236. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if his Department provides funding for community groups to develop town and village plans. (Question 44308/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Community Development Initiatives)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The development of town and village plans are eligible for support under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme which is operated by my Department and administered through the Local Authorities. Local Authorities are required to develop proposals under the scheme in consultation with local communities.
I recently approved funding of €21.6 million to 281 rural towns and villages under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme for pr...

237. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of applications received from County Limerick for the town and village renewal scheme; the number of persons who received grant aid and who did not receive grant aid, respectively; and the appeals process in place. (Question 44457/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13th April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. 
Each Local Authority was invited to submit up to 15 applications to the Department for consideration under the scheme, following consultation with local communities in their respective areas. 
I recently approved funding of €21.6 million to 281 towns and villages throughou...

238. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the reason it is his plan to pre-pay local authorities for work on LIS roads, as per Parliamentary Question No. 163 of 12 October 2017; if the approval of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has been given for this decision; his views on whether local authorities may not live up to commitments they may give regarding the completion of works, particularly in view of the fact that a considerable amount of the funding given to local authorities in December has not yet been spent or accounted for; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44459/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Local Improvement Scheme Administration)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): In the past, Local Improvement Schemes were mainly run towards the end of the year when the main public roads programmes were winding down. The LIS roads were completed through a concentrated effort over a relatively short period of time. 
In September of this year, I re-launched the Local Improvement Scheme, with an allocation of €10 million for 2017. Funding was allocated to Local Authorities on the basis of listings of proj...

193. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding dog breeding guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44286/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Dog Breeding Industry)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The regulation of Dog Breeding Establishments (DBE) is a matter for each local authority in whose functional area the establishment is located. The local authority is required to maintain a register of dog breeding establishments in its functional area, which must include details of applicants for inclusion on the register and the maximum number of breeding bitches that may be kept at the relevant establishment.
The Dog Breedin...

194. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when he will publish the report on public banking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44102/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Community Banking)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Programme for a Partnership Government envisaged that An Post, the Irish League of Credit Unions and other interested stakeholders would be asked to investigate and propose a new model of community banking, such as the Kiwibank model in New Zealand, which could be delivered through the post office network. The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to investigate the German Sparkassen model for the development ...

195. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the towns and villages in counties Longford and Westmeath that will benefit from the 2017 town and village renewal scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44174/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 to 197, inclusive, together.
The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13th April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. The scheme is funded by my Department and administered through the Local Authorities. 
Following the assessment of all proposals received, I recently approved a total of €21.6 million in funding for 281 tow...

196. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the detail of the allocation of €596,000 allocated to Westmeath County Council under the 2017 town and village renewal scheme; the towns and villages that will benefit from this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44175/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 to 197, inclusive, together.
The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13th April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. The scheme is funded by my Department and administered through the Local Authorities. 
Following the assessment of all proposals received, I recently approved a total of €21.6 million in funding for 281 tow...

197. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the detail of the allocation of €637,400 given to Longford County Council under the 2017 town and village renewal scheme; the towns and villages that will benefit from this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44176/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 to 197, inclusive, together.
The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13th April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. The scheme is funded by my Department and administered through the Local Authorities. 
Following the assessment of all proposals received, I recently approved a total of €21.6 million in funding for 281 tow...

532. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount of funding per annum a charity (details supplied) received for 2016 or the nearest available year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43661/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): My Department provides funding to the organisation in question through the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO). This scheme provides multi-annual funding to national organisations towards the core costs associated with the provision of their services. The current three year scheme commenced on 1 July 2016. Following a competitive application process, the organisation in question was allocated a total of €269,960 o...

533. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the criteria, selection processes and scoring mechanisms used to decide awards under the 2017 town and village grants by application, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43402/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13 April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. The scheme forms an important part of the Action Plan for Rural Development.
When the scheme was launched, Local Authorities were given full particulars of how the scheme would operate, including the scheme outline and detailed information regarding the qualifying conditions...

534. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the State bodies or boards that fall under the remit of his Department; and the number of members of each State body or board who are not qualified within the field in which the board or body has oversight. (Question 43420/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Departmental Bodies Data)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Four state bodies fall under the remit of my Department, Pobal, Irish Water Safety, the Western Development Commission and the Charities Regulatory Authority.
The Public Appointments Service (PAS), established under statute in 2004, provides an independent shared service for recruitment, assessment and selection of suitable candidates to organisations across the civil and public service. On 30 September 2014, the Government agr...

535. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to introduce a home alarm monitoring system for the elderly in partnership with a service provider as part of budget 2018. (Question 43595/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Seniors Alert Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): My Department is responsible for the Seniors Alerts Scheme, which encourages support for vulnerable older people in our community through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Funding is available under the scheme towards the purchase by a registered community-based organisation of equipment, i.e. a personal alarm and...

536. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the statutory review of the disbursement scheme for the dormant accounts fund due in December 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43622/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Dormant Accounts Fund)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The legislation governing the Dormant Accounts Fund provides for the preparation of a three-year Disbursement Scheme which sets out the guiding principles for disbursements from the Fund to support programmes and projects targeting specified categories of disadvantaged people.
The legislation also provides that a review should be carried out within 3 years of the first scheme taking effect, and at least once in every three years...

537. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the balance in the Dormant Accounts Fund at the end of September 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43623/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Dormant Accounts Fund)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Dormant Accounts Act 2001, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.  The Dormant Accounts Fund is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency.
The leg...

538. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development why his Department spent less than half of the amount provided for in Vote Estimates from the Dormant Accounts Fund in the 2012 to 2016 period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43624/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Dormant Accounts Fund)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The programmes and projects funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund are implemented through a number of Government Departments. It is a matter for the Accounting Officers of the relevant Departments to comment on underspends which occurred on programmes or projects which came under their Departments’ remit over the period 2012-2016. 
Statutory responsibly for the Dormant Accounts Fund, along with certain measures administered ...

539. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the 2015 and 2016 action plans relating to the disbursement scheme; the reason for the delay in publication; when they will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43625/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Dormant Accounts Fund)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Responsibility for the Dormant Accounts Fund disbursement schemes transferred from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in May 2016.  It subsequently transferred to my Department on 27 July 2017.  
While the Deputy’s question relates to periods prior to the transfer of responsibility to my Department, I understand that while t...

540. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of disbursement reports, similar to the disbursement of moneys from the investment and disbursements accounts annual report 2014, that have been published on an annual basis prior to this report; the reports that have been published since; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43626/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Dormant Accounts Fund)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Prior to 2013, disbursements from the Dormant Accounts Fund were managed by the Dormant Accounts Disbursement Board and, subsequently, by the Dormant Account Board.  
The Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Act 2012 dissolved the Dormant Accounts Board and transferred the statutory functions of the Board to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government with effect from 1st January 2013. 
The Act provides that the Min...

541. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the value of increase in the Leader allocation for 2018 compared to the allocation for 2017 that was announced in budget 2017; and if the 2017 budget allocation was revised at some point, the detail of same. (Question 43896/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Leader Programmes Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The total amount of funding provided for the LEADER Programme over the period 2014-2020 is €250 million. LEADER is a multi-annual programme and the €250 million will be drawn down over the full lifetime of the programme. 
The original allocation for LEADER for 2017 was €40 million, as reflected in the Vote for the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Following the transfer of functions from that ...

542. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the detail of the €1.8 million increase to the rural and community affairs programme expenditure line in budget 2018; and the amount that will be spent on the Leader programme. (Question 43897/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Rural Development Programme Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): My Department’s allocation under the recently published Expenditure Report 2018 has increased by €19.3 million to €212.3 million, compared to 2017.  Additional details and information in relation to the programme allocations will be contained in the Revised Estimates Volume for Public Services 2018, which will be published in due course.
 ...

543. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the dormant accounts funding scheme for social enterprises will reopen to applicants for 2018-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43913/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Dormant Accounts Fund)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Earlier this year, I approved €1.65 million in funding under the 2016 Dormant Accounts Action Plan for 42 social enterprise projects, to enhance their capacity to deliver services and generate traded income. 
My Department also this year published the 2017 Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan which contains details of specific programmes and projects across Government which will be funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund. This Ac...

163. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the list of roads in each county to be repaired under the local improvement scheme recently announced by him will be published; the latest date for county councils to make claims to his Department in order to receive payment for these road works in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43262/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Local Improvement Scheme Administration)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): On 21st September, I announced the provision of €10 million for a Local Improvement Scheme which supports improvement works on private and non-public roads.  The funding granted was based on lists of eligible roads submitted to my Department by the Local Authorities. 
Within the budget available for 2017, it was not possible to fully support the level of demand which the Local Authorities stated they could deliver in 2017.  It i...

164. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the reason an application (details supplied) under the measure three outdoor and rural recreation scheme was not successful; the score achieved by the project; the lowest score achieved by successful projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43267/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme was launched in April 2017 to provide funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure or the necessary maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in Ireland.  In total, 219 projects to the value of €11.4 million were approved under the scheme, to be implemented over a period of 15 months.
As the number of applications s...

174. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding Cork County Council has applied for across all available funding lines within his Department; and the amounts that have been drawn down. (Question 43086/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): I assume the Deputy is referring to my Department’s funding allocations for 2017 under the range of programmes and supports my Department funds.
Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
The SICAP allocation to Cork County Council for 2017 is €1,867,129, of which some €1,865,721 has been drawn down to date.
Communities Facilities Scheme  
The Local Community Development Committees and Municipal District, under ...

175. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount of moneys approved for town and village renewal projects in 2017; the deadline for the completion of works under these approvals; the number of applications received; the number approved; his plans to approve further projects in view of the significant underspend in 2017 of his Department’s capital budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43093/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13th April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. 
In total, my Department received 333 applications under the scheme, including 20 applications under a separate strand for public art works. Following a detailed assessment process, on 4th October I announced funding of €21.6 million for 281 rural towns and villages which w...

176. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the method and criteria used in assessing projects under the town and village renewal scheme; if a scoring system was used; if the county councils and voluntary groups have been advised of the system; the score that needed to be achieved to get approval of funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43094/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 13th April last, with a focus on improving the economic development of our rural towns and villages. The scheme forms an important part of the Action Plan for Rural Development.
When the scheme was launched, Local Authorities were given full particulars of how the scheme would operate, including the scheme outline and detailed information regarding the qualifying condition...