Project Ireland 2040 Implementation

Ceisteanna (871, 872, 873)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

871. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the capital projects which have been delayed under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of his Department and agencies in tabular form; when these projects will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30889/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

872. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the capital projects which have commenced under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of his Department and agencies in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30925/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

873. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if expenditure estimates for capital projects under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of his Department and agencies match projected cost requirements in tabular from; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30971/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 871 to 873, inclusive, together.

My Department does not have direct responsibility for delivery of any capital project being undertaken under Project Ireland 2040. However, my Department is responsible for the administration and implementation of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, one of four funds established under Project Ireland 2040.

The Fund seeks to support ambitious and strategic projects which have the potential to transform rural economies and communities. The Government has committed €1 billion over 10 years to the Fund and €315 million is allocated to the Fund for the period 2019-2022.

It should also be noted that as part of Project Ireland 2040, it is intended that the broad range of other initiatives delivered by my Department in order to support rural regeneration and economic growth, such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, Ceantair Laga ÁrdRiachtanais (CLÁR) and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, will in the future be integrated into the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and under the larger Project Ireland 2040 umbrella to ensure more strategic use of this funding.

In terms of the implementation of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, applications for the first call under the Fund, which is competitive in nature, closed in September 2018. Following the conclusion of the first call in February 2019, a total of 84 successful projects had been announced, with funding of €86m provided from the Fund. This funding supported a total investment of €117m by these projects in rural areas.

Each of these projects is being led, implemented and delivered by a State-funded body, such as a local authority, LEADER Local Action Group or State Agency. However, projects are collaborative in nature, often involving direct support by other such bodies or by philanthropic organisations or community bodies.

Following the announcement of the successful projects, my Department engaged with each lead party to complete due diligence requirements. Final approval for projects is only issued following the completion of the relevant procurement processes, thereby providing a degree of certainty in relation to the cost of projects, many of which are small in scale. Contractual arrangements are also drawn up with the release of funding based on the achievement of key milestones in the projects.

No significant time delays or cost overruns have yet been identified through this process and good progress is already being made on the implementation of successful projects. A number of the projects have already met their first milestone and had funding released. To date, €1,722,043 has been drawn down from the Fund by seven separate projects. I expect that payments from the Fund will significantly accelerate over the coming weeks and months as further milestones are achieved across all the 84 projects.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (874, 875)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

874. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of capital projects being undertaken by his Department; the final agreed tender price; the estimated cost of each capital project in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31081/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

875. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the capital projects completed since 2010; the final agreed tender price for each project; the actual cost of each project; if the actual cost exceeded the tender price; the reason therefor in each case in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31097/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 874 and 875 together.

My Department utilises capital funding to promote rural and community development and support sustainable communities.

The majority of capital funding is routed through local authorities who directly deliver projects utilising this funding.

I can confirm that my Department has not directly procured or delivered any capital project since its establishment in 2017.

Community Development Initiatives

Ceisteanna (876)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

876. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the level of protections and supports available to a local community which is anxious to preserve and continue to use a historical community and former school building (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31153/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department provides a range of supports to communities and community centres nationwide, in both urban and rural areas, by helping citizens to participate in the development of their communities and by providing funding to improve facilities.

My department funds the Community Enhancement Programme which funded capital projects to the total value of €12.5m in 2018 and can be used to contribute towards the renovation of community infrastructure. There is an initial allocation of €4.5m nationally under this programme in 2019. The Programme is administered locally by the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) in each Local Authority area.

My Department supports the LCDCs who are responsible for the delivery of the community elements of their Local Economic and Community Plans (LECPs). These plans, adopted in each local authority area, identify local needs, such as essential community infrastructure, in each area.

Separately, once a Community Centre is in place, the Community Services Programme supports community businesses to provide local services and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. Where an application is successful under the programme, my Department can provide a contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions.

