248. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the figures for his Department on the percentage of working days lost to sickness absence through certified leave and uncertified leave in each year from 2011 to 2015, inclusive. (Question 23411/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Departmental Staff Sick Leave)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Details in respect of the percentage of working days lost to sickness through certified and uncertified leave in each year from 2011 to 2015 in my Department are set out in the Table below. 
 Year Percentage of Working Days Lost to Sickness Absence 2011 3.58 2012 3.17 2013 3.79 2014 3.14 2015 3.29 
 ...

286. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of miles claimed for byand the travel expenses paid to him and each Minister of State in his Department in respect of their functions as a Minister in his Department between 1 January 2016 and 10 March 2016; between 11 March 2016 and 6 May 2016; and since 7 May 2016. (Question 24296/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Ministerial Remuneration)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Information sought by the Deputy is available on my Department’s website at:http://www.environ.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/20160520_-_ministerial_expenses_-_for_website_-_final.pdf, 
http://www.environ.ie/corporate/transparency-data/ministerial-expenses/simon-coveney-2016 
and 
http://www.environ.ie/corporate/transparency-data/ministerial-expenses/damien-english-2016.
 ...

287. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to provide the name, position and annual salary awarded to their special advisers; to provide details for requests, if any, for an increase above the special advisers’ pay cap as set by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24313/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Ministerial Advisers Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The information requested is set out in the following table:
 Name Grade Equivalent Salary Scale Caitríona Fitzpatrick Special Adviser Principal Officer (Standard) Non PPC Scale €75,647 – €87,248 Bob Jordan Special Adviser Principal Officer (Standard) PPC Scale €79,401 – €91,624 

No request has been made for an increase above the special advisers’ pay as set by the Department of Public ...

238. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will allow a person (details supplied) to be included in the tenant purchase scheme; the criteria of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19177/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Tenant Purchase Scheme)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 232, 238, 239 and 245 together. 
The consideration of individual applications and the determination of eligibility under the new Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme is a matter for the local authority concerned, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the governing legislation for the scheme. 
The new Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme came into operation on 1 January 20...

239. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will allow a person (details supplied) to be included in the tenant purchase scheme; the criteria of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19178/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Tenant Purchase Scheme)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 232, 238, 239 and 245 together. 
The consideration of individual applications and the determination of eligibility under the new Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme is a matter for the local authority concerned, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the governing legislation for the scheme. 
The new Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme came into operation on 1 January 20...

170. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to immediately suspend the planned charge system for waste collection until there is clarity on the outcome of the changes for families and households; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18012/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Waste Disposal)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 to 172, inclusive, together.
In an open market, it is a matter for a waste collector to set charges at the level they consider to be competitive, in compliance with the requirements of environmental and other applicable legislation. However, since the waste industry began releasing its planned pricing plans in relation to the nationwide roll-out of pay-by-weight charging at ...

171. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to prevent an increase in the cost of domestic waste collection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18013/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Waste Disposal)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 to 172, inclusive, together.
In an open market, it is a matter for a waste collector to set charges at the level they consider to be competitive, in compliance with the requirements of environmental and other applicable legislation. However, since the waste industry began releasing its planned pricing plans in relation to the nationwide roll-out of pay-by-weight charging at ...

172. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to order waste collectors to outline the justification behind increases in charges and to outline where customers’ money is going; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18014/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Waste Disposal)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 to 172, inclusive, together.
In an open market, it is a matter for a waste collector to set charges at the level they consider to be competitive, in compliance with the requirements of environmental and other applicable legislation. However, since the waste industry began releasing its planned pricing plans in relation to the nationwide roll-out of pay-by-weight charging at ...

245. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the inspections each local authority carried out on building sites, specifying the type of site in each case, in each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15572/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Building Regulations Compliance)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 245, 246 and 248 together.
Local authorities, as building control authorities, have strong powers of inspection and enforcement under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014. In relation to the Deputy’s request for data regarding inspections, I have no role or function in relation to the inspection of building sites or the assignment of personnel for th...

246. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he is satisfied with the system of inspecting building sites; the percentage of buildings sites that were inspected and that were not inspected in each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15573/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Building Regulations Compliance)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 245, 246 and 248 together.
Local authorities, as building control authorities, have strong powers of inspection and enforcement under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014. In relation to the Deputy’s request for data regarding inspections, I have no role or function in relation to the inspection of building sites or the assignment of personnel for th...

247. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the cost of the inspection for once-off housing; why this cost is so high; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15574/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 249 together.
The key impact on costs associated with the implementation of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 lies in the requirement for the appointment of an Assigned Certifier whose role, in conjunction with the builder and the project team, is to draw up and execute an appropriate inspection plan and to certify the building’s...

248. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the resources and number of personnel who are tasked with inspecting building sites; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15575/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Building Regulations Compliance)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 245, 246 and 248 together.
Local authorities, as building control authorities, have strong powers of inspection and enforcement under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014. In relation to the Deputy’s request for data regarding inspections, I have no role or function in relation to the inspection of building sites or the assignment of personnel for th...

249. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views that the high cost of housing is linked to an increase in the cost of assigned certification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15576/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 249 together.
The key impact on costs associated with the implementation of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 lies in the requirement for the appointment of an Assigned Certifier whose role, in conjunction with the builder and the project team, is to draw up and execute an appropriate inspection plan and to certify the building’s...

388. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the Commission for Energy Regulation will unveil the new pricing strategy for water supply connections for newly-built homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9383/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Water Services)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): With effect from 1 January 2014, Irish Water is responsible for public water services. The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that Irish Water shall collect charges from its customers in receipt of water services provided by it in accordance with a water charges plan to be approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). Section 22(5) of the Act provides that a water charges plan may provide for c...

288. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the capital investment in water services and water leakages, by local authority, in each of the past 15 years, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8812/16 asked on 04 May 2016 - Water Services Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly)(Deputy Alan Kelly): I refer to the reply to Question No. 794 of 14 April 2016. The tabular information provided in that reply which gave total spending in the years by local authority, has been updated to present the data on an annualised basis by local authority. 
 Water Services Investment Programme* Water Services Investment Programme* Rural Water Programme Local Authority Wastewater € Water € € 2...

749. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government why persons who need housing adaptation grants have to wait approximately six months on average to have an occupational therapist conduct the assessment, which delays the processing of the grant; if he will accelerate the processing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6960/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Housing Adaptation Grant)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): The detailed administration and implementation of the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability scheme is a matter for the local authorities. However, I understand that both the HSE and private occupational therapists are routinely engaged by local authorities to assess the needs of applicants for grants under the Scheme. While I understand that some local authorities do experience del...

794. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the capital investment in water services and water leakages, by local authority, over the last 15 years, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6940/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Water Services Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): The Water Services Investment Programme was a multi-annual investment plan for the provision of major water and sewerage schemes including water mains rehabilitation. The first rolling 3-year Water Services Investment Programme was launched in July 2000 to meet identified water services needs. The Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 was the last such plan, and is available in the Oireachtas library al...

795. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason for the justification for Irish Water charging a flat charge of €125 on second homes; his views on the way in which the imposition of a flat charge encourages water conservation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6942/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Water Charges)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): With effect from 1 January 2014, Irish Water is responsible for public water services. The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that Irish Water shall collect charges from its customers in receipt of water services provided by it. All dwellings connected to the public water or waste water systems are liable for domestic water charges. The Act also provides that responsibility for the independent economic regu...

778. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of children in primary school who are officially recorded as homeless or residing in emergency accommodation; if he is aware of the impact and disruption homelessness has on school-going children’s studies; his plans to address this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6225/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Homeless Persons Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): My Department does not collect information regarding the number of children at primary school level included in families accessing emergency accommodation. Monthly reports are provided to my Department regarding the number of individuals accommodated through housing authorities in State-funded emergency accommodation facilities; these monthly reports are made available on my Department’s website at the following l...

779. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the status of the planned pay-by-weight refuse collection programme due to commence on 1 July 2016, including the level of engagement from refuse collection companies; if data will be supplied to support his statement that the new system will result in savings for 90% of households; the supply costings involved, comparing the old and new systems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6226/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Waste Management)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Government waste policy is predicated on the waste hierarchy as set out in the EU’s Waste Framework Directive. A number of specific measures have been, and will continue to be, introduced to reduce the amount of waste generated in the State and to increase the segregation of waste which cannot be prevented, in line with Government policy. The introduction of pay-by- weight (PBW) charges for the collection of hous...

780. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of social housing units built, by each local authority, in each of the past five years; the number of these now occupied; the number of social housing units which will be built in each of the years 2016 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6227/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Information on social housing units constructed and acquired in respect of all local authorities and approved housing bodies and funded by direct capital investment by my Department, is published on my Department’s website at the following link: http://www.environ.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.
Data up to Quarter 3 of 2015 are currently published, including a breakd...

781. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason for capping the refurbishment grant on boarded up houses, given the housing and homelessness crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6228/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Social and Affordable Housing Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Since my Department introduced the current programme to support local authorities to return vacant social houses to productive use in 2014, exchequer funding has been provided for some 5,000 such housing units at a cost of almost €60 million. This funding is provided to compliment the efforts that local authorities make from within their own resources to repair and re-let vacant social houses. The latter activity ...