Sugar Quotas Abolition

Question No. 213 answered with Question No. 196.

Ceisteanna (212)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

212. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the supports available to farmers for growing sugar beet. [51491/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In 2006 the EU introduced a restructuring mechanism intended to reduce overall production of sugar, acknowledging the then global over supply and resultant low prices being achieved. Greencore, as the holder of the entire Irish sugar quota at the time, availed itself of this voluntary initiative, ceasing production and dismantling its processing facilitates.

As part of the reform of the CAP under the Irish Presidency agreement was secured on the abolition of sugar quotas from 30th September 2017.

As Ireland exited the sugar production industry in 2006 and sugar beet is generally not commercially grown here in any scale, there are no direct supports available for farmers specific to growing of sugar beet.

As the Deputy is aware the current "Programme for a Partnership Government" states that "State Bodies will be asked to examine any substantial business plans relating to rebuilding the industry with a view to considering appropriate State supports".

Any such business plans would need to be supported by a sufficiently robust business case, having regard to the price of sugar, to attract the substantial funding required from investors for such a new start-up industry.

Question No. 213 answered with Question No. 196.

Food Industry Development

Ceisteanna (214)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which new opportunities arise for the artisan food sector; the extent to which his Department continues to assist in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51493/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Artisan and speciality food businesses can have a significant impact on local rural economies and their importance is acknowledged in the Food Wise 2025 strategy. Growth prospects for the sector are positive overall, driven by increased consumer interest in the provenance of food, environmental concerns, health and a desire to support the local economy.

A range of supports for the artisan food sector are available from my Department and relevant State agencies, including:

- the Food Works programme developed by Bord Bia, Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland for start-up food entrepreneurs;

- the Food Academy programme developed by Bord Bia in cooperation with Local Enterprise Offices and Supervalu;

- workshop supports for farmers' markets from Bord Bia;

- support from my Department for the UCC Diploma in Speciality Food Production; and

- specific supports for the farmhouse cheese sector under the EU promotion programme.

Earlier this year, my colleague Minister Ring and I launched the ‘LEADER Food Initiative’ for the artisan/small food and beverage businesses, which provides for funding of up to €15 million up to 2020, from my Department, through the Rural Development Plan (RDP). This funding is being delivered using the LEADER methodology. It supports new and existing artisan, micro and small food producers to address emerging challenges through investment in areas such as capital equipment, market development, competitiveness and innovation.

Cyber Security Policy

Ceisteanna (215)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

215. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to increase the personnel and resources of the national dyber security centre in 2019 in view of the increase in the workload of the agency over recent months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51258/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

While my Department does not release specific details in relation to the staff or precise funding allocated to the National Cyber Security Centre for operational security reasons, in Budget 2018 additional funding was secured for additional capacity in the NCSC, both in terms of personnel and additional technology.

Further recruitment into the NCSC was undertaken in 2018 and is continuing, including a number of new roles focussed on addressing the responsibilities placed upon the State by the Network and Information Security Directive (NISD) which was transposed earlier this year. It is anticipated that the NCSC will have approximately 30 staff by the end of Q1 2019 and the resourcing requirement will be reviewed in the context of the next Cyber Security Strategy, work on which is underway.

The NCSC has developed significant capacity in recent years, and now has a resilient separate infrastructure with separate secure email and file storage, and has developed an automated incident response platform enables incident responders to investigate, collate and track incidents on an ongoing basis.

The NCSC has also established a Threat Sharing Group and developed an Advanced Persistent Threat Group analysis and tracking system and the Advisory System now has over 130 members including Government Departments and Agencies, the Financial Sector, Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) providers and other Operators of Essential Services (OES), and has an SMS alerting system. The CSIRT within the NCSC received its international accreditation in 2017 from the body known as TF-CSIRT.

Better Energy Homes Scheme

Ceisteanna (216)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

216. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if persons who received attic insulation only under the better energy warmer homes scheme are eligible to apply for the revised scheme which now includes internal and external wall insulation in view of the fact that such works were not available under the previous scheme; if not, his plans to include same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51273/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).  The scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households vulnerable to energy poverty. To date over 130,000 homes have received free upgrades under the scheme, leaving the occupants better able to afford heat their homes to an adequate level.

