241. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the current status of funding for a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23568/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Capital Assistance Scheme Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The funding application from the group referred to in the details supplied is in respect of the construction of 4 new social housing units under the Capital Assistance Scheme. Revised designs for this project proposal were recently received and my Department is currently reviewing these and will be in further contact with the group in question shortly .
 ...

242. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the condition of the beaches along the coastline of County Dublin in terms of their environmental standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23790/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Water Quality)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produces an annual “Report on Bathing Water Quality”. The 2015 report shows that Ireland’s bathing waters are among the best in northern Europe, with 93.4% meeting EU minimum standards and 74% attaining “excellent” status.
The report also identifies several bathing waters adjacent to urban areas, particularly in Dublin, as being prone to episodic pollution events and be...

243. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of mortgage-to-rent transactions that have been fully completed to date by lender, local authority and approved housing body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23857/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): There are currently two Mortgage to Rent (MTR) schemes funded by my Department. A scheme exists whereby a local authority (LA) can acquire ownership of properties with unsustainable local authority mortgages, thus enabling the household to remain in their home as a social housing tenant (LAMTR ). The other scheme provides for an Approved Housing Body (AHB) to acquire ownership of a property with an unsustainab...

244. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the contribution he has made and intends to make to the initial resource mobilisation and other aspects of the Green Climate Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23907/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Climate Change Policy)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 244 and 280 together.
Ireland, along with other Developed Countries, committed in 2009 to mobilising US $100 billion annually by 2020 in International Climate Finance for Developing Countries to come from a variety of sources, both public and private.
Despite our recent difficult economic circumstances and the current constraints that apply in this regard, Ireland has maintained ...

245. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government for an update on the progress of preparation of revised planning guidelines for the development of wind turbines; the process that is involved; when he expects these to be available for review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24128/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Wind Energy Guidelines)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 245 and 278 together.
In December 2013, my Department published proposed “draft” revisions to the noise, setback distance and shadow flicker aspects of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines. These draft revisions proposed:
- the setting of a more stringent day- and night-time noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy developments,
- a mandatory minimum setback dist...

246. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has planned legislation to moderate the impact of noise pollution in respect of sanctions to control the noise pollution emanating from alarms or faulty alarms in commercial or housing units where excessive noise from alarms is a disturbance to residents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24142/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Noise Pollution Legislation)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Private Security Authority (PSA), under the aegis of the Department of Justice and Equality, is responsible for the licensing, control and supervision of all installers of security equipment. The PSA has powers to maintain and improve standards in the provision of services, including standards for intruder alarms. As of 1 August 2006, alarm installers cannot legally operate without a PSA licence, the grant...

247. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the department of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council which is charged with designating streets or properties as not being suitable for wheelie bin collections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23373/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Management)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Local Authorities are independent bodies with their own elected representatives and are responsible for deciding on their own internal organisation of responsibilities. Questions in relation to the organisation of any particular local authority should be directed to the local authority concerned. 
 ...

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 
 ...

249. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of local authorities directed to prepare an assessment of applicants on the housing waiting list; the number of local authorities which have already completed this exercise. (Question 23535/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 249 and 250 together.
The Social Housing Strategy 2020 – Support, Supply and Reform, published in November 2014, included a commitment to undertake summaries of social housing assessments on an annual basis from 2016. Arrangements to carry out the 2016 summary, which will provide updated figures of national housing need later this year, are well advanced.
A suite of supporting d...

250. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the next national survey of social housing waiting lists held by local authorities will be undertaken and when this will be published. (Question 23536/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 249 and 250 together.
The Social Housing Strategy 2020 – Support, Supply and Reform, published in November 2014, included a commitment to undertake summaries of social housing assessments on an annual basis from 2016. Arrangements to carry out the 2016 summary, which will provide updated figures of national housing need later this year, are well advanced.
A suite of supporting d...

251. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the next national survey of performance service indicators from all local authorities will be published; his views on whether it is good practice that no national audit of local authority service indicators has been published since 2013 or since the National Oversight and Audit Commission, NOAC, was set up to take over the service indicators initiative in local authorities from the LGMA, introduced by one of his predecessors in 2004; the way in which, in the absence of such national comparators on the service performance of all local authorities, his Department can make reliable decisions pertaining to aspects of local authority services; and if he will establish a national audit of local authority service indicators on a statutory basis. (Question 23537/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - National Oversight and Audit Commission)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 251 and 252 together.
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 gave legislative effect to proposals set out in Putting People First: An Action Programme for Effective Local Government (2012) for a range of reforms designed to strengthen local government, including its structures, functions, funding, operational arrangements and governance.
The reforms included the establishment of a ...

252. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the budget and number of staff of the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC). (Question 23538/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - National Oversight and Audit Commission)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 251 and 252 together.
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 gave legislative effect to proposals set out in Putting People First: An Action Programme for Effective Local Government (2012) for a range of reforms designed to strengthen local government, including its structures, functions, funding, operational arrangements and governance.
The reforms included the establishment of a ...

253. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the budget and number of staff of the Local Government Management Association (LGMA). (Question 23539/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Government Management Agency)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA ) is primarily funded through local authorities. It does not receive a standing Exchequer subvention towards its administrative costs. A detailed breakdown of the annual income and expenditure for the LGMA is contained in its Annual Report and Accounts for 2014, which is the most recently available – this can be viewed at the following link: http://www.lgma.ie/sit...

254. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of children’s playgrounds per 1,000 population directly provided by each local authority and the number of children’s playgrounds per 1,000 population facilitated by each local authority; the funding provided to each local authority to provide playgrounds for each individual year from 2011 to 2016 inclusive. (Question 23540/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Services)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The provision of playgrounds by local authorities is a matter solely for each local authority and is one in which my Department has no role. Accordingly, my Department has not allocated any funding to local authorities for the provision of playground facilities over the period 2011 to 2016. Ultimately, it is a matter for each local authority to determine its own spending priorities in the context of the annual...

255. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the percentage of working days lost to sickness absence through certified leave and the percentage of working days lost to sickness absence through uncertified leave in 2015 for each local authority. (Question 23541/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Staff Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table: 
Local Authority 2015 Sick Leave 
 Authority Percentage of Paid Working Days Lost to Medically Certified Sickness Absence Percentage of Paid Working Days Lost to Self-Certified Sickness Absence Carlow County Council 3.96 0.38 Cavan County Council 2.43 0.19 Clare County Council 3.63 0.25 Cork City Council 3...

256. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the percentage of household waste collected which is sent to landfill as well as the tonnages of household waste collected which is sent to landfill, by each local authority in tabular form. (Question 23542/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Waste Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): While my Department does not collect this type of information at a local authority level, general information on percentages of waste disposed of by landfilling nationally may be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency website at the following link: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/waste/stats/. 
The latest figures available indicate that Ireland remains on track to achieve the mid-July 2016 target of r...

257. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the average time taken in weeks from the date of vacation of dwelling to the date when all necessary repairs are carried out which are deemed necessary to re-let the dwelling, in tabular form, by local authority. (Question 23543/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Statistics on the average re-letting times for local authority social housing are set out in the report of the National Oversight and Audit Commission on Performance Indicators in Local Authorities, the last published report being for 2014, which is available at the following link: http://noac.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NOAC-Performance-Indicators-Report-2014.pdf.
This does not capture information on the aver...

258. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the current total number of Traveller families accommodated as a percentage of the targets set in the local Traveller accommodation programme, by each local authority, in tabular form. (Question 23544/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Traveller Accommodation)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas. My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authoriti...

259. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the difference in planning enforcement procedures and powers of local authorities under the new building control regulations compared with the pre-2014 regulations. (Question 23545/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Local authorities have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Planning and Development Acts. These powers of inspection and enforcement are separate and distinct from the provisions of the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 and in particular the Building Control Regulations 1997-2015 which put in place the administrative arrangements by which owners, designers and bu...

260. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount collected in motor tax receipts by each individual local authority in 2015 and in 2016. (Question 23546/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Motor Tax Yield)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer to the reply to Question No. 520 of 2 February 2016, which sets out details of motor tax receipts for 2015. Receipts to the end of June 2016 (including online receipts) are set out in the following table:
2016 (to end June) 
 Licensing Authority (€) Carlow 8,094,793 Cavan 8,873,286 Clare 15,009,570 Cork 67,589,909 Donegal 17,838,018 Dublin City 144,161,527 Galway 31...

261. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount collected in commercial rate receipts by each individual local authority in 2015 and in 2016. (Question 23548/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Commercial Rates Yield)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Act 2001. The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual local authority. Rates income data are published by local authorities in their Annual Fin...

262. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when a reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied) regarding a ban on using smoky coal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23611/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Air Pollution)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous fuel (or ‘smoky coal ban’ as it is commonly known) was first introduced in Dublin in 1990 in response to severe episodes of winter smog that resulted from the widespread use of smoky coal for residential heating. In August 2012, following a public consultation process, new solid fuel regulations were introduced with the aim of ensuring that the smoky...

263. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider introducing measures to incentivise landlords to rent homes on a long-term basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23613/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Private Rented Accommodation Provision)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): In publishing Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness this week, the Government has set out a practical and readily implementable set of actions to create a functioning and sustainable housing system. The Plan is available at the website www.rebuildingireland.ie. The Plan is divided into five pillars, with each targeting a specific area of the housing system for attention. Pillar 4 of the ...

264. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of hoax calls to which Cork city and county fire services were called out in 2014, 2015, and to date in 2016; the estimated cost to the service of responding to these calls; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23855/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Fire Service)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The numbers of false alarm incidents within their functional areas and attended by Cork City and County fire services for the years 2014 and 201 5 are set out in the table below. These data are based on annual fire statistics returns from each individual Local Authority Fire and Rescue Service. The statistical information for 2016 will not be collected until early next year. The table shows calls broken down ...

265. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of voids or vacant local authority dwellings for Cork City Council and Cork County Council at present; if sufficient funding has been granted to both authorities to repair these properties in order that they can be made available to persons on the social housing list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23863/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The number of vacant social housing properties owned by both Cork City Council and Cork County Council changes on an ongoing basis, as the local authorities have social units handed back and as units are re-let. Ongoing changes in these numbers would be expected in the context of the management of large volumes of social housing stock. Further information on precise levels of stock at any one time is available...