Dáil Éireann - Volume 574 - 13 November, 2003
Written Answers. - Local Authority Funding.
Mr. Cuffe Mr. Cuffe
252. Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the terms of reference and the total expenditure of the environmental partnership fund in the most recent year for which figures are available. [26917/03]
Mr. Cullen Mr. Cullen
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): The expenditure by my Department on the local agenda 21 environmental partnership fund, previously the local environmental partnership fund, in 2003 was €280,000. This was then matched by local authorities, which brought total expenditure from public authorities to €560,000. Evaluation of projects is carried out by the local authorities in accordance with the specified evaluation criteria set out below:
Departmental funds allocated to a project must be matched by a similar amount from the local authority. It is also desirable that the combined Departmental-local authority funding be supplemented from other funding sources to maximise the potential of partnership arrangements. Generally, up to 60% of project costs is available from the combined Department-local authority funding. Preference is given to projects where a significant amount of the cost, for example 40%, is being met by the proposer or from other sources.
The theme for the local agenda 21 environmental partnership fund in 2003 was waste management. As a follow up to the world summit on sustainable development in 2002 there was also a strong emphasis on implementation of local agenda 21. Accordingly, local authorities were asked to give priority to funding of capacity building activities for local community groups to assist these groups in the implementation of the revised local agenda 21 guidelines in their communities.
While expenditure on the carrying out of works, for example environmental improvements, is not specifically excluded, the main focus should be in accordance with the specified themes.
Projects eligible for funding under the Department's anti-litter grants scheme are not considered under this scheme. Local authorities cannot fund their own projects under the scheme. Where a project is not completed in a certain year there is no guarantee of funding in subsequent years. Projects must not, therefore, be undertaken in anticipation of ongoing funding. Commercial projects are not eligible for funding. Funding is subject to the usual financial, accountability and other controls attaching to such schemes.
Dáil Éireann 574 Written Answers. Local Authority Funding.