Education and Training Boards

Ceisteanna (280)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

280. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will clarify the position regarding the redundancy and work contracts of employees in community training centres, CTCs, since the transition from FÁS to education and training boards; if his Department will intervene to clarify the conditions of employment in light of the communication breakdown between the Department of Education and skills, the education and training boards, CTC managers and the employees; if he will ensure that all CTC workers experience a seamless transition from FÁS to education and training boards by ensuring the latter honour previous employment contracts under FÁS in order that employees may enjoy continuity during the transition and continue their work with high-risk individuals and in complex situations without the fear of job insecurity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21554/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Through a series of decisions the Government decided to replace 33 vocational education committees (VECs) with 16 new entities, to be known as education and training boards (ETBs), and to establish SOLAS to replace FÁS. The proposals in relation to SOLAS, as agreed by the Government, envisage a key role for the ETBs in relation to the future delivery of further education and training in an integrated manner. Significant developments have already taken place with the establishment of ETBs on 1 July 2013, and the establishment of SOLAS on 27 October 2013. 7 SOLAS training centres and their staff transferred to 4 ETBs on 1 January 2014. The second phase of transfer of 12 SOLAS training centres to a further 7 ETBs will take place on 1 July 2014. SOLAS and the ETBs have established a Transfer Implementation Group to ensure that there is a smooth transfer process.

Community Training Centres (CTCs) are independent community-based organisations, each with its own board and governance structure. CTCs are managed locally and funded directly from SOLAS or ETBs. SOLAS has regular meetings with the employer representative body for the 38 independent community boards governing the CTCs and has kept it informed of changes in the Further Education and Training sector. In particular, this has included information on the transfer of all SOLAS training functions, including responsibilities for CTCs, to ETBs. My Department has no plans at present to alter existing arrangements in relation to CTCs and their work in meeting the training and employment needs of early school leavers, primarily aged between 16 and 21, in the community will continue. The Department recently met with representatives from CTCs to brief them on the Programme of Reform for the sector.

State Examinations

Ceisteanna (281)

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

281. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will engage in meaningful discussion with representatives from the secondary schools teachers' unions regarding the proposals advanced by him for junior certificate reform; if he will meet these groups to discuss their concerns because the working group meetings currently taking place are extremely limited; if he will work with them in a constructive manner to resolve these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21555/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I set up a National Working Group for Junior Cycle last January, as a forum to proactively address identified challenges and opportunities as they arise over the phased implementation time schedule for the Junior Cycle. My officials, through this National Working Group, have engaged in meaningful discussions with the education stakeholders, including the secondary schools teachers unions. Three sub-groups have been established to consider the following issues - Workload and implementation issues for schools and teachers; Quality assurance and support for teacher assessment; and the Continuing professional development required to support teachers and school leaders to implement the Junior Cycle. In all, there have been 12 meetings since January. While school management bodies and others have made written submissions to the Group, the teacher unions have yet to do so. When we receive written submissions from them, the process can move forward.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (282, 283)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

282. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure that all special needs assistants, SNAs - rather than the most senior SNA - will be trained to provide sign language to assist in the provision of support for children with disabilities; if not, the reasons for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21558/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

283. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure that all children with Down's syndrome will have access to special needs assistants who are trained in sign language; and if not the reasons for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21559/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 and 283 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department provides for an extensive range of supports to assist pupils and young persons with special educational needs, including children with Down syndrome and those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, to ensure that children can have access to an education appropriate to their needs. I wish to clarify that Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are allocated to primary, post-primary and special schools to assist schools in addressing additional care needs so as to facilitate inclusion of students with special educational needs. The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) allocates a quantum of SNA support for each school annually taking into account the care needs of all of the qualifying children enrolled in the school, and on the basis of the assessed care needs of the children, rather than solely by reference to a pupil's disability categorisation.

