229. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the allowance exemption he will provide given to households with medical needs and in respect of the upcoming pay-by-weight refuse charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16662/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Waste Disposal Charges)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 229, 256 and 268 together.
My Department has met with groups who represent persons with special needs to discuss and explore the impact of pay-by-weight charging on households with special needs. My Department has also been in consultation with the HSE and the waste management industry to discuss the issue and to try to find a workable and fair solution to this important matter....

360. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he will release Leader funding to the Avondhu and Blackwater local action groups in County Cork. (Question 12504/16 asked on 31 May 2016 - Leader Programmes Administration)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The first Leader contracts will issue to local action groups (LAGs), including those in County Cork, on a phased basis over the coming weeks as the respective Leader local development strategies are finalised and discussions on contract and implementation arrangements are concluded with the respective LAGs.
The new Leader Programme will be delivered in three separate sub-regional areas in County Cork, namely the...

109. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has put preventative measures in place to prevent an increase in dumping given the implementation of the pay-by-weight household collection charge; if he is offering support to local authorities, community groups and so on who have to tackle this issue on a daily basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10988/16 asked on 19 May 2016 - Waste Disposal)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): There is no indication from areas where pay-by-weight charging has already been implemented that there has been increased evidence of dumping. In addition, a comprehensive pay-by- weight awareness campaign is currently being rolled out, which includes practical advice for householders on reducing and segregating their waste and thereby minimising their costs.
Notwithstanding the above, and while enforcement act...

300. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the allowance exemption he is giving to households with medical needs such as adult nappies and so on in respect of the upcoming pay by weight refuse charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8994/16 asked on 04 May 2016 - Waste Management)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): My Department has met with groups who represent persons with special needs and has also been in contact with the HSE and the waste management industry to discuss the issue and to try to find a workable and fair solution to this important matter.
Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues involved, I am satisfied that a number of possible solutions are being explored as a matter of urgency.
 ...

855. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government why a two-year exclusion exists for businesses who miss tendering deadlines for local government contracts, if there are exemptions to this rule, if he will abolish this penalty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46800/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Public Procurement Contracts)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Under Section 149 of the Local Government Act 2001, as amended by Section 54 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, the awarding of Local Government Contracts is a matter for the Chief Executive Officer of each local authority. All public procurement contracts must be awarded in line with Irish and EU procurement rules, guidelines and regulations. My colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is r...

648. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the additional cost of allowing island communities to vote on the same day as those on the mainland. (Question 46218/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Island Communities)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): The costs of elections are met from the Central Fund, which is managed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance. I am not aware of any additional costs arising where an island community votes on the same day as voters on the mainland, that is the day appointed by order of the Minister. Section 85 of the Electoral Act 1992 provides that a returning officer may in certain cir...

662. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details on the amount each local authority has spent on graffiti removal in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36452/15 asked on 20 Oct 2015 - Graffiti Issues)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I am very aware of the problems posed to local communities by graffiti. The role of my Department is to provide the legislative framework to address the issue. Under the Litter Pollution Act 1997, the primary responsibility for management and enforcement responses to litter pollution, including the defacement of structures by writing or other marks, lie with local authorities. The Act provides significant powers to...

677. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the estimated full-year cost of increasing the income threshold for persons with disabilities applying for a housing adaptation grant from €60,000 to €65,000. (Question 36017/15 asked on 20 Oct 2015 - Housing Adaptation Grant)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): As the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability are administered by local authorities, information regarding the income levels of applicants is not available in my Department. It is not possible therefore to say what an increase in the threshold would cost.
The income limit for the scheme was amended from €65,000 to €60,000 in 2014 arising from the recommendations of a review group wh...

204. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, by local authority area, in tabular form, the number of persons with disabilities currently living in social housing, who have been waiting for housing adaptations for less than six months; for more than six months but less than 12 months; and for more than 12 months. (Question 32643/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 204 and 205 together.
The administration of these schemes, including the receipt of applications and their assessment and approval, as well as the payment of grants to applicants, is a matter for individual local authorities and, therefore, detailed information in relation to waiting lists for each authority is not available in my Department. 
The support provided by my Department...

205. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, by local authority area, in tabular form, the number of persons with disabilities who have been waiting for housing adaptations for less than six months; for more than six months but less than 12 months; and for more than 12 months. (Question 32644/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 204 and 205 together.
The administration of these schemes, including the receipt of applications and their assessment and approval, as well as the payment of grants to applicants, is a matter for individual local authorities and, therefore, detailed information in relation to waiting lists for each authority is not available in my Department. 
The support provided by my Department...

206. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, by local authority area, in tabular form, the number of social housing units that were allocated to persons with disabilities in 2014. (Question 32645/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 206 and 207 together.
The allocation of social housing supports is a matter for each housing authority in accordance with its allocation scheme made under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. My Department does not hold information on the allocation of social housing to individual households or groups on the waiting list. 
The results of the statutory Summary of Social H...

207. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, by local authority area, in tabular form, the number of persons with disabilities who are currently on the housing waiting list. (Question 32646/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 206 and 207 together.
The allocation of social housing supports is a matter for each housing authority in accordance with its allocation scheme made under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. My Department does not hold information on the allocation of social housing to individual households or groups on the waiting list. 
The results of the statutory Summary of Social H...

208. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of local authorities that pay for private occupational therapy assessments, in order to speed up the application process for housing and accommodation applications or modifications. (Question 32647/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Social and Affordable Housing Expenditure)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): As 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, my Department does not have information on the number of local authorities that pay for private occupational therapy assessments for applications. It is in the interests of the applicant and the local authority alike to ensure that adaptation ...

209. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, in tabular form, the allocation for each local authority for the provision of housing adaptation grants for each year from 2008 to 2015. (Question 32650/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Housing Adaptation Grant)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 210 together.
The Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability were introduced on 1 November 2007. Information on Exchequer funding provided by my Department in respect of the expenditure by each local authority in relation to these grants is available on my Department’s website at the following link:
http
://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/...

210. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, in tabular form, the expenditure for each local authority on housing adaptation grants for each year from 2008 to 2015. (Question 32651/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Housing Adaptation Grant)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 210 together.
The Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability were introduced on 1 November 2007. Information on Exchequer funding provided by my Department in respect of the expenditure by each local authority in relation to these grants is available on my Department’s website at the following link:
http
://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/...

211. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of persons, by local authority area, in tabular form, who have applied for housing adaptation grants and who are currently awaiting a decision; and the number of these applicants who have a disability. (Question 32652/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Housing Adaptation Grant Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 211 and 212 together. 
My Department allocates funding to local authorities towards the cost of adaptations and extensions to social housing to meet needs of tenants with a disability and towards the Housing Adaptation Grants Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability, which supports owners of private houses. 
Detailed information in relation to people who have applied...

212. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of persons in each local authority area who are awaiting payment of a housing adaptation grant following a successful application for same; and the number of these persons who have a disability. (Question 32653/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Housing Adaptation Grant Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 211 and 212 together. 
My Department allocates funding to local authorities towards the cost of adaptations and extensions to social housing to meet needs of tenants with a disability and towards the Housing Adaptation Grants Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability, which supports owners of private houses. 
Detailed information in relation to people who have applied...

213. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, by local authority, for each year from 2008 to 2014, in tabular form, the average amount paid for a housing adaptation grant; the number of payments that were less than 50% of the average; and the number that 50% more than the average. (Question 32654/15 asked on 24 Sep 2015 - Housing Adaptation Grant Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): My Department allocates funding to local authorities towards the cost of adaptations and extensions to social housing to meet needs of tenants with a disability or to address serious overcrowding. The administration of the scheme is a matter for individual local authorities and therefore information in relation to the cost of individual projects in respect of adaptations to local authority housing is not available ...

1394. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the last communication between his Department’s assistant secretary (details supplied) and-or other members of his staff with Sligo County Council’s chief executive officer in relation to the finances of Sligo County Council; the form of this communication, that is letter, e-mail, phone call; the date this occurred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30579/15 asked on 22 Sep 2015 - Local Authority Finances)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1394 and 1395 together. 
Sligo County Council’s financial position is of serious concern to me. While it is a matter for individual local authorities to manage their own day-to-day finances in a prudent and sustainable manner, my Department is in regular consultation with the Council in relation to its financial position, including in relation to the agreement of a long term finan...

1395. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the source of money Sligo County Council will use to pay the legal costs for the Lissadell case, alleged to be between €3 million and €5 million; his position on this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30580/15 asked on 22 Sep 2015 - Local Authority Finances)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1394 and 1395 together. 
Sligo County Council’s financial position is of serious concern to me. While it is a matter for individual local authorities to manage their own day-to-day finances in a prudent and sustainable manner, my Department is in regular consultation with the Council in relation to its financial position, including in relation to the agreement of a long term finan...

770. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when his Department’s annual report for 2014 will be published. (Question 30212/15 asked on 16 Jul 2015 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): My Department’s Annual Report for 2014 has been published and is available on the homepage Department’s website, www.environ.ie.
 ...

847. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the key priorities in 2015 of the national housing strategy for people with a disability; the progress made in achieving these priorities in the first half of 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28372/15 asked on 14 Jul 2015 - Housing for People with Disabilities)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): The National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (NHSPWD) 2011 – 2016 and the associated National Implementation Framework are joint publications my Department and the Department of Health. These documents set out the Government’s broad framework for the delivery of housing for people with disabilities through mainstream housing policy. They were developed as part of a coherent framework, in conjunction...

863. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if direction has been issued by him or his Department to local authorities to contact those on the housing list to fill out a rental accommodation scheme questionnaire, threatening them with the closure of their housing application if they do not respond in 14 days, despite the fact that they did not apply for the scheme; his views on such directions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28821/15 asked on 14 Jul 2015 - Rental Accommodation Scheme Criteria)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Local authorities are responsible for administering the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) in accordance with the statutory provisions of the Scheme, as well as guidelines and directions issued by my Department. No instruction has issued from my Department to local authorities on the matter referred to. The RAS is targeted at those in receipt of rent supplement for 18 months or more. Section 19 of the Housing (Mi...

200. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if, under electoral laws and regulations for presiding officers or poll clerks, a voter without proof of identity can be asked to swear an oath on a bible as a means of confirming identity and if it can be decided to provide a ballot paper to the voter on the basis of whether or not the oath is taken. (Question 21052/15 asked on 27 May 2015 - Election Management System)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Legal provisions governing the right to vote provide that the returning officer or the presiding officer may of their own volition, or if so required by a personation agent present in the polling station, request any person at the time of applying to vote to produce a specified identity document. If the person fails to produce such a document or if the returning officer or presiding officer is not satisfied that t...

500. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if householders, whose water is undrinkable due to lead pipes running from the water mains to their taps, are exempt from paying a water supply charge to Irish Water, and only have to pay for wastewater; if this should amount to a 50% reduction in their bill; if they are required to provide Irish Water with test results, specific to their home, in order to qualify for this reduced charge, or if it suffices that Irish Water is aware of a general problem with lead pipes in their estate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19679/15 asked on 19 May 2015 - Water Charges Exemptions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Under the European Union (Drinking Water) Regulations 2014, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas Library, suppliers of drinking water are required to ensure that the water supplied complies with the chemical and microbiological parameters set out in the Regulations. Details of monitoring requirements along with the procedures to be followed and the roles of water suppliers, the EPA and the HSE, where ther...