Child and Family Agency Reports

Ceisteanna (601)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

601. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 514 of 5 March 2019, if a copy of the minutes requested will be provided in view of the fact the investigation of matters pertaining to the midlands management review are no barrier to the minutes requested being provided. [11949/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Deputy will be aware that I have sought written clarification from Tusla in relation to a number of matters, including decisions taken by Tusla management, in relation to the midlands management review.

The Deputy will also be aware that a sub-committee of the Board of Tusla has advised me that the matters raised in relation to the review will be part of the investigation, which is currently underway.

Childcare Services Regulation

Ceisteanna (602)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

602. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 2335 of 24 July 2018, the details of the findings regarding the crèche in question being investigated; the actions taken by her Department; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that this facility has continued to advertise and operate itself under the guise of being a fully registered childcare facility; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12037/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As outlined in question No. 2335 of 24 July 2018, section 58D (1) and (2) of the Childcare Act 1991 (as amended by Part XII of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013), require that all persons wishing to operate an early years service must be placed on a register of early years services, maintained by Tusla - the Child and Family Agency. Continued operation of a service is contingent on registration, and the service is monitored by Tusla, through the Early Years Inspectorate by inspection for compliance with the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. Where a service meets the requirements for registration (as outlined by Part XII of the Child and Family Agency Act) but refuses to cooperate with this process, then the Early Years Inspectorate may escalate this matter to the District Court.

The Early Years Inspectorate has been aware of the service in question for some time, and has continued to engage with them in order to regularise their registration status. Since July this has escalated to enforcement proceedings. It is anticipated that these proceedings will conclude shortly. In the interim, the service has registered with the Early Years Inspectorate as and from 1 March 2019, and it is intended that the Inspectorate will continue to monitor this service closely to ensure on-going compliance with the 2016 regulations.

Childcare Legislation

Ceisteanna (603)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

603. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to update the Child Care Act 1991. [12045/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As the Deputy will be aware, the primary legislation regulating child care policy is the Child Care Act 1991.

My Department is reviewing the Act in line with a Government commitment under Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People. The purpose of the review is to identify what is working well within the existing legislation, address any identified gaps or new areas for development and reflect recent policy and practice developments.

An important step of this process is to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to collect their views and experiences and my Department commenced this process with an open policy debate in Dublin Castle late 2017. Since then we have concluded a written consultation that received over forty submissions, hosted a series of consultations with front line staff and management from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and consulted with a number of other stakeholders including legal professionals. These consultations have been crucial to informing the scoping work by the Department and development of policy papers.

Our aim for the upcoming year is to refine and finalise our policy proposals, with a view to seeking permission from Government to draft the Heads and a General Scheme of a Child Care (Amendment) Bill.

The Deputy might wish to note that the reform of Section 26 of the 1991 Act, concerning the role and function of Guardian ad litem, is progressed separately. The Department, in consultation with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel, is finalising the drafting of the relevant Bill and it is anticipated that this will be published in the coming months.

Child and Family Agency Investigations

Ceisteanna (604)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

604. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the assurance review by Tusla of allegations made regarding a carer of a child or young person with a disability. [12115/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I have referred the matter to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have asked Tusla to reply to the Deputy directly.

Disability Support Services Provision

Ceisteanna (605, 608, 609)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

605. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department or Tusla has reviewed the provision of disability supports and services to children in care as discussed in the Ombudsman for Children report on a case (details supplied). [12116/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

608. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department or agencies under her remit have conducted a systematic review of the supports and services being offered in a case (details supplied) that was reviewed in 2018. [12119/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

609. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department or agencies under her remit have conducted a review of the services and supports which are offered to children in care who have disabilities; and if so, if this report will be published. [12120/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 605, 608 and 609 together.

I wish to thank the Deputy for her questions, and can confirm that I have referred the matter to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, for their direct reply.

Children in Care

Question Nos. 608 and 609 answered with Question No. 605.