The criteria by which SNA support is allocated to pupils is set out in my Department's Circular 0030/2014. The Circular explains that schools should ensure that SNAs who work with Deaf and hard of hearing children are equipped with the skills necessary to support the particular needs of these pupils, including capacity to use Sign Language where required. The Circular also explains that, where existing SNA staff are required to be trained to provide Sign Language or specialist training (Braille, Lámh, Sign Language, Augumentive/Alternative Interventions) to assist in the provision of support for children with a specific sensory impairment, schools should ensure that the most senior SNA staff in the school are the staff that are trained in order to avoid a situation where staff trained in specialist skills may leave the school due to a reduction in the overall level of SNA support allocated to a school in future years.

Not all children with Down syndrome may require SNA support, or support from an SNA trained in sign language. However for those children with Down syndrome who have a hearing impairment to the extent that they require support form an SNA trained in sign language, this can be provided for in accordance with the terms of my Departments Circular 0030/2014.

School Enrolments Data

Ceisteanna (284)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

284. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide, in tabular form, the capacity of junior infants classes in each junior school serving the Greystones area from 2008 to 2014; the number of children who applied for places in junior infants classes in each school in the area from 2008 to 2014; and the number of children who applied for junior infants places that each school was unable to accommodate from 2008 to 2013, and an estimate for 2014. [21581/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Deputy will be aware that there are seven primary schools, of varying patronage, servicing the Greystones/Delgany area. The question of enrolment in individual schools, including the schools in Greystones/Delgany, is the responsibility of the managerial authority of these schools.

For the Deputy's information, the following table sets out the level of junior infant intake for each of the seven schools from the period 2008 - 2013. The table also indicates the projected intake at junior infant level in the schools for September 2014. The actual number of enrolment applicants in the schools for 2014 is retained by the schools. My Department is currently engaging with schools in the area in the context of enrolment demand in September 2014.

Greystones - Junior Infant (JI) intake from 2008 - 2014

School Name

Roll No

JI 2008

JI 2009

JI 2010

JI 2011

JI 2012

JI 2013

JI 2014 - projected

Greystones No 2

12554M

27

28

32

25

29

51

33

Delgany NS

13679I

26

27

28

25

29

31

31

St. Brigids

16573N

47

62

61

61

74

67

64

St. Kevins

17720F

66

64

65

62

71

86

64

St. Laurences

19573F

70

73

72

81

75

105

80

ET School

20300A

25

51

30

57

52

65

65

GS

20301C

17

26

33

33

66

66

65

Totals

278

331

321

344

396

471

402

State Bodies

Ceisteanna (285)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

285. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of State agencies and public bodies under the remit of this Department that have been merged or abolished in each year since 2011; the annual savings associated with each body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21792/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

For the Deputy's information, under the Public Service Reform plan the following were identified for rationalisation or merger the following actions have taken place. The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology and Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences were merged in March 2012 to form the Irish Research Council (IRC). The IRC has been established as a sub-board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The estimated saving on an annual basis is c. €100,000.

Under the provisions of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), the Higher Education Training Awards Council (HETAC) and the Further Education Training Awards Council (FETAC) were amalgamated to form a new agency, the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). The estimated saving on an annual basis is €1 million.Under the provisions of the Education and Training Boards Act 2013 the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) system was reconfigured, with the number of further education bodies being reduced from 33 to 16. Full year savings are estimated at €2.1m. Further savings are likely to be achieved through realisation of economies of scale arising from the mergers and the wider Education and Training Sector Reform Programme.

Under the provisions of the Further Education and Training Act 2013 FÁS was dissolved in October 2013, with a new training authority, An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanúnaigh agus Scileanna (SOLAS) being created with responsibility for funding, planning and co-ordinating training and further education programmes. Following the enactment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, the necessary steps have been taken to dissolve the Education Finance Board in March 2013 and establish the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board (Cara Nua). This body will be funded from the contributions of the religious congregations offered in response to the request for additional contributions, following the publication of the Ryan Report.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Ceisteanna (286)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

286. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of public servants employed in his Department who are on lower pay scales than their colleagues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21821/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

There are two cohorts of recently recruited teachers who are on reduced pay scales as compared to those who entered teaching prior to 2011. Firstly, as part of the measures which were introduced to restore order to the public finances, salary scales for all recruitment grades in the public service (including teachers) were reduced by 10% for new entrants. This applies to new entrant teachers appointed between 1 January 2011 and 31 January 2012. Secondly, a revised salary scale applies to new entrant teachers appointed from 1 February 2012 onwards whose qualifications allowances were removed following the public service-wide review of allowances.