The aim of the scheme is to deliver a range of energy efficiency measures in a way which represents the best possible use of Exchequer funding. This involves making difficult decisions and targeting supports like limiting eligibility to those in receipt of certain DEASP allowances, such as the Fuel Allowance, and limiting each home to one visit for an energy efficiency upgrade.  

Earlier this year, the scheme was expanded, to include internal and external wall insulation, in order to upgrade properties that were unsuitable for the measures that were previously available. This will also increase the energy savings and emissions reductions that  the scheme can achieve and will enable fuel switching.

While homes that previously received works under the scheme are not currently eligible for a second visit, consideration will be given to revisiting these properties in mid-2019, where feasible and appropriate.

Asbestos Remediation Programme

Ceisteanna (217)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

217. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce a grant for the removal and disposal of asbestos from domestic houses which are carrying out renovations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51292/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

There is no funding available from my Department for the removal of asbestos from residential properties.

However, the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme lets homeowners, landlords and local authority tenants claim tax relief on repairs, renovations or improvement work that is carried out on their main home or rental property. The works must be completed by a tax-compliant contractor and be subject to 13.5% VAT. This includes extensions, garages and attic conversions; the supply and fitting of kitchens, bathrooms and built-in wardrobes; fitting of windows; garden landscaping; plumbing, tiling, rewiring, insulating, plastering and painting.

In general, the work must have been carried out and paid for between 25 October 2013 and 31 December 2018. Further information about the HRI is available from the Revenue Commissioners or on www.revenue.ie.

The prevention of exposure to the harmful effects of asbestos is the focus of occupational safety and health legislation concerning asbestos in the workplace. Specific Regulations regarding the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos fibres while at work have been in place since 1989. The current Regulations are the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 2006, which are enforced by the Health and Safety Authority, which comes under the remit of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The primary responsibility for the management of any waste, including costs for removal or disposal, lies with the holder of the waste, i.e. the natural or legal person in possession of the waste, or the producer of the waste. The Waste Management Act 1996 imposes a general duty of care on holders of waste. A person may not hold, transport, recover or dispose of waste in a manner that causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution. In addition, in the case of hazardous waste, a holder of waste is required, without delay, to inform both the local authority concerned and the Environmental Protection Agency of any loss, spillage, accident or other development concerning that waste which causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution.

It is recommended that expert advice should be sought in dealing with asbestos materials and if removal is necessary it should only be done by a competent contractor with the required training and appropriate authorisations. Advice on the proper disposal of asbestos is available from the website of the Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.ie/waste/hazardous/asbestos/.

Post Office Closures

Ceisteanna (218, 222, 223)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

218. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is satisfied with the level of independence of the independent assessors appointed to review post office closures (details supplied); his further views on whether it is appropriate that An Post communicates the outcome of appeals to independent assessors rather than the independent assessors responding to the appeals directly; his further views on whether this is appropriate for other State appeals mechanisms (details supplied); if he approved this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter [51295/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

222. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on whether the decision by An Post to close up to 159 post offices is in line with policy; if he approved the decision by An Post to close large numbers of post offices; his further views on whether the decision respects the Dáil Éireann motion introduced by the Rural Independent Group on the future of the post office network in 2016; his views on whether the decision to close post offices is in line with his commitments on post offices outlined on page 48 in A Programme for A Partnership Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51416/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

223. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the measures he has taken to fulfil his commitment on post offices and community banking as outlined in the programme for partnership Government (details supplied); the measures that have been taken to establish the feasibility of offering motor tax and other State services in post offices; if he has established a working group to identify the potential for local post offices to act as hubs and as a one-stop-shop for State services; if he will report on the progress of work carried out to meet these commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51417/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 218, 222 and 223 together.

An Post is a commercial State body with a mandate to deliver a postal delivery service and a viable post office network.

In November 2017, Government was presented with a future for An Post and the post office network that was uncertain and extremely bleak with a very real possibility that the company would go under. The potential for a complete shutdown of postal services with the loss of thousands of jobs was undeniable. Immediate action was needed to ensure the survival of An Post and the post office network.

As a result of the actions taken by Government, An Post has been able to construct and begin implementing a strategic plan for a sustainable future. Government remains fully committed to a sustainable post office network which is a key piece of economic and social infrastructure for both rural and urban areas. Reflecting its commitment to sustaining a nationwide post office network and daily mails service, the Government made €30m available in State funding to An Post to support the renewal of the post office network and the continued fulfilment of a 5 day per week mails delivery service.