Dog Breeding Industry

Ceisteanna (877, 878)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

877. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to hold an inquiry into the case of a person (details supplied) and the role of an organisation in inspecting and raiding the same premises in a matter of months and the role of Carlow County Council in granting a licence with conditions yet refusing the information under FOI; and his views on whether the organisation is the correct body to be involved in view of subsequent events at the premises. [31224/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

878. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if a cap will be placed on the maximum number of animals permitted in dog breeding establishments; and if so, if the number will be checked going forward in view of the case of a person (details supplied). [31225/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 877 and 878 together.

My Department has overall policy responsibility for the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010. Under the Act local authorities are responsible for operational activities such as the registration, inspection and regulation of Dog Breeding Establishments, including enforcement activities.

Section 18 of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act, 2010, permits a local authority to enter into arrangements with an organisation or persons connected with animal welfare with whom it has an arrangement under Section 15(3) of the Control of Dogs Act 1986. The procurement of any service in that regard, therefore, is a matter solely for each local authority.

Access to information sought under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, is also a matter for the relevant local authority, which is obliged to comply with FOI legislation, and I have no function in the matter.

Last year, following a public consultation process my Department published new Guidelines for Dog Breeding Establishments. These were put in place under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, and came into effect on 1 January of this year.

Some of the issues raised, including the issue referenced in the Deputy’s question, relate to matters beyond the scope of the guidelines and are being considered as part of a wider review of the legislation, in order to identify any necessary legislative amendments that may be required in the Act to further improve standards. My Department is considering these and other related matters as part of the review of the legislation that is in place.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (879)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

879. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if an application for CLÁR funding for a charity (details supplied) will be granted. [31262/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28 February last. The programme provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in disadvantaged rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population.

Calls for proposals under the 2019 CLÁR programme were invited under the following measures:

Measure 1: Support for Schools/Community Safety Measures; Measure 2: Play Areas (including MUGAs); Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Supports, comprising of:

- 3(a) First Response Support Measure

- 3(b) Support for Mobility and Cancer Care Transport, and

- 3(c) Sensory Gardens.

The closing date for receipt of applications under the 2019 CLÁR Programme was 25 April 2019 and more than 400 applications were received by my Department.

I can confirm that an application has been received in respect of the charity referred to by the Deputy.

My officials are currently assessing all applications received and I hope to be in a position to announce the successful 2019 CLÁR projects shortly.

Departmental Communications

Ceisteanna (880)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

880. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by his Department following these results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31331/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017. There are universally accepted governance principles and norms that apply to civil service and public sector organisations. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has published its 'Corporate Governance Standards for the Civil Service' which details the standards that should be met by bodies in the civil and public service including by my Department.

The circulars and guidance of relevance to my Department issue from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Where relevant, all staff are made aware of these circulars and/or guidance. For example, all new staff are provided with information on the most relevant circulars at the commencement of their employment. In general, these pre-date the establishment of the Department in July 2017 and include, for example, the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour, and the Civil Service Disciplinary Code. In most instances, new circulars and guidance are for the attention of specific business units within the Department, for example the Human Resources unit with regard to pay and pensions, or annual leave and the Finance Unit with regard to the Public Spending Code or Appropriation Account circulars. In these cases it is those business units responsible who are made aware of the circulars, and who ensure application or implementation, and follow up to ensure compliance, as appropriate.

My Department recognises that good governance is about delivering priorities, achieving objectives, behaving with integrity and acting in the public interest, and in ways that are consistent with legal, regulatory and Government policy obligations. The Department's Governance Framework seeks to underpin this and its continued development will be informed and developed on foot of the learning experiences of the Department and its stakeholders.

Climate Change Policy

Ceisteanna (881)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

881. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the recurring weekly meetings attended by either him or the Secretary General of his Department in 2019 at which climate change and-or preparations within his Department to enact a climate plan has been an agenda item; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31347/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Neither I nor the Secretary General of my Department are currently attending recurring weekly meetings featuring climate change as an agenda item.

