to 6 January 2014 is exclusively for local authorities; if he has examined the problem of incidences of spot flooding whereby there are some incidences of flooding affecting a small number of homes in a particular area and if it has been determined the way persons living in such areas can be assisted; and if his Department has specified in any regulations or otherwise to local authorities about the manner in which those affected by flooding on a smaller scale may be assisted. [12025/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government decided on 11 February 2014 to make available a total sum of up to €69.5m towards the repair and reinstatement of public infrastructure that was damaged during the severe weather in the period 13 December 2013 to 6 January, 2014 based on estimates provided by local authorities to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. These monies will be made available to local authorities via the Votes of the relevant Government Departments. The Office of Public Works will be responsible for the sum of up to €19.6m provided in the overall allocation of €69.5m in respect of repair of existing coastal protection and flood defences.

It is a matter for the local authorities in the first instance to investigate and address flooding issues locally. Under the OPW's Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme, which was introduced in 2009, local authorities can apply for funding to enable them to undertake small-scale mitigation measures to address localised flood problems. Application forms and related guidelines are available on OPW's website www.opw.ie under Flood Risk Management.

Flood Relief Schemes Applications

Ceisteanna (196)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

196. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the details of the funding sought under the emergency programme of rehabilitative works following recent storms by Galway County Council in relation to works on Inishbofin Island; the details of the works for which funding has been sought; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12076/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government decided on 11 February 2014 to make available up to €69.5 million (based on estimates provided by the local authorities concerned) for a programme of repair and remediation works to roads, coastal protection and flood defence and other public infrastructure damaged in the storms from 13 December 2013 to 6 January 2014. Of the total amount being made available up to €19.6 million is available via the Office of Public Works for the repair of damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure.

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government wrote to Galway County Council on 27 February, 2014 indicating that, based on the estimates submitted by the Council to that Department, an amount of up to €9,491,055 is being made available to the Council to undertake the necessary repairs works. Of that total, an amount of €1,144,800 is available via the OPW in respect of the cost of repairs to damaged coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure in the county.

Galway County Council must submit a programme of works to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government indicating how it proposes to spend the overall allocation that is being made available to it. The Council has also submitted applications for funding to the OPW in respect of the coastal protection and flood defence repair works it proposes to undertake throughout the County. These applications included four projects for the repair and reinstatement of existing coastal revetment walls at the Inishbofin Middle Quarter, the Inishbofin East End, the Inishbofin south facing shore and Inishbofin North Beach. The OPW will be writing to the Council shortly in relation to the matter.

Details on the funding sought by Galway County Council in relation to the repair of damaged infrastructure other than coastal protection and flood defence structures is not available to the OPW and the Deputy should request this information from the relevant Departments concerned i.e. the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in relation to damage to piers and harbours and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in relation to damage to roads and other coastal amenities.

Public Procurement Contracts

Ceisteanna (197)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

197. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the public procurement stationery supplies contract will be awarded. [12133/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The evaluation of the Stationery and Office Supplies competition is still in train. The Office of Government Procurement is not in a position, at this time, to give a definitive date for the award of the first sectoral contract. As soon as the first sectoral contract is signed one of my officials will contact the Deputy.

Flood Prevention Measures

Ceisteanna (198)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

198. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding the reinstatement of the Maine bank at Ardcanaught, Castlemaine, County Kerry; when the Office of Public Works anticipates being in a position to resume works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12146/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

There are 230kms of river channels, 96kms of flood defences, 180 sluice structures and 222 bridge structures on the River Maine. Significant damage to OPW assets on the River Maine catchment occurred during the recent storms. The OPW is currently in the process of rectifying these issues, but it is difficult to provide a time-line on when exactly specific areas of damage will be addressed due to many of the sites being inaccessible at this time and the solutions complicated. The works at these sites require planning and preparation and must take into account environmental considerations and other factors. However, I am advised that any major blockages within the system have been addressed to date and the OPW is continuing to deal with the issues as quickly as possible with the resources available.

Staff from the OPW's South West Region Arterial Drainage Maintenance Division are currently working at Laghtacallow, where they are building haul roads allowing for access to import subsoil and rock armor to repair the affected defences at this location. There are approximately 1.5 km of defences here requiring some form of attention. It is hoped that works at Ardcanaght can commence by late April or early May.