According to Department payroll records, the number of new entrant whole time teacher equivalents currently employed as permanent, temporary, regular part-time or on contracts of indefinite duration who were appointed between 1 January 2011 and 31 January 2012 is 681 (excluding teachers employed in Education and Training Boards). It is estimated that ETBs employ a further 90 such teachers. Information in respect of new entrant teachers appointed on or after 1 February 2012 is not currently available but will be furnished to the Deputy in due course.

The Haddington Road Agreement provides that revised salary scales shall be prepared for same grade entrants to the public service (including for example teachers and SNAs) to incorporate the revision of salary scales introduced in 2011, in order to address the imbalance between those who entered the Public Service since 2011 and those who entered before that date. Implementation of these revised salary scales is in progress.

Legal Matters

Ceisteanna (287)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

287. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of legal cases that have been served against his Department arising from disputes regarding pay and conditions of public servants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21834/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can confirm that the information requested by the Deputy is currently being compiled and will be forwarded to him as soon as it is available.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (288)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

288. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the current average age of full-time public service staff in his Department; the way this compares with the average age of public servants in each year from 2010 to 2013, inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21846/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The information that is available in relation to the age profiles of teachers paid on payrolls operated by my Department is being compiled at present. I will arrange for the information to be forwarded to the Deputy.

Ministerial Travel

Ceisteanna (289)

Terence Flanagan

Ceist:

289. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide details of all official foreign trips he and Ministers of State in his Department intend to take between now and the end of 2014; if he will detail whom they will be meeting with on these trips; the purpose and duration of each trip; if there are plans to use all of these trips to promote Ireland as a good place in which to do business and as a destination for foreign direct investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21856/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I currently do not have any official foreign travel planned.

Minister of State, Ciarán Cannon, T.D. has the following official travel planned:

In May 2014 he will travel to Brussels to attend the EU Education Council meeting.

In June 2014 he is expected to travel to Paris to address the 34rd Ashoka Global Summit, a forum in which leaders and entrepreneurs will look at ways to create social change.

The Deputy can be assured that the maximum opportunity is taken during official foreign travel to promote Ireland, in co-operation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the relevant State promotion agencies.

Coastal Protection

Ceisteanna (290)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

290. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will reinstate funding that was allocated in 2007-2008 by the Department of Finance in respect of coastal protection works at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry but was not paid; if he will now direct this allocation to the Office of Public Works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21091/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

It is a matter for Kerry County Council in the first instance to assess and identify priorities for coastal protection works in its area. It is open to the Council to apply for funding under the Office of Public Works (OPW) Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. Any application received will be assessed under the relevant eligibility criteria, including a requirement that any measures are cost beneficial, and having regard to the overall availability of funding. OPW has not received an application from the Council for works at this location under the Scheme to date.

Construction Contracts

Ceisteanna (291)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

291. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding the full implementation of the Construction Contracts Act 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21101/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Construction Contracts Bill passed all stages of the Houses of the Oireachtas in July 2013 and was signed into law on the 29 July 2013.  The enactment of the legislation marked a significant step towards the Programme for Government commitment to introduce new legislation to protect small building subcontractors that have been denied payments from bigger companies.

The frustration that many contractors experience when faced with non-payment is understood and is being acted upon by Government.  However, drafting legislation that cuts across the conventions of contract law and, in particular, to intervene in private agreements between individuals is not undertaken lightly.  The mechanisms required for the successful delivery of the legislation are complex and, although similar legislation operates in other jurisdictions, aspects of the Act such as the panel of adjudicators must be carefully considered to ensure the Act will operate as intended. Two further steps are necessary for the operation of the legislation prior to its commencement.  The first; a comprehensive code of practice for the conduct of adjudication, has been the subject of consultation with key stakeholders. The final draft of the code of practice was circulated to stakeholders in March. The second element requires the establishment of a panel of adjudicators and a chair of that panel to be appointed.  The chair of the panel will appoint an adjudicator where parties to a payment dispute (that has been referred to adjudication under the Act) fail to agree on an adjudicator between them.