Ceisteanna (606, 607)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

606. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to introduce an enhanced support payment for children in care with disabilities. [12117/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

607. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if there has been an engagement between the Department of Health and her Department on formulating a national policy to support children in care with a disability. [12118/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 606 and 607 together.

There are existing national policies to support children in care with a disability.

Under Tusla’s National Policy on Financial Payments in Foster Care, Aftercare and Supported Lodgings, an enhanced foster care allowance may be payable to foster carers in certain circumstances. A maximum of twice the weekly allowance may be paid in respect of children aged up to 18 years if they require significant care over and above the needs of other children in foster care. This includes children who have been diagnosed with significant special needs and require a high level of personal care and supervision.

Foster care allowances are payable for the benefit of the foster child and therefore must be used to meet the day to day costs associated with looking after the foster child. In considering any enhanced allowance the social worker must show that the standard fostering allowance does not adequately provide for the cost of caring for the child.

In general terms, disability services are provided by the HSE, and the eligibility of children, including children with a disability, to relevant supports and services is determined on the basis of clinical need.

Tusla and my Department are aware that children in care with a disability may face specific challenges. The Joint Protocol for Interagency Collaboration between the Health Service Executive and Tusla, agreed by the two agencies, is designed to address such matters.

This protocol clarifies how children in care access HSE-funded disability-related services, setting out the respective roles and duties of the relevant agencies, as well as the arrangements in place when children in care reach 18 years of age. While the Protocol is managed at a local level in the first instance, it provides a clear escalation process should an issue arise, or if there is an unresolved matter around access to appropriate services.

The Protocol’s development came on foot of intensive and productive engagement at the highest level between the HSE, Tusla, my Department, and the Department of Health. My officials are continuing to work closely with Department of Health colleagues regarding young people in care transitioning to HSE Disability Services placements upon turning 18, in order to effect a sustainable transition mechanism.

Question Nos. 608 and 609 answered with Question No. 605.

Child and Family Agency Data

Ceisteanna (610)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

610. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department or agencies under her remit have developed performance metrics to monitor and measure the outcomes of children in care with disabilities. [12121/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I can advise the Deputy that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency collects data for each child in its care, on the National Child Care Information System (NCCIS). Information gathered includes data on the child's individual needs, including disabilities and supports that may be required to meet those needs. The data is collected for the purposes of care planning, and not collated centrally for reporting purposes at this time.

Tusla also collects point-in-time data on children with disabilities each year. The data collected consists of the number of children in care on the last day of September, who have received a diagnosis of moderate to severe disability by a clinical specialist, i.e. registered general medical practitioner, psychiatrist or other appropriately qualified clinical specialist (e.g. paediatrician). This census is taken by care type. The data collected reflects only children in the statutory care of the Child and Family Agency. Tusla does not gather data on children living in disability services who are not in statutory care.

My officials are currently working with Tusla staff to further develop the range and scope of performance metrics used in relation to children in care.

Childcare Services Regulation

Ceisteanna (611)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

611. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will report on the concerns of a forum (details supplied) regarding the reporting of registration and attendance of children in community childcare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12250/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Assisting families to access high quality, affordable early learning and care and school age childcare is a priority for me as Minister and hence I take any concerns raised by the sector very seriously.

My Department funds a number of early learning and care and school age childcare programmes. Given the large amount of public money that is used in funding these programmes, there needs to be an appropriate level of oversight and accountability. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs believes that our approach to compliance and supporting services strikes a necessary and appropriate balance. Our approach involves setting out the rules for the receipt of State funding, supporting providers to deliver services, and at the same time, the approach offers assurances to the taxpayer that the funding assigned is being spent as it was intended.

A high level of compliance with the rules of the various childcare schemes is vital to maintaining existing investment as well as ensuring future investment. It is a requirement that services operating the early learning and care and school age childcare programmes funded by my Department must be compliant with the Rules for DCYA childcare funding programmes’, the most recent of which was published on 9 August 2018. Compliance with these Rules is overseen by Pobal on behalf of my Department. Because subsidies for the early learning and care and school age childcare programmes are paid based on attendance (not enrolment), this is a vital governance component of the funding for which my Department is responsible.

