Dáil Éireann - Volume 556 - 24 October, 2002

Written Answers. - Housing Grants.

  151. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the reason the funding allocation was not increased in line with the increase in applications in relation to the conservation grant scheme for protected structures in County Clare, in view of the fact that it [458]has been reduced by 40% in 2002 over 2001; the reason applicants have to apply each year in the event of not being granted funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19691/02]

  Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): The conservation grant scheme for protected structures was introduced in 1999. The following is a breakdown of the amounts of funding allocated and the amounts paid out in grants by Clare County Council since the conservation grant scheme commenced in 1999:

Year

Amount

Allocated

Amount

Drawn-down

1999

82,936     

Nil

2000

87,610     

49,520      

2001

107,290*    

107,290      

2002

84,000     

27,171**    

  *Includes €12,060 re-allocated to Clare County Council from other council's under-spend.

  **Amount drawn down this year so far.

There has been a pattern of underexpenditure on this scheme since its inception. Such underexpenditure by other local authorities in 2001 allowed Clare County Council to benefit from an additional allocation of €12,060. This persistent trend of underexpenditure was taken into consideration when in 2002 my Department made an allocation of €3 million to local authorities. So far this year a total of €1,189,933 has been drawn down.

  The scheme is administered by local authorities who are required to prioritise applications on the basis of a stated scheme of priorities. All grant allocations to local authorities are allocated and drawn down by them on an annual basis, in line with normal procedures for Exchequer funded grant schemes.