Essential to delivering on An Post's renewed vision for the network is the agreement reached with the Irish Postmasters Union, IPU. The consolidation process undertaken by An Post is the result of this agreement.  In its negotiations with An Post, postmasters and postmistresses sought both the modernisation of the network and a voluntary redundancy package for those who wanted to leave the business. Talks were concluded between An Post and the IPU in April this year, following three months of intensive negotiations. The agreement was subsequently endorsed by 80% of IPU members. The decision on whether to accept the package was solely one for individual postmasters.

An independent appeals process was put in place to enable communities to have a decision relating to their local office reviewed. In addition, any retailer in the locations of the 159 post offices can apply to An Post to be considered to take over some or all of the services of the closing post office.

There is widespread acceptance that the post office network requires modernisation to build, maintain and protect a service that meets the needs of communities across the country. Investment by An Post of €50 million in the network is about getting communities to use the enhanced services in their local post office. 

Decisions relating to the Post Office Network, including plans for individual post offices, are an operational matter for the Board and management of An Post and I have no statutory function in relation to these issues. The review process put in place and facilitated by An Post is an independent one and neither I, as Minister, nor my officials have a role in the process. In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on issues which are direct operational matters for An Post.  Communities and representatives must engage with An Post directly.

An Post is already in the process of diversifying and growing the financial services products it provides for individuals and SMEs to include loans, credit cards and more foreign exchange products; local banking in association with the major banks and a full range of State Savings products.  A partnership with Avantcard announced in September will see personal loan services available in every post office across the country.

An Post has also confirmed the decision by its Board to provide a mortgage package from next year as part of its financial services strategy. The mortgage offer will be among a set of new products that will include credit cards, personal loans and fintech (Financial Technology) services offered via partnerships under a new brand, An Post Money.

In so far as the banking model is concerned, the Programme for a Partnership Government envisaged that An Post, the Irish League of Credit Unions and other interested stakeholders would be asked to investigate and propose a new model of community banking, such as the Kiwibank model in New Zealand. The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to investigate the German Sparkassen model for the development of local public banks.

A project team comprising officials from the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Finance was established to progress this commitment.  The final report was published by the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohoe TD and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD on 4 July 2018. The final report indicates that the Department of Finance will continue to engage in dialogue with Irish Rural Link and other stakeholders and that it will commission an independent external evaluation of ways in which the local public banking concept could possibly be promoted in Ireland. The Department of Rural and Community Development will continue to focus on rural and regional development generally and will provide a coordinating role across Government in relation to this priority area.

Government business is the backbone of the post office network. In April this year the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection renewed her Department’s contract with An Post to provide pensions, child benefit and other social welfare payments at post offices. As part of its consideration of the financial position of An Post, the Government agreed that further opportunities for Government business through the Post Office Network, including the payment of motor tax, should be explored. 

On 4 September 2018, the Government approved the establishment of an interdepartmental group to identify options, including procurement frameworks, for delivering services to those citizens who do not wish to use, or are unable to use, digital services. Where a business need is identified, it has been agreed to develop a procurement framework which would allow for the central provision of offline services by Government. The group will provide a report on its deliberations in Q1 2019 and the findings of this group may be of use to An Post in the longer term.

In addition, the Digital Assist pilot initiative was launched on 28 September 2018. Government funding of €80,000 has been allocated to roll out the pilot Digital Assist Scheme which will see 10 post offices kitted out to assist citizens with online Government interactions.  All 10 post offices went live in the week beginning 20 October 2018 and the pilot scheme will finish in April next year. The pilot will provide further data and insight in relation to the provision of offline Government services to citizens.  A review of the initiative will be carried out in Q2 2019 and feedback from this review will inform consideration of further offline services.

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (219, 220)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

219. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number, date of publication and details of post-enactment reports published by his Department since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51368/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

220. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of Acts passed since March 2011 that his Department is responsible for; the date each Act was signed into law in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51384/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 219 and 220 together.

