Dáil Éireann - Volume 581 - 09 March, 2004
Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.
Ms O’Sullivan Ms O’Sullivan
 110. Ms O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he has brought proposals to the Cabinet on the future of the RAPID programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7695/04]
Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin
143. Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he plans to proceed with a radical overhaul of Government programmes designed to tackle disadvantage such as RAPID and CLÁR to ensure more effective delivery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7693/04]
Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin
164. Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the reasons the RAPID programme has not been successful, in regard to his recently reported comments in a newspaper (details supplied); its future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7694/04]
Éamon Ó Cuív Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív:I propose to take Questions Nos. 110, 143 and 164 together.
I have stated previously that I am unhappy with certain aspects of the RAPID programme. I have examined the manner it operates and in the future it will operate on a number of levels in tandem.
There are many small scale proposals from RAPID plans that have been sent unnecessarily to Departments for consideration. They could be dealt with more effectively at local level. I propose to introduce a new delivery mechanism to progress such actions. It will be supported by funding under a new dedicated fund of €4.5 million in 2004. These projects will be co-funded by the relevant local agency under a number of categories with broad levels of funding agreed at national level.
I have met my ministerial colleagues to discuss the details of the measures to be funded. I have kept my Cabinet colleagues up to date on the matter. I intend to make a formal announcement shortly regarding the precise details of the operation of the fund.
It is proposed that Departments will continue to consider larger projects from RAPID plans for allocations from funding streams within each Department. I expect that Departments will deal with a smaller number of projects and will prioritise projects and set out timescales for further actions.
Work on improving integration and co-ordination of service delivery at local level will continue. It is an important component of the programme. I am now the chairman of the programme’s national monitoring committee.
CLÁR co-funds, with other Departments, State agencies and local authorities, investment in selected priority developments in disadvantaged rural areas. These measures support physical, economic and social infrastructure across a variety of measures such as electricity conversion, roads, water and sewerage, village enhancement, health, broadband and sports projects. They  reflect the priorities identified by the communities in the selected areas with whom I consulted.
The measures were agreed with and are, for the most part, operated in tandem with the lead Departments, State agencies or public utilities, as appropriate. This ensures efficiency and effectiveness and meets the needs of the people in the CLÁR areas. I shall continue the practice for new measures, depending on needs identified. I shall also keep the operation of existing measures under review.
The merits of the practice are reflected in the successful delivery of the programme. Expenditure amounted to €14.14 million in 2002 and €8.613 million in 2003. It is estimated that these amounts levered out a further €21 million in related public and private expenditure to areas that would have been bottom of the list for infrastructure investment. The provision for 2004 is €13.49 million. It will enable the continuation of investment under existing measures. The sum will also provide scope for the introduction of new measures as may be identified during the year.
With the ongoing co-operation of other Departments, State agencies and public utilities, CLÁR will continue to deliver on the commitment of supporting rural communities.
The Deputy will be aware of an ongoing ministerial review of programmes aimed at tackling disadvantage. I outlined the position in my reply to Question No. 151 on 4 February. Since that date Area Development Management Limited, local and community development bodies and county and city development boards have been informed of the Government’s decisions.
Dáil Éireann 581 Written Answers Departmental Programmes.