I very much appreciate that community childcare settings provide a valuable service to children and families across the country. I also appreciate their stated concerns regarding their sustainability. Hence, significant support is available to them to bring their service onto a more sustainable footing, whilst being necessarily compliant with scheme rules.

My Department oversees an integrated Case Management system operated by Pobal through which a dedicated team assesses services facing challenges. This Case Management service provides non-financial assistance or support in the first instance. Financial supports are also available for services facing certain challenges which may also be accessed through Case Management following a financial assessment.

Results from Pobal compliance visits for the first part of the programme year 2018/2019 show some issues in relation to non-compliance which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. I am encouraged however that most services have engaged constructively with the process so far. I would recommend all other services to get in contact with Pobal or their local City / County Childcare Committee if they need support or advice, or if they believe a sustainability issue arises.

The Deputy will be aware that investment in childcare has increased by an unprecedented 117% over the last four budgets, now totalling €575 million per year. Community services access much of this growing investment. Turnover for many services has increased quite substantially (given that the number of servicers operating has increased only slightly) and co-payments / top-up payments made by parents has decreased, both measures assisting many services to strengthen their sustainability and review their business model to meet compliance requirements.

The existing targeted childcare schemes will be replaced later this year with the National Childcare Scheme. In launching this new scheme today with the Taoiseach, we began a major national information campaign in relation to how this new scheme will operate. A significant amount of time will be invested in working with services to ensure that they are ready for it. The new scheme will not have a snapshot window. Its attendance rules will seek to reflect the reality of children and parents' lives and the need for services to operate as businesses. The attendance rules will reflect a certain degree of flexibility whilst honouring the requirement to ensure that Exchequer funding is used for the purposes it was intended.

My Department’s policy relating to the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS) was informed by evidence and with the best interests of children and families in mind. The legislation that I brought forward, supporting the scheme, the Childcare Support Act 2018, was the subject of much discussion in the Houses and many elements of the policy were considered by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children on a number of occasions.

Under NCS, subsidies will be paid to a service provider for a child regularly using the childcare place. In other words, the scheme will contain rules in relation to circumstances where a child leaves the service, is absent or is not fully using the agreed place over a prolonged period. The rules have been developed to be fair, proportionate and child-centred, while also being clear and consistent. Importantly they will recognise the need for flexibility for parents. My Department has worked hard to ensure that they will not disadvantage services for what can be considered minor non-attendances. At the same time, they will recognise the need to protect State finances by ensuring that Exchequer funds are used to support the maximum number of families in need of financial support, represent value for money for taxpayers, and are managed and allocated in accordance with robust and appropriate procedures.

The National Childcare Scheme will mark another significant milestone for early learning and care and school age childcare in this country, creating an infrastructure from which Government can further increase investment in services over the next decade, This is in line with the commitment made in First 5, the Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families, I published last November.

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (612)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

612. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the specific arrangements made regarding children in care who are placed in residential and-or therapeutic facilities in the United Kingdom; and the impact on the arrangements in the event that the UK leaves the European Union. [12320/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The placements of children in State care into the jurisdiction of the UK are subject to relevant applications under domestic and international instruments including Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (the Brussels II bis Regulation), the Child Abduction and Enforcement of Orders Act, 1991 (as amended) and the Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act, 2000. Tusla is currently reviewing its position, in respect of the potential impact of Brexit, on the placement of this cohort of young people into the UK.

The European Commission Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers has provided a notice to stakeholders in relation to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (from the EU) and EU rules in the field of civil justice and private international law. This Notice, which is informing Tusla’s review, provides guidance in respect of the following:

- Proceedings pending on the withdrawal date;

- Proceedings initiated as of the withdrawal date;

- Exequatured judgements;

- Judicial cooperation procedures between Member States.