There were two post enactment reports published by my Department since March 2011, the details of which are as follows:-

Post Enactment Report

Date of Publication

Post Enactment Report on Energy Act 2016

24 July 2017

Post Enactment Scrutiny Report on Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Act 2017

17 May 2018

 

The following is the list of legislation enacted since March 2011 that my Department is responsible for:

Title of Act

Date the Act was signed into law

Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011

2 August 2011

Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011

2 August 2011

Access to Central Treasury Funds (Commission for Energy Regulation) Act 2011

23 November 2011

Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012

25 February 2012

The Electricity Regulation (Carbon Revenue Levy) (Amendment) Bill 2012

25 May 2012

Gas Regulation Act 2013

3 December 2013

ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Act 2014

18 March 2014

Radiological Protection (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014

23 July 2014

Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Act 2015

2 July 2015

Petroleum (Exploration and Extraction) Safety Act 2015

22 July 2015

Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015

27 July 2015

Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015

10 December 2015

Energy Act 2016

30 July 2016

Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017

6 July 2017

Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Act 2017 - (note Private Members Bill)

6 July 2017

Minerals Development Act 2017

26 July 2017

Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Act 2017

15 March 2017

Telecommunications Services (Ducting and Cables) Act 2018

4 April 2018

Radiological Protection (Amendment) Act 2018

5 June 2018

Departmental Schemes

Questions Nos. 222 and 223 answered with Question No. 218.

Ceisteanna (221)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

221. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the grant and funding schemes operated by his Department; the value of each scheme; and the basis or criteria used for the allocation of funding in respect of each scheme. [51400/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

There are a number of grant schemes administered either directly by my Department or on behalf of my Department by the agencies under its aegis, for which funding can be applied for.  I have set out in the table details of the programmes, the basis or criteria used for the allocation of funding and the value of the Project/Grant.

Name of Scheme

Basis or Criteria used for allocation of funding

Value of Project/Grant in €

Local Authority Anti-Litter Anti-Graffiti Awareness Grant (2018)

Allocations to local authorities are based on local authority functional area population. The individual projects which will receive funding are proposed by local authorities.

€883,731 (in 2018)

Local Agenda 21 Local Environmental Partnership Fund (2018)

Allocations to local authorities are based on local authority functional area population. The individual projects which will receive funding are proposed by local authorities.

€442,145 (in 2018)

Alternative Energy Requirement (AER)

Bidding Competition: Renewable electricity generating plants with grid connection, planning permission and title.

As this scheme was a bidding competition, the methodology was approved by the European Commission and not a value/budget.

Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) 1

Renewable electricity generating plants with grid connection, planning permission and title.

€10 million per year approx. for 15 years.

Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) 2

Renewable electricity generating plants with grid connection, planning permission and title.

€196 million per annum approx. for 15 years.

Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) 3

Biomass/CHP electricity generating plants with grid connection, planning permission and title.

€70 million per annum approx. for 15 years.

Ocean energy Prototype Development Fund (PDF)

The PDF supports innovation by providing funding to offshore renewable energy development projects. The scheme is open to the public and private sector based in Ireland or carrying out projects in Ireland. In some circumstances, SEAI may fund Irish organisations for work completed overseas. This work must be necessary to complete the project, or solve specific Irish issues.

€5 million per annum approx. up to December 2020.

Electric Vehicle Purchase Grant Scheme*

Ongoing & demand-led. Grant of up to €5,000 towards the purchase of a new electric vehicle (EV).

Expected spend in 2018 is €9.5 million.

Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant Scheme*

Ongoing & demand-led. Grant of up to €600 towards the installation of an EV chargepoint in the home.  Owners of new or second hand EVs, who have not previously received support for installation of a home charger, may qualify.

 

Expected spend in 2018 is €0.7 million.

Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH)*

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat applies to non-domestic heat users at sites not covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme.

 

Under Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan sets out an allocation of €300 million for the rollout of the scheme for the period 2018 to 2027.

Climate Action Fund (CAF)

Funding for initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland's climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner, or offer the potential for innovative interventions in these sectors, and which would not otherwise be developed.

€500 million from 2019 to 2028.

Eel Support Fund

Established to address the hardship experienced by commercial eel fishermen and women in the light of the closure of the commercial eel fishery for conservation reasons. The fund is available to all persons who were the holder of a commercial public eel licence or an eel fishing permit from the ESB in the 2007 season (the base year). The 5 reckonable years for payments under the scheme are 2003-2007.  In respect of former fishermen and women who were the holder of a licence or permit in the base year, payment will involve a tax free element for each of the 5 reckonable years for which the applicant was a licence or permit holder.  A further taxable element will be based on the average annual catch, as declared by the applicant, during the reckonable years.