However, ongoing issues surrounding climate action and the Government's Climate Action Plan are discussed at various meetings as required.

The Secretary General of my Department is also a member of the Climate Action Delivery Board which is being established by the Department of the Taoiseach.

The purpose of the Delivery Board is to ensure effective whole of Government delivery of the Climate Action Plan, which was published by Government last month.

Rural Development Programme Data

Ceisteanna (882)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

882. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which he has received applications under the various rural development schemes in the past two years and to date in 2019, by county; the extent of the approvals in the past; his expectations for 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31382/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

It is not possible, within the timeframe available, to compile the detailed level of information sought by the Deputy. However, I have asked my officials to collate the information requested and I will forward it to the Deputy in the coming days.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (883)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

883. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the degree to which he expects to spend all the funds at his disposal through the various schemes available to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31383/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Gross funding of €291.2 million has been allocated to my Department in 2019. This funding is being used to deliver a coherent package of supports to strengthen rural and urban communities. The most significant programme areas in terms of funding are:

- the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (€52 million allocation);

- the Community Services Programme (€46 million allocation);

- the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (€43 million allocation);

- LEADER (€30 million allocation);

- National Rural Development Schemes (€20 million allocation); and

- Town and Village Regeneration (€15 million allocation).

These programmes and schemes, along with a range of smaller scale supports, enable economic growth and development and also support communities to address gaps in meeting social needs, including those caused by higher levels of deprivation. As in 2018, I expect that the available funding will be fully used this year.

Departmental Programmes

Ceisteanna (884, 885)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

884. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the degree to which he continues to offer grant aid under one or other headings to various community groups involved in social or economic enhancement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31384/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

885. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which he grant aided various community groups in Country Kildare involved in social and economic enhancement in the past two years and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31385/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 884 and 885 together.

My Department is committed to the successful delivery of a number of programmes which have provided financial and other supports to community groups and organisations in County Kildare and elsewhere across the country.

The Department has been provided with a gross budget of €294.2 million for 2019 and I intend for this money to be fully allocated through the wide range of programmes and supports under my Department's remit, which focus on ensuring that all communities have the opportunity to grow and develop economically and socially.

I can confirm that, to date in 2019, more than €196 million has been allocated nationally, and I am delighted to say that in excess of €5.4 million has thus far been allocated to projects and organisations in Co Kildare. This follows allocations of €2,891,432 to the county in 2017 and €4,212,415 in 2018.

Funding has been, or will be, made available under each of the following schemes in 2019 to support groups or organisations involved in the social or economic enhancement of their communities:

- The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which I launched in 2018 as part of Project Ireland 2040, supports ambitious and strategic projects which have the potential to transform rural economies and communities. Three projects located in County Kildare were awarded funding of €2,865,500 from the first call to the Fund. The second call for applications to the Fund was launched in April 2019, and will close on 6 August 2019.

- The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme is our country’s primary social inclusion intervention. More than €3.1 million in funding has been allocated through SICAP to Kildare since 2017

- The Community Enhancement Programme, which I launched in 2018, provided funding of €468,671 to projects in Kildare in 2018, including more than €26,000 to Men's Sheds groups. The funding allocation to Kildare for 2019 is €148,013.00.

- 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. Since 2017, more than €1 million has so far been approved for LEADER projects in Kildare.

- Under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, €936,000 has been approved for projects in Kildare in 2017 and 2018. The deadline for the 2019 scheme closed last month.

- Kildare has been allocated almost €580,000 for works to private and non-public roads in rural areas under the Local Improvement Scheme since I reintroduced the scheme in 2017.

- In 2019, the Community Services Programme is providing funding of some €440,628 towards the cost of employing approximately 17.5 full-time equivalent positions and three managers in five community based organisations and social enterprises based in County Kildare.