This notice sets out the legal position with regard to children in care that are placed in residential or therapeutic facilities in the United Kingdom and provides a framework for State agencies in assuring governance of these cases.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is in place between Tusla, the Department of Justice and Equality and International Social Services (ISS) Ireland which governs applications for cross border placements and requests for social work reports. Under this MOU, ISS Ireland undertakes the following functions:

- Acting as the central point of contact for all cross-border applications;

- Expediting applications for social reports and the placement of children in care with a cross border dimension;

- Supporting the Central Authority and State agencies in delivering their legal obligations with regard to applications as provided for in the legislation;

- Defining each stakeholders' expectations given their legal responsibilities;

- Defining inputs, outputs and expected outcomes for the stakeholders.

A possible review of this MoU in the context of Brexit is also being considered by Tusla.

Tusla continues to engage with the Department of Justice and Equality in relation to the impact of Brexit on relevant applications under domestic and international instruments. Tusla will also continue discussions with officials in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and other Government Departments as required, in the coming weeks to establish appropriate jurisdiction, judicial cooperation with third countries and the appropriate procedures to be followed under national law and international conventions in relation to actions surrounding the cohort of young people in question.

While it is not possible to determine, at this point, what form the UK’s exit from the EU will take, my officials are satisfied, on the basis of legal advice received, that the provisions of the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children will provide a legal framework, post Brexit, for the placement of children in specialist facilities in the United Kingdom.

Control of Dogs

Ceisteanna (613, 614, 615)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

613. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if an out-of-hours dog warden service will be introduced in County Louth. [12109/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

614. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if the development of a reciprocal arrangement which would enable dog wardens in County Louth to follow dogs which have killed sheep into neighbouring counties here and into Northern Ireland will be supported. [12110/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

615. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the procedure for dogs which have been removed by a dog warden due to sheep worrying. [12111/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 613 to 615, inclusive, together.

The overall intention of dog control legislation is to place the onus on dog owners and those in control of dogs to act responsibly by keeping their dogs under effectual control. Such responsible dog ownership is the key to reducing incidences of sheep worrying and other problem behaviours.

The Control of Dogs Acts 1986, as amended, set out a range of requirements for all dog owners or any other person in charge of a dog. In particular, section 9 of the 1986 Act outlines requirements regarding keeping dogs under effectual control. Section 9 (2) states that the owner or any other person in charge of a dog that worries livestock is guilty of an offence, while Section 21 of the 1986 Act provides that the owner of a dog shall be liable in damages for an attack on livestock.

Upon seizure of a dog under Sections 9 or 11 of the Control of Dogs Act, the seized dog is taken to the Local Authority dog pound, with relevant details regarding the dog entered in the register. Section 14(3) specifies the information to be entered in the register while Section 11 outlines the duration of detention of the dog.

As all operational matters in relation to the Control of Dogs Acts 1986, as amended, are matters for local authorities, an out of hours dog warden service is solely a matter for the relevant local authority. I understand that Louth County Council dog warden service has been very active in addressing all aspects of sheep worrying, from dealing with actual cases, including the scanning of dead dogs for microchips at the scenes to preventive measures such as seizing stray dogs from the area.

My Department will continue to work with all responsible stakeholders and support any practical reciprocal arrangements between local authority areas, and where relevant, other jurisdictions. In many cases these arrangements can be dealt with at an operational level by local authorities. My Department will work with all responsible stakeholders towards the shared aim of promoting responsible dog ownership and consistently reinforcing the message that dogs should never be allowed to roam alone.

