186. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason there is a discrepancy between the charges for foreshore licences in Kenmare, County Kerry, in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry and other licences granted in Kenmare Bay. (Question 57386/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Foreshore Licences Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): My Department is taking legal advice on the issues arising in this case. In the circumstances it is not appropriate for me to comment further at this time.
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187. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding mortgage to rent scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57376/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): On foot of the recommendations of the Keane Report on mortgage arrears, the Government launched a mortgage to rent scheme on a pilot basis in February 2012. This scheme was extended nationally in June 2012, targeting those low income families whose mortgage situation is unsustainable and where there is little or no prospect of a significant change in circumstances in the foreseeable f...

188. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the status of the Noise Nuisance Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57434/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Proposed Legislation)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The Programme for Government includes a commitment to take further steps to address noise pollution, inter alia, through the introduction of fixed payment notices (also known as on-the-spot fines) and provision for mediation procedures between neighbours. The development of new noise legislation by my Department will be considered in the context of this commitment; however, as indicated in the Government Legislati...

189. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will set out in tabular form the motor tax received in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012, in total and to provide a breakdown of the tax received by band; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57442/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Motor Tax Yield)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The data requested are set out in the following tables in respect of 2011 and the period to the end of October 2012. A breakdown of the receipts by band for 2009 and 2010 is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.
Private vehicles taxed on engine capacity – 2011
 Engine cc Licensing Period Total Annual Half-yearly Quarterly € m € m € m € m not over 1...

190. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will allow vehicle tax Budget 2013 increases commencement date to be introduced on 1 January 2013, as it is standard to allow vehicle owners to pre tax vehicles on the rate at start of prior month; if he will allow the rate at start of December and issued throughout December be the charge for new tax discs issued for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57453/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Motor Tax Collection)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Increases in motor tax rates were announced in the Budget on 5 December 2012 and approved by Financial Resolution of the Dáil.  As with previous rate increases, the new motor tax rates came into force from the following day for vehicle licences with a commencement date of the following month i.e. January 2013 in the case of this Budget.
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191. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown of funding (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57476/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Water Services Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Substantial funding towards local authorities’ water conservation programmes is being provided under my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013. Water mains rehabilitation is a key priority under the Programme which includes the Kerry Watermains Rehabilitation Project valued at €18.79 million. My Department has to date in 2012 provided funding of € 1.26m to Kerry County Council for watermains...

192. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the action he is taking to address air pollution from industries here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57529/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Air Pollution)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Under the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive 2001/81/EC, Ireland was required to reduce emissions of transboundary air pollutants below agreed national ceilings by 2010. The four air pollutants concerned (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds) contribute to acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone. Revised emission ceilings for 2020 were agreed earlier this y...

193. Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the recent findings of the Ombudsman, the position regarding an application made by a group (details supplied) under Axis 3 of the Rural Development Programme (Measure 322 – Village and Countryside Renewal Development); the significance to his Department of the findings of the Ombudsman in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57530/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Rural Development Programme Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The Ombudsman’s findings in relation to this matter are currently under consideration in my Department. At present , LEADER activities are co-financed by the European Union at a rate of 85% and, accordingly, come within the remit of a strict regulatory regime which requires that each project must be compliant before any funding is awarded. My Department is now considering ways of moving forward on this issue in l...

194. Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the introduction of the new local property tax if he anticipates any changes to the operation and implementation of the rules with the Private Residential Tenancies Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57555/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Property Taxation Application)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): The Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2012 is currently before the Oireachtas and is a matter for the Minister for Finance. Until such time as the Bill is enacted I cannot comment on the implications, if any, the legislation may have for the Private Resid ential Tenancies Board.
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195. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the steps he has taken to date to deal with the issue of election posters on foot of his predecessor’s election poster consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57588/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Litter Pollution Fines)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Section 19 (7) of the Litter Pollution Act 1997, as initially enacted, provided that election and referendum posters had to be removed within 7 days following the relevant polling date. Through the Electoral Amendment (No. 2) Act 2009, following the consultation process , this provision was amended also to provide for a time limit prior to the polling date, during which election and referendum posters can be displ...

196. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if a foreshore licence will issue to a club (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57607/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Foreshore Licences Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): I refer to the reply to Question No. 489 of 22 May 2012. As this matter continues to be the subject of court proceedings, it is not appropriate for me to comment further.
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197. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of properties that have been liable for the household charge in 2012; and the number that have actually paid the charge to date. (Question 57626/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Household Charge Collection)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The Local Government Management Agency ( LGMA ) is administering the household charge system on a shared service/agency basis for all county and city councils. I understand, from data provided by the LGMA , that as of 1 9 December , 2012, a total of 1,100,227 properties had been registered for payment of the household charge , with a further 22,260 registered for waivers. The combined registrations total of 1,122...

198. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline the allocations made to Cavan County Council and Monaghan County Council under the housing adaptation grant schemes for older people and people with a disability for each year since 2007; the funding drawn down by each council each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57638/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Housing Adaptation Grants Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): The Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes are funded by 80% recoupment available from my Department together with a 20% contribution from the resources of the local authority. It is a matter for each local authority to decide on the specific level of funding to be directed to each of the various grant measures, and to manage the operation of the schemes in their areas from within their all...

199. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the Non-Principal Private Residents Charge is payable in respect of a person who has a second property where members of their immediate family live; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57677/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Exemptions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties It is a matter for an owner to determine if he or she has a liability and, if so, to declare that liability and pay the charge. A numbe...

200. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the payment of a grant in respect of an organisation (details supplied) will be approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57699/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Rural Development Programme Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Funding of €314m is available under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013 for allocation to qualifying projects up to the end of 2013. There are 35 Local Action Groups contracted, on my Department’s behalf, to deliver the RDP throughout the country and these groups are the principal decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding. Such decisions are made in the context of the local deve...

201. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the allocation of all funding to deliver local development programmes such as Leader and LCDP, under the Putting People First proposals will be channelled through the socio-economic committees of the local authorities through annual service level agreements with entities which are members of the SEC; if the local authorities may be contracted to deliver these services as a member of the SEC in place of the existing local development companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57701/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Community Development Initiatives)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 202 together.
The Final Report of the Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group , reflected in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government -Putting People First, recommended that Socio-Economic Committees should have responsibility for planning and oversight of local and community programmes , including oversight responsibility for the management an...

202. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if under the Putting People First Proposals the local authority socio economic committees will be the applicant bodies for the next round of LEADER funding 2014-2020; if he will confirm that the SEC will be the local action body and that the SEC will receive the Leader administration money; if he will further confirm that the SEC will evaluate and approve individual LEADER project applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57702/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Community Development Initiatives)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 202 together.
The Final Report of the Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group , reflected in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government -Putting People First, recommended that Socio-Economic Committees should have responsibility for planning and oversight of local and community programmes , including oversight responsibility for the management an...

203. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if it is intended to transfer allocations by his Department between the different headings under which the Leader programme operates to ensure full spend of the Leader rural development fund in view of the fact that some companies have allocated their full allocation already under certain headings and that there is very little demand under others; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57733/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Leader Programmes Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Such a facility is already in place under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme and has been for some time. This was one of a number of amendments, aimed at assisting expenditure under the Programme, put to the European Commission and approved by them. The amendment to remove specific measure allocations and increase the flexibility for expenditure under the measures that are performing better ha...

204. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if it is intended to appoint an independent chairperson to Comhairle na Tuaithe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57742/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Ministerial Appointments)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Comhairle na Tuaithe (The Countryside Council) which was established in 2004 , continuously supports and oversees the implementation of the National Countryside Recreation Strategy and its associated schemes, programmes and activities. It meets on a regular basis to discuss relevant issues and progress activities. Meetings are chaired by a senior member of the Rural Recreation Section within my Department; I am s...

205. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the progress made to date in providing a state indemnity scheme against claims by recreational users walking on farm land; the reason this has not been introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57744/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Landowners’ Indemnity Scheme)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 206 together. 
There is an indemnity scheme in place for private landowners whose lands are traversed by trails that are accredited by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council. This scheme is underwritten by Irish Public Bodies Mutual Insurances Ltd. 
However, a national indemnity scheme for landowners to further facilitate access to private lands for recre...

206. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the proposal from the State Claims Agency for a national indemnity scheme for farmers against claims by recreational users; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57745/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Landowners’ Indemnity Scheme)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 206 together. 
There is an indemnity scheme in place for private landowners whose lands are traversed by trails that are accredited by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council. This scheme is underwritten by Irish Public Bodies Mutual Insurances Ltd. 
However, a national indemnity scheme for landowners to further facilitate access to private lands for recre...

207. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he or Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan will meet a community organisation (details supplied) concerned regarding planning policy in relation to wind farms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57751/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Alternative Energy Projects)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): On 13 December I received a request for a meeting from the organisation referred to in the question. I intend to meet with this organisation in the New Year. 
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137. Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider removing executors of wills from the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011. (Question 57176/12 asked on 19 Dec 2012 - Household Charge Exemptions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides the legislative basis for the household charge. Section 4 sets out the exemptions and waivers from the charge including where personal representatives for a deceased person are relevant. There are currently no plans to amend the legislation in this respect . 
The Household Charge was brought forward as an interim measure pending the introduction of a full...

138. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide in tabular form, the total amount of capital funding his Department has allocated to Waterford for the years 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57290/12 asked on 19 Dec 2012 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Capital funding provided to local authorities in Waterford in 2011 and 2012 (to date) under programmes for which my Department is responsible is set out in the following table : 
 Local Authority 2011 2012 Dungarvan Town Council €598,815 € - Waterford City Council €19,563,032 €9,544,102 Waterford County Council €7,700,686 €13,657,114 Total €27,862,533 €23,201,216 
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139. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if there will be guaranteed multi-annual core funding for local development companies after 2013 in view of proposals in Putting People First which suggest that the new socio-economic committees will be the decision making body for local development funding including LEADER and LCDP from 2014 onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57299/12 asked on 19 Dec 2012 - Community Development Initiatives)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together. 
It is my intention that the expertise and experience of local development companies will be retained in the new structures outlined in The Action Programme for Effective Local Government - Putting People First. In their report , the Alignment Steering Group recognised the key strengths of local development companies, in areas such as service planning and deli...