Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (322)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

322. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department have provided to projects in County Galway in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12516/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department administers a range of programmes and schemes to support rural and community development.

The Department has provided funding to projects under the following programmes in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date 2019 in County Galway. We are currently collating information relating to individual projects and draw downs and will forward this to the Deputy in due course.

Galway

2016

2017

2018

2019

LEADER

0

0

1,845,648.85

250,761.99

Town and Village Renewal

380,000

1,004,231

900,000

TBC

CLÁR

392,000

611,539.16

776,297

TBC

Rural Recreation Scheme

n/a

43,500

n/a

n/a

Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme

n/a

n/a

590,961.75

TBC

Local Improvement Scheme

n/a

1,368,651

1,942,000.59

856,959

REDZ 2016

100,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

Tidy Towns

n/a

56,000

65,000

TBC

National Walks Scheme

0

225,999.67

86,365.60

TBC

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

n/a

n/a

2,276,887

5,996,883

Broadband Officer

n/a

70,000

70,000

84,000

Demonstration Projects

n/a

n/a

30,000

TBC

Digital Innovation Programme

n/a

n/a

24,000

TBC

Volunteering

121,148

133,200

133,200

TBC

LCDCs

0

29, 250.05

117,648.53

TBC

Libraries Development Unit

241,549

278,786.68

403,649.66

TBC

SICAP

2,134,026

2,251,040

2,256,040

562,759.50

RAPID

n/a

129,000

n/a

n/a

Communities Facilities Scheme

n/a

129,000

n/a

n/a

Community Enhancement Programme

n/a

n/a

606,815

TBC

Mens Shed Fund

n/a

n/a

24,638

TBC

Community Services Programme

n/a

n/a

1,853,078.16

1,975,841

Atlantic Economic Corridor Officer co-funding with Local Authorities

n/a

n/a

95,000

TBC

In respect of the four agencies under the remit of my Department, Irish Water Safety and the Charities Regulator do not provide funding to groups. The Western Development Commission provides investments and loans to small and medium enterprises, but does not distribute grant funding to projects. Pobal administers a number of schemes on behalf of Government Departments, including my Department (details provided above). Funding for those schemes Pobal administers for other Departments is a matter for those Departments.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (323)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

323. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding that his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department have provided to projects in County Roscommon in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12533/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department administers a range of programmes and schemes to support rural and community development.

The Department has provided funding to projects under the following programmes in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date 2019 in County Roscommon. We are currently collating information relating to individual projects and draw downs and will forward this to the Deputy.

Roscommon

2016

2017

2018

2019

LEADER

0

0

1,997,381.22

75,555.97

Town and Village Renewal

380,000

575,508

880,000

TBC

CLÁR

406,497.40

372,441

343,147

TBC

Rural Recreation Scheme

0

118,040.64

n/a

n/a

Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme

n/a

n/a

583,726.45

TBC

Local Improvement Scheme

n/a

421,258

820,968

355,104

REDZ 2016

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Tidy Towns

n/a

33,000

39,000

TBC

National Walks Scheme

n/a

197,620.96

186,693.08

TBC

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

n/a

n/a

0

5,088,888.5

Broadband Officer

n/a

35,000

35,000

42,000

Demonstration Projects

n/a

n/a

35,000

n/a

Digital Innovation Programme

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Volunteering

12,000

12,000

12,000

TBC

LCDCs

0

2,082.76

52,066.87

TBC

Libraries Development Unit

6,002

44,784

132,686.59

TBC

SICAP

591,906.25

598,349.9

597,907.93

149,587.5

RAPID

n/a

64,500

n/a

n/a

Communities Facilities Scheme

n/a

64,500

n/a

n/a

Community Enhancement Programme

n/a

n/a

239,556

TBC

Mens Shed Fund

n/a

n/a

8,696

TBC

Community Services Programme

n/a

n/a

1,970,717

2,025,692

Atlantic Economic Corridor Officer co-funding with Local Authorities

n/a

n/a

50,700

TBC

In respect of the four agencies under the remit of my Department, Irish Water Safety and the Charities Regulator do not provide funding to groups. The Western Development Commission provides investments and loans to small and medium enterprises, but does not distribute grant funding to projects. Pobal administers a number of schemes on behalf of Government Departments, including my Department (details above). However, funding for those schemes administered by Pobal on behalf of those other Departments is a matter for the Departments concerned.

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Ceisteanna (324)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

324. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount spent to date in 2019 from the rural regeneration fund; the value of projects approved to date; when it is proposed to have another call for projects under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12542/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The first call for applications for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund closed at the end of September. €1 billion is committed to the Fund over a 10 year period to support rural economic development and help build strong communities. €315 million is allocated to the Fund for 2019-2022.

There was an excellent response from all across the country, with 280 applications received. 126 applications related to Category 1, "shovel ready" projects while 154 related to Category 2 projects - those which needed development funding to become potential Category 1 applications in future calls for applications.

In November 2018, I announced the first set of 18 successful Category 1 projects, providing €24.4 million in funding for projects with an overall value of €34.6 million. The final announcement on the first call under the Fund took place in February 2019 in Castleblayney where I announced another 20 successful Category 1 projects and 46 Category 2 projects which will benefit from support from the Fund of €62 million, with a total project value of €83 million. Overall, this first call from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will provide €86 million in support for projects worth €117 million.

My Department is in ongoing contact with the lead parties for the aforementioned 84 successful projects in respect of the contractual arrangements governing the delivery of the projects, which set out project milestones and schedules, as well as associated payment dates. I look forward in the coming months to the funds being drawn down in line with completion of project milestones.

A further call for applications to the Fund will be announced in the coming weeks.

