I propose to take Questions Nos. 225 and 226 together.
My Department is committed to the successful delivery of the following programmes which provided financial and other supports to organisations in County Kildare, on a county-wide basis, including to North Kildare, in 2018 and I look forward to further supporting rural and urban communities in the county moving forward.
These supports include:
- The new five-year Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), which commenced at the start of 2018, is our country’s primary social inclusion intervention. This is a €190m national programme that is delivered locally, to help those in the greatest need. The funding allocation to County Kildare for 2018 was €1,061,036.
- The Community Enhancement Programme, which I launched in 2018, has provided funding of €468,671 to projects in Kildare, including more than €26,000 to Men's Sheds groups, which provide a safe space where men can gather and participate in their communities, develop social networks and potentially gain new skills and access information.
- The LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) in Kildare has been allocated €5,261,600 to invest in the economic and social development of County Kildare over the period of the programme to 2020. In 2018, €640,556 was approved for 16 LEADER projects in Kildare. The LAG received funding of €314,922 in 2018 for individual projects and the administration costs of the LAG itself.
- The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is another initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and is part of a package of national and local support measures to rejuvenate rural towns and villages throughout Ireland. I announced details of 224 projects that were approved for €21.3 million of funding under the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, including eight projects totalling €520,000 for Kildare.
- €35,000 was provided to Kildare County Council towards the funding of a local broadband officer, increasing to €42,000 in 2019.
- The Seniors Alert Scheme, which facilitates valuable community-based support for vulnerable older people. A total of 1,139 installations have been approved for elderly persons in Kildare since September 2015.
- The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas. The scheme is funded by my Department and is administered through the Local Authorities. The funding allocated for 2018 to Co. Kildare was €329,590.00.
- €85,684 was announced in January 2019 for the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure scheme.
- The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model with funding provided as a contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions (FTEs). In 2018, the CSP provided funding of some €430,000 towards the cost of employing approximately 17.5 full-time equivalents and three manager positions in five community based organisations and social enterprises based in County Kildare.