Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 29 September, 1999

Written Answers. - Departmental Offices.

689. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the current situation in the Finglas social welfare offices with regard to the number of staff employed, their areas of responsibility and the extent of accommodation which is surplus to requirement; and the plans, if any, for the future use of this building. [17882/99]

Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): The Finglas social welfare services office houses local office staff who deal with unemployment claims and provide an information service on a range of social welfare schemes; investigative staff who investigate customers' entitlements to various social welfare schemes, and employment support staff who provide advice on employment and training opportunities to the long-term unemployed. The building is also the location of the Dublin north regional management team. The premises also provides facilities for regional staff training, meetings and conferences.

There are currently 52 staff employed in the building. There is no surplus accommodation space available.

In addition to the foregoing, in line with the Department's widening brief, I launched a programme of pilot exercises under the umbrella of a family services project in three locations, Cork, [482] Waterford and Finglas. The pilot exercises are aimed at providing a wider range of information and other services at local level to families. As a consequence it is envisaged that the number of customers calling to these offices will increase.