Voluntary Sector Funding

Ceisteanna (325)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

325. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans regarding the 12 volunteer centres for 2019 for which the allocations were significantly below an amount in a particular centre (details supplied); the options under consideration to ensure these centres are sufficiently funded; if the necessary funding will be granted; and the timeframe in which a decision may be reached. [12609/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

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.

Cycling Facilities Funding

Ceisteanna (326)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

326. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding options available to community groups and local authorities that wish to develop cycle paths in their areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12653/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The development of cycle paths may be eligible for funding under a number of my Department's programmes, including the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and LEADER.

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration Programme. The objective of the scheme is to support the development and promotion of new outdoor recreation infrastructure and the maintenance and promotion of existing recreation infrastructure in rural areas.

Since I introduced support for this type of infrastructure in 2016, I have approved over €41 million in funding for almost 600 projects around the country. This investment has funded walkways, blueways, trails and other outdoor infrastructural projects around the country.

I propose to launch the 2019 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme shortly, to continue to support investment in projects that will benefit visitors and locals alike in rural areas. Full details of the scheme will be available on my Department's website.

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 Enterprise Development theme of the LEADER Programme focuses on driving continued local economic development, including diversification of the rural economy and the creation of employment opportunities. The development of cycle paths in local areas can have a direct impact on local tourism and have positive benefits for other local industries. In that context, support for the works outlined 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 Implementing Partners under LEADER are available on my Department’s website at: https://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/180813-Update-Contact-Details-for-LEADER.pdf.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (327)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

327. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a disability allowance by a person (details supplied); if the matter will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12457/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I confirm that an application from this gentleman for disability allowance (DA) was received by the Department on 7 December 2018.

The processing time for individual DA claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the three main qualifying criteria, the person’s circumstances and the information they provide in support of their claim.

The application has been referred to a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for a report on the person's means and circumstances. Once the SWI has submitted his/her report to DA section, a decision will be made on the application and this gentleman will be notified directly of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Benefit Payments

Ceisteanna (328)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

328. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer's benefit by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12460/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's Benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment made to a person who leaves the workforce to care for a child or an adult in need of full-time care and attention.

An increased payment can be made where full-time care is being provided to two people.

Applications for carer’s benefit were received from the person concerned on 14 November 2018 in respect of two care recipients.

The applications were awarded to the person concerned with effect from 8 November 2018 in respect of both of her care recipients when her carer’s leave commenced. The first payment issued to her nominated bank account on 31 January 2019.

Arrears of benefit due from 8 November 2018 to 30 January 2019 have also issued on 31 January 2019.

The person concerned was notified on 28 January 2019 of these decisions, the reasons for them and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy

Carer's Benefit Applications

Ceisteanna (329)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

329. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's benefit application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12461/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CARB was received from the person concerned on 16 January 2019. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Free Travel Scheme

Ceisteanna (330)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

330. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a list of all private bus companies (details supplied) that accept free travel passes will be provided. [12463/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The free travel scheme permits free travel on most CIÉ public transport services, Luas and a range of services offered by some 80 private operators in various parts of the country for those eligible under the scheme. The free travel scheme is available to all people aged over 66 and living permanently in the State. Applicants who are under age 66 must be in receipt of a qualifying payment and live permanently in the State in order to qualify for the scheme.

At the end of January 2019 there were 937,180 customers entitled to avail of Free Travel.

A list of all private bus operators who are currently participating in the Free Travel Scheme is provided as follows. A full list of all operators participating in the Scheme is published on my Department's website www.welfare.ie.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Company Name

Aircoach

Avalen Ltd.

Barry's Coaches Ltd

Bernard Kavanagh

Bernard Kavanagh & Sons Ltd

Brian Doherty

Buggy's Coaches Ltd/Denis Buggy

Burke Bros.Coaches Ltd

Bus Feda Teoranta

Catherine Madigan

Collins Coaches

David Culloty (T/A Tralee Peoples Bus Service)

Doherty's Travel/Seamus Doherty

Dualway Coaches Ltd

Eirebus Ltd

Eugene Finnegan (Finnegan Bray)

Farragher International Travel

Farrell Travel T/A Buslink

Foyle Coaches(North West Busways Ltd)

Galway City Direct Ltd

GoBe

Gorey Bus Links Ltd.

Green Coach aka Dublin Coach

Halpenny Transport Ltd.

Harrington's Bus Service

Hugh McGonagle

Irish Citylink ComfortDelgro

JJ Kavanagh & Sons Ltd

John Doyle (St Kevins Bus Service)

John McGinley

Joseph Doherty

Joseph Mangan

Joseph P Foley

K.Buggy Coaches Ltd.

Kearns Transport

Kenneallys Bus Service Ltd

Kenneallys Bus Service Ltd

Lally Coach Hire

Leydon Coaches

M &A Coaches

Matt Whelan

Matthews Coach Hire

Maurice & Felix O Donoghue

McConnon Travel Ltd.

McGeehan Coaches/John & Michael

McGrath's Coaches (Michael McGrath)

McNulty Coaches (John McNulty)

Michael Corduff

Michael Donegan (Donegan's Mini Bus)

Michael Gray, Ballyconnigar,Blackwater, Co. Wexford

Michael Kelly/Kelly Travel

Michael Kilbride

Nash Minibus & Coach Hire

P.J. Martely (Martley's of Portlaoise)

Patrick Gallagher Brinaleck

Patrick Gallagher Churchill Ltd

Sean Heneghan (Heneghan Bus Hire)

Sillan Tours Ltd.

Slieve Bloom Coach Tours Ltd.

Suirway Bus & Coach Service Ltd

Westlink Coaches Ltd

Wexford Bus

Wharton Travel

William Keogh