€3 million.  The fund will be paid over a period of three years 2018 to 2020 and the amount will be paid in three instalments.

 

 The Department’s agency Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) also manages the National Strategy for Angling Development and other funding schemes and I have asked Inland Fisheries Ireland to liaise directly with the Deputy in this regard.

*Note: Electric Vehicle Purchase Grant Scheme, Home Charger Grant Scheme and Support Scheme for Renewable Heat are administered on behalf of the Department by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Questions Nos. 222 and 223 answered with Question No. 218.

Electric Vehicles

Ceisteanna (224)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

224. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps he will take to address the perceived inadequate electric car charging infrastructure in Dublin city; and his plans to ensure that Dublin City Council and the ESB co-operate to provide designated charging bays in view of the fact that these are frequently used for regular parking and therefore not available for charging. [51466/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

A key aspect of the work of the Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce, co-chaired by my Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, involved examining how best to support the development of the electric vehicle charging. The first phase of the Taskforce's work, which focused on electric vehicles, is now complete and the progress report is available on my Department’s website.

  Arising out of the work of the Taskforce a support scheme is in place to support electric vehicle charging at home, the primary method of charging for the majority of electric vehicles both internationally and in Ireland. My Department, in conjunction with the SEAI, is working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging.

The majority of the existing network of publicly accessible charge points was rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme. An interactive map showing the locations of charging points in Dublin and throughout Ireland is available at https://www.esb.ie/our-businesses/ecars/charge-point-map. I announced the successful projects under the first Call for Applications Assessment Stage under the Climate Action Fund on 28 November 2018.  This included approval of funding of up to €10 million to a project from ESB eCars that will develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging network capable of facilitating large-scale electric vehicle uptake over the next decade. Further details on this project, and the other projects approved from the Fund, are available on my Department's website at www.dccae.gov.ie.

In relation to dedicated parking for electric vehicles, the Road Traffic Act, 1994 gives local authorities the power to make bye-laws governing the type of paid parking controls in their areas. Some local authorities currently allow free designated parking for a period of time while an electric vehicle is charging. 

Under regulations introduced in July 2014, local authorities, in their capacity as road authorities, are empowered to reserve parking spaces exclusively for the recharging of electric vehicles and it is an offence for other vehicles to be parked in these spaces. The penalty for illegal parking in such a space is a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence, up to €2,000 for a second or subsequent offence, and up to €2,000 and/or up to 3 months in prison for a third or subsequent offence within a 12 month period. The enforcement of this legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána and for Local Authority traffic wardens. If a member of the public comes across specific instances of vehicles other than electric vehicles parked in designated recharging spaces, I would urge them to report the fact to either of these bodies.

With respect to signage at charging bays there is legally-sanctioned signage for electric vehicle charge points. The signage consists of writing on the surface of the space itself, rather than an upright sign. This is line with certain other signage used, for example for disabled parking spaces, where a sign is painted on the ground. The ESB has informed my Department that the majority of the eCars 56 on-street charge points in Dublin city are clearly marked with this signage.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (225)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

225. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application by a club (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51248/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding.

I can confirm that an application has been submitted by the organisation referred to by the Deputy.

For the first time, applicants who have submitted incorrect documentation under this round will be given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be at least the second quarter of next year before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Sports Capital Programme Administration

Ceisteanna (226)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

226. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of deputations from sports groups for the sports capital programme to date; the criteria he has to meet groups; if he will be facilitating further requests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51254/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. The most recent round of the Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications had been submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. The record number of applications again demonstrates the popularity of the programme.

I receive representations concerning all aspects of my areas of responsibility. Representations are made in relation to the Sports Capital Programme by clubs, by public representatives and by individuals. Occasionally, I receive requests for meetings which, subject to diary commitments, I try to accommodate. People I meet informally sometimes raise particular cases. However, in the interests of equity, and in order to ensure that every application is treated equally, regardless of whether or not representation is made to me, Minister Ross, or any of my officials, the assessment procedure and scoring system used to assess applications is published prior to assessments commencing. As has been communicated publicly on many previous occasions, neither Minster Ross nor I have any role in the assessment or scoring of individual applications. However engaging with applicants and hearing about their plans helps me greatly in my job to understand the many issues affecting grassroots sports organisations and volunteers and how the SCP can help address these issues.