Property Valuations

Ceisteanna (199)

John Deasy

Ceist:

199. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide a percentage breakdown of businesses whose rental values increased, decreased and stayed static arising from the recent revaluation process in Waterford city and county, including the Dungarvan Town Council administrative area; the average percentage of their previous rental value by which businesses were revalued upwards or downwards in Waterford city and county, including Dungarvan town; and the typical percentage increases and decreases revaluation that resulted across different business and industry categories in Waterford city and county. [12199/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Valuation Office is assuming for the purposes of this reply that the PQ requests information by reference to changes in "rental values". Since the revaluation is bringing about valuations based on modern rental values for the first time, it is presumed that the information sought is by reference to changes in Rates Liability. The following tables set out the position on that basis.

 

Overall Changes in Rates Liability arising from the Waterford revaluation

 

Waterford County Council

Waterford City Council

Dungarvan Town Council

All Waterford

% of New Items

3%

2%

2%

2%

% of Items Decreased

56%

75%

44%

65%

% of Items Increased

40%

21%

52%

32%

% of Items Unchanged

1%

1%

2%

1% 

 

Overall average decreases and increases by rating authority area

 

Waterford County Council

Waterford City Council

Dungarvan Town Council

All Waterford

Average % Decrease

33.13%

33.62%

21.30%

32.28%

Average % Increase

66.24%

60.92%

73.90%

66.44%

  Notes:

- Increased/Decreased Rates Liability is based on a change greater than +/-

- The average increases include changes arising from the amalgamation of what were previously multiple properties into one new property with a new higher valuation.

- Properties in the Utility sector have been excluded from this exercise on the basis that the value of these items was not adequately reflected in the Valuation List heretofore.

- "New Items" may be items not previously reflected on the valuation list, or items which have now been divided into separate rateable properties.

 

Analysis of main Business sectors with Decreased Rates Liability

Sector

No. of properties

Average % Decrease

Comment

Hospitality

186

37.67%

Includes hotels, pubs and other hospitality properties

Industrial

963

37.81%

Includes factories, warehouses and workshops

Leisure

45

28.24%

Includes sporting facilities and gymnasia and leisure centres

Office

517

31.17%

 

Retail (Shops)

709

25.26%

 

  Analysis of main Business sectors with Increased Rates Liability

Sector

No. of properties

Average % Increase

Comment

Hospitality

77

70.75%

Includes hotels, pubs and other hospitality properties

Industrial

194

76.34%

Includes factories, warehouses and workshops

Leisure

19

46.64%

Includes sporting facilities and gymnasia and leisure centres

Office

166

60.40%

 

Retail (Shops)

647

57.64%

 

Note: The average increases indicated above include increases arising from the amalgamation of what were previously multiple properties into one new property with a new higher valuation.

 The statistics reflect the position on publication of the three new Valuation Lists for the Waterford rating authorities on 31st December 2013 with an Annual Rate of Valuation (ARV) of 0.252 as set by the rating authorities. The revaluation has now moved to the "First Appeal" stage. Such appeals are to the Commissioner of Valuation in the first instance with a further appeal to the Valuation Tribunal by appellants who are dissatisfied with the outcome the "First Appeal".

The closing date for first Appeals was 8th February 2014 and the total number of appeals received across the three Waterford rating authorities was 229 (circa 6%). The breakdown was as follows:

Authority

No. of appeals

Waterford County

71 appeals

Waterford City

128 appeals

Dungarvan

30 appeals

Departmental Correspondence

Ceisteanna (200)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Ceist:

200. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding formal correspondence to Ministers; if he will confirm that all communications sent which are deemed to have come to the Ministers' attention are dealt with in an appropriate manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11742/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

All correspondence received in my office is acknowledged and responded to appropriately, having particular regard to my roles and responsibilities as Minister in relation to the issue or issues being raised. Insofar as the particular case being raised by the Deputy is concerned, my Office, both in September 2013 and again in March 2014, drew the correspondent's attention to the important fact that the Equality Tribunal is independent of me as Minister in the exercise of its functions, the carrying out of which are subject to an independent appeals process in addition to Judicial Review by the High Court. In such circumstances, it remains inappropriate for me to involve myself as Minister in the issue. Furthermore, with regard to any matters where a correspondent is of the belief that he or she has evidence of any criminal act, as is alleged in this case, the correspondent would be advised – as has been the case here - that he or she may bring this, if appropriate, to the attention of An Garda Síochána.

Finally in the case which the Deputy is raising, all correspondence was forwarded to the Director of the Equality Tribunal for his information.