- There has also been funding made available for Tidy Towns groups and Agricultural Shows in the county in 2017 and 2018.

Details of all these programmes, including eligibility criteria, how to apply, and other information, can be found on the Government's website, gov.ie.

Rural Transport Services Provision

Ceisteanna (886, 887)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

886. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which he has assisted the provision or improvement of rural transport nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31386/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

887. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which he has assisted with the provision and improvement of rural transport in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31387/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 886 and 887 together.

Responsibility for overall Government transport policy and funding lies with my colleague the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

This includes funding for the national road network and public transport services in rural areas.

Work being funded through Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan underlines the Government’s commitment to ensuring that people living in rural Ireland remain connected with their local communities and beyond, through investment in public transport and the road network.

My Department provides some funding for transport measures which help connect those in rural areas.

These include the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas. I reintroduced the LIS in September 2017 and since then have allocated €48 million to the Scheme. Just under €580,000 of this funding has been approved for works to 20 roads in Kildare.

My Department also continues to provide funding for projects such as trails and blueways that may help connect rural towns and villages across the country under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

I have also provided €1.4 million under the CLÁR Programme for Supports for Mobility and Cancer Care Transport.

The €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is currently open for applications and will consider applications for funding for the development of community or public facilities infrastructure including improvements to roads, bridges and car parking facilities but only in the context of wider rural regeneration projects.

Additionally, my Department is the coordinating Department in respect of the Action Plan for Rural Development. This all of Government Plan for rural Ireland contains a number of actions relating to improvements in transport services, the majority of which are delivered by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and agencies under their aegis.

We are now looking towards the next phase of rural development policy. We are currently consulting with stakeholders and interested parties around the country on the future policy and welcome all views on improving connectivity in rural Ireland as part of that process.

Rural Development Policy

Question No. 889 answered with Question No. 10.

Ceisteanna (888)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

888. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which he has and continues to address issues of rural isolation and the need for services to counter same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31388/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The response to the issue of loneliness and isolation is delivered across a number of Government Departments and organisations.

The Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development includes a range of measures which contribute significantly to addressing isolation and social inclusion in rural areas. Specific examples of measures in the Plan which are being delivered and will assist those who feel isolated or vulnerable in rural areas include:

- Significant investment in the Seniors Alert Scheme, which facilitates valuable community-based support for vulnerable older people living alone. Over €6.9 million was invested in the Seniors Alert Scheme in 2018. The Scheme had a total of 44,763 participants at the end of 2018.

- Investment of €46 million in Garda fleet to ensure that Gardaí are mobile, visible and responsive to prevent and tackle crime. Of that allocation, €10 million will be available for purchases for the fleet in 2019.

- Continued operation of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), the main social inclusion programme of Government supporting local community groups and disadvantaged communities and individuals. The new SICAP 2018–2022 programme was launched in April 2018 and is providing opportunities for people to engage in a range of employment supports including the development of personal skills, lifelong learning, labour market training and one-to-one employment supports.

- Support for 450 Men’s Sheds across rural Ireland 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.

- Maintaining the network of senior helplines in operation throughout the country, which offer a listening service for older people to help address issues such as loneliness and isolation in rural areas.

- Continued support for community crime prevention through schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch and Text Alert.

- Funding allocation of over €14 million for Local Link rural transport services in 2019, providing a vital service for rural communities. In 2018 Local Links services had 74,486 users, a significant rise from the 2017 total of 20,168 users.

The issue of isolation, whether in urban or rural areas, is one which should concern us all and I am committed to continuing my Department’s response to this issue through programmes such as Seniors Alert and progressing measures contained in the Action Plan for Rural Development.

Question No. 889 answered with Question No. 10.

Local and Community Development Programme

Ceisteanna (890)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

890. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the degree to which he expects to be a position to address issues of isolation in either urban or rural settings in respect of persons who may be affected by age or socioeconomic issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31390/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The issue of isolation, whether in urban or rural areas, is one which requires a response containing a combination of policy initiatives and actions delivered across a number of Government Departments.