Greenways Funding

Ceisteanna (227)

John Brassil

Ceist:

227. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided for the north County Kerry greenway; when a decision on funding will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51261/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The closing date for applications for funding for Greenways was Friday, 30 November 2018. Twenty two applications were received, including two for the North Kerry Greenway, i.e. one for the Listowel to the Limerick Border section and one for the Tralee to Fenit section.

All of the applications received will be assessed over the coming months in accordance with the criteria set out subsequent to the publication of the Strategy for the Future Developement of National and Regional Greenways. I expect to be in a position to award funding to the successful projects in Q2 2019.

Regional Road Network

Ceisteanna (228, 229)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

228. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided to fully replace the section of the N62 that passes through Roscrea, County Tipperary, in view of the fact it is in a condition that is neither safe or acceptable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51286/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

229. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided to fully replace the section of the N62 that enters Templemore, County Tipperary, from Thurles and Roscrea in view of the fact that it is in a condition that is neither safe or acceptable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51287/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 228 and 229 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the maintenance, improvement and operation of individual roads is a matter for the relevant road authority in relation to local and regional roads, or for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned, in relation to national roads.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a detailed and direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Noise Pollution

Ceisteanna (230)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

230. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the person or body that informed the European Safety Agency that Fingal County Council is the competent authority for the purposes of Regulation (EU) No 598/2014 (details supplied) without indicating that it is in this role in an interim capacity pending formal appointment. [51304/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department advised an official in the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission earlier this year of the Government’s agreed policy objective in relation to EU Regulation 598, including the proposal to designate Fingal County Council as the Competent Authority under primary legislation. It was made clear at the time that development of this legislation would likely take some time.

For clarity, Fingal County Council is not acting in an interim capacity, pending formal appointment. It has not carried out any function under Regulation 598/2014 and it will not do so until such times as the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill, 2018 is enacted.

Departmental Reports

Ceisteanna (231)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

231. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number, date of publication and details of post-enactment reports published by his Department since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51380/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Please refer to the table.

Name of Report

Date of Publication

Name of Enactment Report

Date of Post Enactment Report

Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Act 2014

25 December 2014

Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Act 2014 (No. 43 of 2014) Dáil Éireann - Post-Enactment Report Standing Order 141A

21 January 2016

Post Enactment Report - State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014 (No. 27 of 2014)

Laid before Houses of the Oireachtas 22 April 2016

Post Enactment Report - State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014 (No. 27 of 2014)See column 2

22 April 2016

Post enactment Report Sport Ireland Act 2015 (No. 15 of 2015)

Laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 14 September 2016

Sport Ireland Act 2015 (No. 15 of 2015)

June 2016

Harbours Act 2015 (No.61 of 2015)

Laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 12 December 2016

12 December 2016

Roads Act 2015 (06/05/2018) Post Enactment Report

Laid before Houses of Oireachtas 13 March 2018

Roads Act 2015 Post Enactment Report

13 March 2018

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (232)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

232. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of Acts passed since March 2011 that his Department is responsible for; the date each act signed into law in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51396/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Please see the table.

No

Name of Act

Date Signed in to law

No. 7 of 2011

Road Traffic Act 2011

27 April 2011

No. 28 of 2011

Road Traffic (No.2) Act 2011

20 October 2011

No 31 of 2011

Road Transport Act 2011

3/12/2011

No. 16 of 2012

Road Safety Authority (commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Act 2012

30th May 2012

No 49 of 2012

Transport (Corás Iompair Éireann and Subsidiary Companies Borrowings) Act 2012

26th December 2012.