Voluntary Sector Funding

Ceisteanna (616, 617, 621, 622, 624, 625)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

616. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the action he has taken arising from a report (details supplied); the options for funding being considered; if there is a timeframe for a final decision; if he is working with all of the volunteer centres affected by the underfunding of the services; if an interim agreement on funding will be reached to support the centres while a long-term plan is being devised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11636/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

617. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the options under consideration for the funding of underfunded volunteer centres; the timeframe for a decision on the matter; and if additional funding will be made available. [11808/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

621. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if his attention has been drawn to a report (details supplied) and the content of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11907/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

622. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the plans he is considering to assist under-resourced volunteer centres; when additional funding will be made available to these groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11908/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

624. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the recommendations of the report Developing Funding Criteria for Volunteer Centres in Ireland will be implemented (details supplied); the options being considered; the timescale in which these decisions will be reached; if the necessary funding will be granted to services such as those in counties Westmeath and Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12042/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

625. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his views on a report (details supplied) which identified the minimum funding necessary for centres as €121,016; the options being considered for volunteer groups that are underfunded and fall significantly below this amount; when a decision may be reached; and if the necessary funding will be granted. [12193/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 616, 617, 621, 622, 624 and 625 together.

My Department's community and voluntary supports and programmes unit provide a cohesive framework of support for the community and voluntary sector. €3.5 million is being provided in 2019 under this programme to support 21 volunteer centres, eight volunteering information services and a number of volunteer-supporting organisations, such as Volunteer Ireland.

Following the publication of the 2017 Dermot McLaughlin report "Developing Funding Criteria for Volunteer Centres in Ireland", my Department secured additional funding of €300,000 which was allocated to all Volunteer Centres in 2017 on a proportionate basis. This increased funding level has been maintained in 2018 and 2019.

The Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2018 included the provision of €1.2 million to upgrade the eight Volunteer Information Services to full Volunteer Centres in order to provide a consistent level of volunteering service nationwide. My Department is currently engaging with stakeholders in the roll-out of this initiative. As part of this exercise, my Department is also examining options with regard to a number of existing Volunteer Centres which are currently receiving less funding than the minimum amount recommended in the McLaughlin report.

My Department is also currently collating information received from a recent call for input exercise that was designed as a first step towards developing a draft national volunteering strategy. Among the topics under consideration in this context is the issue of volunteering support infrastructure and how best this can be structured to support volunteering.

LEADER Programmes Data

Ceisteanna (618)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

618. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the percentage of total expenditure by each LEADER group on administration and animation in the 2009 to 2014 programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11818/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

LEADER is a multi-annual EU co-funded programme to support rural development. The 2007-2013 LEADER programme was delivered by the Local Development Companies who were the Local Action Groups (LAGs) for each LEADER area.

Total project and administration expenditure, which included engagement with potential promoters (known as "animation"), under the 2007-2013 LEADER programme amounted to approximately €369 million. Table 1 provides details of the administration and animation expenditure incurred by each LAG, expressed as a percentage of their total spend under the 2007-2013 LEADER programme.

Under the 2007-2013 programme, the LEADER Local Action Groups could claim 20% of their funding allocation for the purposes of administration and animation costs. The LAGs could also avail of additional funding from their project budget allocation to fund additional animation activity, and these amounts are also included in Table 1.

Table 1: LEADER 2007-2013 Percentage Administration and Animation expenditure by LAG.

Local Action Group

% Administration & Animation

Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership Limited

27.6%

Ballyhoura Development Limited

20.1%

Carlow County Development Partnership Limited

24.8%

Cavan/Monaghan Area Partnership Ltd.

24.3%

Cill Dara ar Aghaidh Teoranta

26.7%

Clare Local Development Company Limited

21.1%

Co Kilkenny LEADER Partnership Co Ltd

20.5%

Co Wicklow Community Partnership

24.1%

Comhar na nOileáin Teoranta

22.7%

Donegal Local Development Company Limited

23.9%

Fingal LEADER Partnership

27.3%

FORUM Connemara

25.7%

Galway Rural Development Company Limited

23.2%

I.R.D. Duhallow

21.4%

Inishowen Development Partnership

22.4%

Laois Community & Enterprise Development Co Ltd

21.4%

Leitrim Integrated Development Company

23.3%

Longford Community Resources Limited

23.8%

Louth LEADER Partnership

26.2%

M.F.G. (Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta Teoranta)