For my part, I am committed to continuing my Department's response to the issue, which includes ongoing contact with local and community groups and other stakeholders where appropriate to identify potential measures to assist communities affected.

The Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and Framework Policy for Local and Community Development include a range of measures which will contribute significantly to addressing isolation and social inclusion in both rural and urban areas and as Minister for Rural and Community Development I will continue to advocate for a cross government approach to ensuring the rural and community voice is heard in relation to matters of policy.

The current Action Plan runs to the end of 2019 and we are engaging with communities throughout the country on a new Government rural development policy. An implementation plan for the Framework Policy for Local and Community Development in Ireland, published in 2016, is also currently at an advanced stage, and I am confident that these plans will propose further actions that will address isolation issues in our communities.

Specific examples of actions being delivered by my Department which are helping those who feel isolated or vulnerable in communities include:

- Significant investment in the Seniors Alert Scheme, which facilitates valuable community-based support for vulnerable older people living alone. During 2018, spend on the Scheme amounted to almost €7 million, with over 19,200 applications for personal alarms approved. There have been a further 10,000 approved applications in the first six months of 2019. This is an important programme which enables older persons of limited means to continue to live in their own homes at the heart of their communities with confidence, independence and peace of mind.

- The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, or SICAP, commenced a new five-year programme at the start of 2018, and is our country’s primary social inclusion intervention. This is a national programme that is delivered locally with funding of €190 million over a five-year period to help those in the greatest need.

- Support for approximately 400 Men’s Sheds across Ireland, with sheds present in all 32 counties, 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. Ireland continues to enjoy the highest per capita concentration of Men’s Sheds in the world. I provided funding of €500,000 to support the work of Men’s Sheds in 2018 and this year I have decided to build on that with a further €500,000 in recognition of the contribution these groups are making to life in Ireland. A number of Women’s Sheds have emerged in communities in recent times and in order to support this positive development I have decided to make this funding also available to these groups.

- The LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which will provide €250 million in financial resources to address the challenges facing rural areas over the course of the programme period, particularly under the themes of economic development and social inclusion.

- Volunteering plays a critical part in empowering individuals to become more involved in their communities and is proven to assist with the development of mental health wellbeing. My Department is currently in the process of developing a draft National Volunteering Strategy which it is anticipated will be completed later this year.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (891)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

891. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the capital spend to 30 June 2019; the capital carry over from 2018, by subhead; the provision under each subhead including the capital carry over from 2018 provided for in the Revised Estimates Volume for 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31441/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Further Revised Estimates for 2019 in respect of the Department of Rural and Community Development provides for gross capital expenditure of €138 million. There was no capital funding carried forward from 2018.

To date, €28.1 million of this capital allocation has been spent. I have set out expenditure to date in the table against the total capital provision for 2019.

At the start of each year my Department profiles expected spend for that year, and the capital expenditure to date represents 92% of the profiled expenditure for this point in the year.

As is usual for capital programmes, the majority of claims for payment will be made in the final quarter of the year as projects progress to completion and capital grant approvals are drawn down. This is particularly true for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, for which projects were only recently approved following due diligence.

Continued close monitoring of expenditure is a matter of significant priority so as to ensure full use of our allocated resources, and that value for money is delivered in respect of our funding. I intend to ensure that the resources made available to my Department this year are fully utilised, delivering benefits for all communities and for rural Ireland.