Act 49 of 2012

CIE Borrowings Act 2012

January 14, 2013

No. 3 of 2014

Road traffic Act 2014

25 February 2014

No. 27 of 2014

State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014

27 July 2014

No. 39 of 2014

Road traffic (No. 2) Act 2014

25 December 2014

No. 43 of 2014

Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Act 2014

25 December 2014

No. 14 of 2015

Roads Act 2015

6th May 2015

No 15 of 2015

Sport Ireland Act 2015

13 May 2015

No. 61 of 2015

Harbours Act 2015

25 December 2015

No. 3 of 2016

Public Transport Act 2016

8 February 2016

No. 21 of 2016

Road traffic Act 2016

27 December 2016

No. 5 of 2018

Vehicle Registration Data (Automated Searching and Exchange) 2018

28 May 2018

No. 18 of 2018

Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018

23 July 2018

Departmental Schemes

Ceisteanna (233)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

233. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the grant and funding schemes operated by his Department; the value of each scheme; and the basis or criteria used for the allocation of funding in respect of each scheme. [51412/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Please see the information contained in the table.

No.

Name of Scheme

Summary criteria for allocation of funding

Value of Scheme 2018

1

Coastal Inshore Mountain and Cave Rescue Grant Scheme

Eligible candidates are mountain rescue teams that are members of Mountain Rescue Ireland and are a declared Search and Rescue resource to An Garda Síochána. Community Rescue Boat organisations that are a declared resource to the Irish Coast Guard are also eligible to apply.

€241,752. (2018)

2

Grant to the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL)

A contribution towards the net costs of CIL’s operations in Ireland.

€6.646m.

3

Tourism Ireland funding

A grant in respect of Tourism Ireland’s Administration and General Expenses and in respect of the Tourism Marketing Fund

€42.492m

4

Fáilte Ireland funding

Grant for administration and general domestic promotion and for Tourism Product Development. In turn, Fáilte Ireland allocates capital funding for tourism product development through large and small grants scheme, in addition to strategic partnerships with other public bodies and direct investment in experience brand infrastructure.

€86.055m

5

Greenways funding scheme

Proposals under this scheme need to conform with criteria set out in the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways.

€53m for the years 2019 to 2021

6

Electric Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) Scheme.

A grant of up to €7,000 or €3,500 towards the purchase of a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) respectively for vehicles in the taxi/hackney/limousine sector. This scheme is administered by the National Transport Authority. It is available nationwide to applications for both new vehicle licences and existing vehicle licence holders who wish to upgrade their current vehicle, both subject to a maximum of five applications per applicant

€500,000

7

Toll Incentive Scheme

As of July 2018, BEVs and PHEVs qualify for 50% and 25% toll reductions respectively up to a maximum €500 annual threshold for private vehicles and a maximum annual threshold of €1,000 for commercial vehicles.This scheme is administered by Transport Infrastructure Ireland. TII estimated that in 2017 alone there were approximately 340 million tolled journeys taken with c.400,000 drivers classified as ‘heavy toll users’. A reduced tolling regime was considered to have potential to provide a meaningful incentive to a large cohort of regular toll users to switch to an electric vehicle. Vehicles will qualify for the scheme if they are battery electric or plug-in hybrid; have a registered toll tag account and are registered in the EU

€500,000

8

Regional and Local Road State grants

Details of the regional and local road grant allocations and payments to local authorities are outlined in the regional and local road grant booklets which are available in the Dáil Library. The main grant programmes are:Restoration Maintenance (RM): The purpose of the RM grant is to protect the structural integrity of the road by way of surface dressing through the sealing of the road surface. The purpose of restoration maintenance is to maintain the asset before it requires improvement. Restoration Improvement Grant (RI): The RI grant programme is the main road strengthening programme and caters for surface restoration, pavement overlay works, complete road rehabilitation works and for drainage works where required. Discretionary Grant (DG): Councils have discretion in spending these grants for improvement and maintenance works subject to selecting from a list of eligible works. However Councils are requested to prioritise projects which involve strengthening works, remedying road defects, winter maintenance and drainage works. Bridge Rehabilitation (BR): This programme allows local authorities to apply for monies to undertake bridge rehabilitation works. Safety Improvement Works (BS): This programme allows local authorities to apply for monies to undertake safety improvement works. Community Involvement Scheme (CIS) and a Drainage Programme. The CIS facilitates community involvement in repair and improvement of roads while the purpose of the Drainage Grant is to promote network resilience. Specific Grant and Strategic Grants: Projects considered on a case by case basis taking into account the availability of funding and the outcome of project appraisals.

€433.275m in 2018

9

National Road State Grants

The Department provides a block grant to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in respect of national roads. Within its annual budget, allocations to individual local authorities are a matter for TII.