42.2%

Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Co Teo

21.6%

Meath Community Rural & Social Devel P/ship Ltd

22.0%

North & East Kerry LEADER Partnership Teoranta

26.0%

North Tipperary LEADER Partnership Company

18.4%

Offaly Integrated Local Development Company

22.6%

Roscommon Integrated Development Company

26.4%

Sligo LEADER Partnership Co

21.1%

South & East Cork Area Development Limited

23.9%

South Kerry Development Partnership Limited

24.6%

South Tipperary Local Development Company Limited

19.0%

South West Mayo Development Company Limited

25.4%

Waterford LEADER Partnership Limited

23.6%

West Cork Development Partnership Ltd

24.8%

West Limerick Resources Ltd

25.2%

Westmeath Community Development Ltd

25.5%

Wexford Local Development

20.8%

LEADER Programmes Expenditure

Questions Nos. 621 to 622 answered with Question No. 616.

Ceisteanna (619, 620)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

619. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the planned level of administration and animation expenditure over the lifetime of the current LEADER programme for all LAGs, both independent and local authority, expressed as a percentage of their total budgets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11820/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

620. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the percentage of the total expenditure of local action groups on LEADER programmes retained by local authorities; if this retention applies to all LAGs administering LEADER; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11822/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 619 and 620 together.

The LEADER programme has a total budget of €250 million over the period to 2020. €220 million of this funding has been allocated to the Local Action Groups (LAGs) throughout the country who deliver the LEADER programme. The remaining €30 million is available for schemes which will be overseen at a national level.

Article 35 of Regulation (EU) No. 1303/2013 stipulates that support can be provided for the administration costs of the LAGs and the cost of their engagement with communities to generate projects - also referred to as "animation" costs.

In line with the Regulation, the maximum percentage of funding that can be spent by Local Action Groups on administration and animation is 25% of the LEADER expenditure incurred in the delivery of their Local Development Strategy (LDS).

25 of the 29 LAGs delivering LEADER are Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) working in partnership with the Local Development Companies and Local Authorities in their respective areas. In these LAGs, the funding for administration and animation expenditure is all provided to the Local Development Companies or it can be shared between both the Local Development Companies and the Local Authorities.

The division of the administration and animation funding between the Local Authorities and the Local Development Companies is a matter for each individual LAG. My Department understands, based on submissions from the Local Authorities, that the percentage funding retained by each Local Authority for their own administration purposes related to the LEADER programme ranges from 0% to 5% of the LAG budget.

In the other 4 cases, the Local Action Groups are Local Development Companies that are not in a formal partnership with the LCDC and Local Authority. Therefore the full 25% funding for adminstration and animation is available solely for the Local Development Company.

Table 1 outlines the following details for each LAG:

- The total allocation for the LEADER 2014-2020 programme;

- The total planned administration and animation expenditure as outlined in each Local Development Strategy;

- The total planned administration and animation expenditure as outlined in each Local Development Strategy expressed as a percentage of the total allocation;

- The percentage of the total allocation retained by Local Authorities for administration and animation costs. It should be noted that this percentage is already included in the overall percentage provide in the table for Administration & Animation, and is not an additional allocation.

The LAGs may also be entitled to additional administration and animation expenditure associated with projects approved from the €30 million available at national level.

This expenditure is monitored by my Department on an ongoing basis.

Table 1: LEADER 2014:2020 LAG allocations and associated administration and animation expenditure

