Breen welcomes continuation of the Community Involvement Scheme for 2014

April 2nd, 2014 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has welcomed the decision of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar to continue to support the Community Involvement Scheme for 2014.

Addressing Deputy Breen during Oral Question Time in the Dail this morning, Minister Varadkar confirmed his support for the continuation of the Scheme, allocating an additional €4.5 million to local authorities for the CIS in 2014.

The Community Involvement Scheme was introduced by Minister Varadkar on a pilot basis in 2013. The Department provided funding towards projects with a portion of the works or costs borne by local residents and landowners.

“This Scheme worked very well last year and it was very popular here in County Clare. Normally, repairs to minor county roads would only be considered towards the end of the road works programme after more heavily trafficked routes had been dealt with. However, this Scheme gave Clare County Council the discretion to undertake repairs to these single lane or cul de sacs roads which are located in rural areas in conjunction with local residents and the local community and which would not normally be considered for funding and as a result there was very positive feedback from last year.

I am very pleased that the Minister Varadkar has confirmed that he will continue the Scheme this year. He had already allocated €2.3 million to a number of local authorities for previously committed CIS Schemes, and, today he confirmed the allocation of a further €4.5 million to Local Authorities for new projects in 2014. As a result of this funding, we could potentially see around 170km of additional road improvements undertaken nationwide.

I understand that Clare County Council are currently in the process of collating their Roads Programme for this year and I understand Minister Varadkar that his Department will be in contact shortly with the Local Authority seeking applications for funding under the 2014 Scheme.

The continuation of the Community Involvement Scheme in 2014 is good news for the County as it will allow communities to have a direct input along with the Council into their own local road maintenance and I hope that there will be a positive take up off the scheme again this year.”

ENDS

SEE Oral Question Reply From Dail Eireann Today 2nd April 2014 for your information

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the community involvement scheme; if the scheme will be re-introduced this year; and when he expects funding to be made available to local authorities for same.

- Pat Breen.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014.

Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014.     Ref No: 15126/14

Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Leo Varadkar

REPLY

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority. Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

My Department launched a pilot Community Involvement Scheme (CIS) in 2013 for works on regional and local roads. The scheme was aimed at works on local roads which would usually only be considered for funding towards the end of a Council’s road programme after more heavily trafficked routes had been dealt with. This is a voluntary scheme and is based on community contributions within the range of 20% to 50%

I have allocated over €2.3 million to a number of local authorities in 2014 for previously committed CIS schemes. Following the recent review of the operation of the CIS in 2013 I am pleased to say that the findings indicate that the pilot scheme proved to be a success. Overall works with a value of almost €9 million were undertaken at a cost to the State of €6.64 million. A total of 299 schemes were completed in 2013, resulting in over 173 kms of improved roads.

Given the success of the scheme in 2013 in making available monies go further, I can confirm that I have decided to allocate additional funding of €4.5 million to local authorities in 2014 for CIS. This extra funding, combined with the €2.3 million already allocated in 2014, could potentially see around 170km of additional road improvements. The Department will shortly contact local authorities seeking applications for funding under the 2014 Scheme.

Separately, I will not be considering a similar pilot for the local improvements scheme (LIS). I have already given local authorities considerable flexibility whereby they may use up to 15% (up 8% on 2013) of their Discretionary Grant towards works on private roads should they wish to do so. The local contribution for these schemes is 20% of the total cost of the project. Over €10 million is available in 2014 for LIS should local authorities wish to allocate funds from their Discretionary Grant to such projects.