Officials in my department are working on the details of the structure for the panel, its set up and operation and this will shortly be circulated to stakeholders for consultation.  Once this process is concluded, applications for the panel will be advertised and when the appointment process to the panel is complete the Act will be commenced.

Flood Prevention Measures

Ceisteanna (292)

Dominic Hannigan

Ceist:

292. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to expand the memorandum of understanding on flood defence data with Insurance Ireland to a river (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21177/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Memorandum of Understanding between Insurance Ireland and the Office of Public Works (OPW) provides that OPW will provide Insurance Ireland with data on all completed OPW flood defence schemes showing the design, extent and nature of the protection offered by the works. From 1 June 2014, Insurance Ireland members will take into account all information provided by OPW when assessing exposure to flood risk within these areas. The Castle River in County Meath forms part of the completed River Tolka Flood Relief Scheme. Data on this Scheme has already been forwarded to Insurance Ireland as part of the first tranche of information provided under the Memorandum of Understanding.

State Bodies

Ceisteanna (293)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

293. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of State agencies and public bodies under the remit of his Department that have been merged or abolished in each year since 2011; the annual savings associated with each body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20892/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The rationalisation of State bodies is a part of this Government's reform programme.  As the Deputy is aware, in November 2011, the Government set out 2 commitments in relation to agency rationalisation:

- to implement 48 measures.  These measures (involving over 100 bodies) either have been fully delivered or will be delivered this year, apart from the small number where the Government decided on reflection not to proceed (viz. the rationalisation concerning the National Cancer Registry, the proposed merger of the Commission for Aviation Regulation and the Irish Aviation Authority, and the proposed measure merging functions of the Language Commissioner with the Office of the Ombudsman); and

- to critically review proposals for a further 46 measures.  In late 2012, following detailed consideration of these critical reviews, the Government decided to implement 25 measures (involving more than a further 100 State bodies).  Work on these is well advanced; some are already completed and  as set out in the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016 the remainder are scheduled to be delivered during 2014.

My Department monitors the implementation of the measures on a quarterly basis and publishes these updates.  The latest information, which details the progress to end Quarter 1 2014, can be found on my Department's website.

Within my own area of control the Commission on Public Service Appointments was merged into the Office of the Ombudsman with effect from October 2012.  Arrangements are also currently underway for the merger of the Valuation Office, the Property Registration Authority and Ordnance Survey Ireland; and the measure concerning the State Laboratory and the Forensic Science Laboratory is progressing.

In total, full implementation of all of the measures the original 48 measures and the further 25 decided later in 2012 will affect over 200 State bodies, achieving the targeted saving of €20m set out in the Reform Plan in 2011. The bulk of the savings are derived from a reduction in the number of public servants working in the merged entities and from other administrative efficiencies.

Irish Water Establishment

Ceisteanna (294)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

294. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department was consulted with regard to the process of setting up Irish Water; the savings that are targeted to be achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20893/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Primary  responsibility for setting up  Irish Water as a public  commercial company and related issues rests with my colleague  the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. The delivery of water services under a public utility model is expected to bring benefits in terms of access to new sources of revenue to fund greater investment in water services infrastructure and provide more efficient and better quality of service for customers. To date the majority of the costs of water service provision have been met by the Exchequer and Local Authorities from their own resources and general purpose grants from the Local Government Fund, with some income from the commercial sector.  According to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government,  the Irish Water funding model is expected to yield savings to the State sector of the order of €250m from 2014 to the end of 2016 by comparison with the previous funding model, but with a substantially higher level of capital investment including core water services infrastructure, domestic metering and asset management systems.