Local Action Group

Total Allocation

Planned Administration and Animation (A&A) Expenditure

A&A as % of Total Allocation

% of Total Allocation to be Retained by Local Authority

Carlow

€6,416,803.43

€1,604,202.00

25.0%

5%

Cavan

€8,522,285.84

€2,080,571.00

24.4%

5%

Clare

€8,920,224.65

€2,229,225.00

25.0%

N/A

Cork North

€5,091,845.73

€1,272,961.00

25.0%

0%

Cork South

€3,831,303.31

€957,825.00

25.0%

0%

Cork West

€5,015,674.19

€1,253,918.00

25.0%

0%

Donegal

€12,913,877.86

€3,228,467.00

25.0%

0%

Dublin Rural

€6,370,438.43

€1,592,609.00

25.0%

1.3%

Galway East

€7,655,850.61

€1,768,369.00

23.1%

N/A

Galway West

€4,540,033.00

€1,089,608.00

24.0%

N/A

Kerry

€10,219,868.29

€2,554,967.00

25.0%

0%

Kildare

€5,261,600.01

€1,315,400.00

25.0%

2.8%

Kilkenny

€7,791,572.91

€1,947,893.00

25.0%

N/A

Laois

€7,124,586.86

€1,774,629.00

24.9%

5%

Leitrim

€5,998,474.74

€1,475,686.00

24.6%

3%

Limerick

€9,276,593.96

€2,319,232.00

25.0%

0%

Longford

€7,597,623.07

€1,869,123.00

24.6%

3%

Louth

€6,101,862.01

€1,525,465.50

25.0%

0.7%

Mayo

€11,121,431.88

€2,753,549.00

24.8%

3.4%

Meath

€6,903,123.57

€1,725,781.00

25.0%

0%

Monaghan

€7,592,719.51

€1,839,923.00

24.2%

2.4%

Offaly

€8,036,763.90

€2,006,737.00

25.0%

0%

Roscommon

€8,852,659.22

€2,213,164.00

25.0%

5%

Sligo

€7,655,647.81

€1,913,912.00

25.0%

3%

Tipperary

€10,103,443.28

€2,520,859.00

25.0%

1.3%

Waterford

€7,522,796.18

€1,880,699.00

25.0%

2%

Westmeath

€7,384,206.22

€1,795,210.00

24.3%

1.2%

Wexford

€9,840,140.56

€2,260,036.00

23.0%

3%

Wicklow

€6,336,549.00

€1,556,965.00

24.6%

0%

Questions Nos. 621 to 622 answered with Question No. 616.

Grant Payments

Ceisteanna (623)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

623. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the grant schemes available for items (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12027/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The provision the items referred to by the Deputy may be eligible for funding under a number of my Department's programmes, including LEADER, the Community Enhancement Programme and CLÁR.

LEADER is a multi-annual programme covering the period 2014-2020 which is delivered through Local Action Groups in each of the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas around the country. Funding can be provided under a broad range of defined themes, which include enterprise development and social inclusion.

The Social Inclusion theme of the LEADER Programme focuses on the provision of services for people living in rural and remote areas and, in that context, support for the services referred to by the Deputy could potentially be considered eligible for LEADER funding.

In order for a project to be eligible for funding under LEADER, it must be compatible with the actions outlined in the approved Local Development Strategy in the LEADER sub-regional area concerned, and it must comply with the Operating Rules and EU Regulations in place for the programme.

The decision to approve a project, or otherwise, is a matter for the Local Action Groups (LAGs) which administer the programme in each LEADER area. Interested applicants should, in the first instance, contact the relevant LAG through its Implementing Partners to discuss the funding that may be available. Contact details for all LAGs are available on my Department's website at http://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/list-of-LAGs.pdf.

The Community Enhancement Programme provides capital grants to community groups to help them to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas. The details of the 2019 programme are currently being finalised by the Department and I anticipate that the programme will be launched in the coming weeks. Applications should be made to the Local Community Development Committee in the relevant area.

The CLÁR programme has, in the past, provided funding for the items referred to by the Deputy, to established organisations that operate on a voluntary basis and are involved in emergency rescue or first response efforts in the community. CLÁR operates in specific designated rural areas that have experienced high levels of depopulation.

I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28 February last. The measures being funded under the programme this year include a Community Wellbeing Supports measure, comprising:

(a) First Response Support

(b) Mobility and Cancer Care Transport

(c) Sensory Gardens.

The First Response Support, in particular, encompasses the assistance given in previous years for voluntary first-response organisations. Application forms for this funding are available on my Department's website www.drcd.gov.ie .