€469.394m in 2018

10

Regional Airports Programme

The Programme runs from 2015 to 2019. Within that programme there are four funding schemes, two Capital (CAPEX and PPR-C) and two Current (OPEX and PPR-O). The programme provides Exchequer support to regional airports for investments and expenditure in areas of safety and security.

€42 million is being provided in Capital funding under the National Development Plan for the Regional Airports Programme in the period 2018 to 2022. The Current allocation under the RAP varies from year to year. The 2018 allocation is €11.4m.

11

Irish Rail

Funding for items 11-17 is allocated in line with agreed Budgetary annual and multi-annual frameworks as appropriate and is provided on the basis of statutory, contractual or administrative arrangements with relevant agencies and bodies. For the maintenance of rail infrastructure under IMMAC programme

€160m

12

Investment in infrastructure

Programme funded through the NTA. For the funding of infrastructural projects in heavy rail, bus, Luas, Metro, cycling & walking

€243m

13

Green Schools

Programme funded through the NTA. To educate school children on benefits of sustainable travel and cut number of car school runs.

€1.6m

14

Smarter Travel Workplace & Campus

Programme funded through the NTA . To encourage large employers and third level institutions to plan more sustainable commuting and travel choices

€600K

15

CycleRight

The national cycle training programme aimed at primary children. 20,000 pupils trained in 2018

€430K

16

Interreg

EU programme to promote cross-border sustainable transport

€2.2m

17

Bike Week

To promote cycling and encourage occasional or non-cyclists to take up cycling

€400K

18

Sports Capital Programme

The 2018 guide to making an application includes a section on how the Department will assess applications and this is available on the Department's website at http://www.dttas.ie/sport/english/sports-capital-programme. Furthermore, the full assessment procedure and marking scheme used for the most recent completed round of the SCP (2017) is published on the Department's website at http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/sport/english/sports-capital-programme-scoring-system-and-assessment-procedures/assessment-manual-2017-scp.pdf

€40m available for the 2018 round of the programme

19

Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund

The aim of the fund is to provide Exchequer support for larger sports facility projects where the Exchequer investment would be greater than the maximum amount available under the SCP. All project proposals will be subject to appropriate economic analysis and to the published assessment criteria outlined in the scheme which is available on my Department’s website at http://www.dttas.ie/sport/english/large-scale-sport-infrastructure-fund-lssif

At least €100m available in the period to 2027

20

Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme

Provides grant aid, to local authorities towards the capital costs of new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing pools. There are four swimming pool projects remaining in the 2000 round of the LASPP. Any proposed new swimming pool projects will be considered under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.

Scheme provides for grant assistance up to a maximum of €3.8m.

Bus Services

Ceisteanna (234)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

234. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to introduce a BusConnects project in Cork city and suburbs; if so, the details of same; the stage of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51437/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the provision of bus related infrastructure in the State.

As noted in the National Development Plan (NDP), the NTA is working in partnership with the Cork local authorities in developing a new transport strategy for the metropolitan area. The NDP provides an indicative allocation of €200million to support the development of BusConnects Cork in line with the finalised recommendations of that new transport strategy.

Noting their responsibility in relation to this matter, I have forwarded your query to the NTA for their consideration and direct reply. Please notify my office if you have not received a reply within 10 working days.

Ombudsman for Children Reports

Ceisteanna (235)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

235. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of recent reports conducted by the Ombudsman for Children into the Oberstown detention centre; when those reports were commissioned; the number published; when each was published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51272/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I am advised by Oberstown that the Ombudsman for Children visits Oberstown Children Detention Campus and meets with children on a regular basis. The Ombudsman for Children undertakes investigations under the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002. The Ombudsman has undertaken one such investigation in relation to Oberstown and I am advised by Oberstown that it recently received a copy of a draft report of this investigation.

Child and Family Agency Data

Ceisteanna (236)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

236. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of complaints and-or referrals to Tusla made by sports bodies (details supplied) from 2014 to date; the number of complaints and-or referrals made regarding sports bodies and-or persons working for the sports bodies from 2014 to date; the number of active investigations outstanding and-or ongoing concerning the sports bodies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51283/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I have written to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to request the information sought by the Deputy and will revert when I have received a reply.