Capital Expenditure to 30 June 2019

REV 2019

YTD - Actual

V42 – GROSS (€’000s)

138,000

28,061

A - REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

122,882

27,235

A.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON PAY

182

69

A.4 - NATIONAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES

15,000

4,797

A.5 - LEADER - RURAL ECONOMY SUB PROGRAMME

30,000

16,617

A.7 - TOWN AND VILLAGE REGENERATION

15,000

3,242

A.8 – REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

700

4

A.9. - LOCAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES

10,000

2,083

A10 - RURAL REGENERATION & DEVELOPMENT FUND

52,000

423

B - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

15,118

826

B.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON PAY

151

49

B.3 –SUPPORTS FOR COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY SECTOR

1

-

B.6- SUPPORTS FOR DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITES

1,767

9

B.7- DORMANT ACCOUNT MEASURES

2,500

140

B.8- PROGRAMME FOR PEACE AND RECONCILLIATION

650

-

B.10 - LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT AND ARCHIVE SERVICE

6,049

628

B.11 - COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME

4,000

-

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (892)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

892. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability allowance for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30469/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The lady referred to has been awarded invalidity pension with effect from 28 February 2019. Payment will issue to her nominated bank account on 25 July 2019. Any arrears due from 28 February 2019 to 24 July 2019 (less any overlapping social welfare payment) will issue as soon as possible. The lady in question was notified of this decision on 09 July 2019.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

School Meals Programme

Ceisteanna (893)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

893. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the provision of a service at a school (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30485/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

As part of Budget 2019, it was announced that DEASP would commence a pilot scheme from September 2019, providing Hot School Meals in 36 primary schools for an estimated 7,200 children at a cost of €1m for 2019 and €2.5m in 2020.

All 3,239 primary schools have been issued with an invitation to submit an expression of interest to participate in the pilot. An expression of interest has been received from the school concerned. All expressions of interest received will be considered and 36 schools will be selected to participate in the pilot. All schools who submitted an expression of interest to participate in the pilot will be contacted soon.

The selection of schools will be random, but will give regard to geographical spread, numbers enrolled, range of suppliers and the overall budget available for the pilot in 2019 and 2020 (€1m and €2.5 respectively).

Cyber Security Protocols

Ceisteanna (894)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

894. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the cybersecurity protocols under the remit of her Department; if it has had a cybersecurity breach in the past 12 months; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30586/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department takes Information Security (IS) issues very seriously and has a comprehensive set of Information Security policies, procedures, plans and controls in place to safeguard and strengthen its ICT systems against cyber-attacks.

My Department has a dedicated cyber security unit which constantly monitors for cyber security breaches and carries out security reviews on a regular basis. Details of specific measures taken or products in use, are not publicised for security reasons. I am advised that in the past 12 months, my Department has not recorded any cyber security breaches.

My Department also works closely with the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE) and monitors cyber threat intelligence information from domestic sources such as National Cyber Security Centre as well as international sources and undertakes all appropriate follow-up actions and remediation.

Social Welfare Appeals

Ceisteanna (895)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

895. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the planned move of the social welfare appeals office from its present location; her views on whether this will have implications for the perceived independence of the office, privacy, accessibility and the general deterioration of service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30608/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Appeals Office is currently located in accommodation which will require to be upgraded. The lease on the property has expired but the tenancy is rolling over on an annual basis. The Commissioners for Public Works are currently in negotiation on a new lease with the landlord. Whilst the Department is reviewing alternative locations, no decisions have been made. Any alternative location will have regard to all requirements of the office, including independence of role, accessibility and privacy.

Invalidity Pension Applications

Ceisteanna (896)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Ceist:

896. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when an invalidity pension claim by a person (details supplied) will be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30613/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions.

The department received a claim for IP for the gentleman concerned on 2 August 2018. This claim was disallowed as the gentleman did not reply to requests for information required by the Department in order determine his eligibility for IP. He was notified on 12 March 2019 of this decision, the reasons for it and of his right of review and appeal.

To date he has not requested a review or sought an appeal of the disallowance decision.

It is open to him to request a review of this decision and provide all the information requested bythe Department to determine entitlement or, if his circumstances have changed, to submit a new application for IP.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (897)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

897. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made on a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30623/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 29 April 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.