Under  the Water Services Acts setting up the company, I as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform  have a  number of consent functions, including Consent to the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of Irish Water, borrowing by Irish Water,  the form of accounts, auditors fees, pension schemes etc. My Department and I have been consulted, as appropriate, in this regard. Of course, as  part of the normal process of consideration by Government of Memorandums  on sectoral policy issues I would also have been  consulted on memorandums relating to  Irish Water.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (295)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

295. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the current average age of full-time staff across the Civil Service; the way this compares with the average age of public servants in each year from 2010 to 2013, inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20894/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Data on the average age of civil servants across the Civil Service are set out in the following table. The average age has increased from just under 45 in 2010 to over 46 in 2013.  The increase is, in part, due to the necessary restrictions on recruitment introduced in 2009 as part of the response to the economic and fiscal crisis.  Workforce Planning, being carried out across the Civil Service, was introduced to provide Departments and Offices with a framework for analysing their current workforce, including age demographics, and defining their future workforce requirements relative to their strategy, budget and business planning process. For 2010 to 2013, the average age in each year was as follows:

YEAR

AVERAGE AGE

2010

44.75

2011

45.48

2012

45.82

2013

46.55

Pension Provisions

Ceisteanna (296)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

296. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the range of agencies and public sector bodies covered by his Department’s recent estimate of the deficit for public sector pensions; if this included commercial semi State agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20895/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

My Department recently estimated the accrued liability figure in respect of public service occupational pensions at €98bn as of December 2012. This figure represents the present value of all expected future superannuation payments to current staff and their spouses in respect of service to December 2012, plus the liability for all future payments to current and preserved pensioners and to their spouses. The figure covers all sectors of the public service i.e. the Health Sector, the Education Sector, the Garda Síochána, Civil Service, the Defence Forces, Local Authorities and in non-commercial State Sponsored Bodies.  The numbers involved are 291,000 serving staff, 140,000 current pensioners and 50,000 preserved pensioners. The pension liabilities of commercial State bodies are not included in this figure as these liabilities are a matter for those bodies themselves.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Ceisteanna (297)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

297. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of public servants employed in his Department who are on lower pay scales than their colleagues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20896/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

There are 117 staff employed in the Department's Vote Group who currently are paid in line with the 10% reduced scales for newly recruited public servants effective from 1 January 2011. Under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement, revised salary scales are currently being prepared to redress the imbalance between same grade employees who entered the public service before and after 1 January 2011.

Legal Matters

Ceisteanna (298)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

298. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of legal cases that have been served against his Department arising from disputes regarding pay and conditions of public servants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20897/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

There have been no legal cases arising from disputes relating to the pay and conditions of staff served against my Department since its establishment in July 2011.    

Semi-State Bodies

Ceisteanna (299)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

299. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of commercial semi-State companies under the aegis of his Department; the current value of the pension fund assets held by each commercial semi-State company; the latest funding position of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20910/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

In response to the Deputy's questions I can confirm that there are no commercial semi State companies under the remit of my Department.

Medical Card Administration

Ceisteanna (300)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

300. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has been consulted by the Department of Health regarding the development of a proposed third tier of medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21031/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The issue of Medical Cards is a policy matter which is the responsibility of the Minister for Health in the first instance.

Garda Station Closures

Ceisteanna (301)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

301. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of former Garda stations which are subject to a guardianship arrangement whereby private firms are contracted to install tenants to maintain the premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21032/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Commissioners of Public Works have placed three former Garda Stations under this guardianship arrangement. The stations in question have telecommunications masts generating income from licence fees from the mobile phone operators. Accordingly, it has been decided that they will not be placed on the market at this time. The properties in question are considered to be commercially valuable and are not being considered for community use.

The Commissioners have entered into a pilot project with Camelot Properties Ltd. in respect of the former stations in Dalkey, Stepaside and Kill of the Grange. Camelot provide live-in guardians for each property, thereby lessening the risk of break-ins, vandalism and degeneration of the properties. They cover all of the running costs of the buildings and report on security and maintenance issues as they arise. This arrangement is widely used in the commercial property sector.

Garda Station Closures

Ceisteanna (302)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

302. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of recorded incidents of vandalism or damage to Garda stations which have been closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21033/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that there have been no incidents of vandalism or damage to closed Garda Stations.