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Home > 117. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress which has been made in each regional drug task force area over the past year; the concrete measures which have been enacted on the ground; the impact such measures have had. [18155/06]

[Oireachtas] 117. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress which has been made in each regional drug task force area over the past year; the concrete measures which have been enacted on the ground; the impact such measures have had. [18155/06]. (16 May 2006)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2006/05/16/00061...


Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): Ten Regional Drugs Task Forces (RDTFs) have been established in areas not covered by Local Drugs Task Forces. Thus all parts of the country are now serviced by a Drugs Task Force. The overall role of the RDTFs is to prepare and implement regional Actions Plans which identify existing and emerging gaps in services in relation to education/prevention, curbing supply, treatment and rehabilitation. RDTFs provide a mechanism for the co-ordination of mainstream services in the regions, while at the same time allowing communities and voluntary organisations to participate in the planning, design and delivery of those services. Membership of the RDTFs includes representatives of all the relevant agencies, such as the Health Service Executive, the Gardaí, the Probation and Welfare Service, the Department of Education and Science, the Local Authorities, the Youth Service and FÁS. The Task Forces also include representation from voluntary agencies, community representatives and elected public representatives. Each Task Force has a voluntary chairperson and was assigned an interim co-ordinator. The recruitment of full-time co-ordinators is on-going and it is expected that all 10 will be in place by the middle of June. Each RDTF has an operational budget that facilitates the employment of a project development worker and an administrative assistant. Progress is now being made by the RDTFs, all of which have prepared Action Plans for their Regions. A sum of €5m has been allocated to the 10 RDTFs towards the implementation of those plans for 2006 and €322,000 of this has been drawn down to date. Funding will be increased on an incremental basis over the coming years to achieve the full roll out of the Action Plans, which are estimated to have a full cost in the region of €12.2m per annum. It is expected that the rate of progress being made by RDTFs will accelerate in the latter part of the year, especially in view of the employment of the full-time co-ordinators. I am satisfied that the implementation of the range of activities and initiatives identified in the RDTF Action Plans over the coming years will represent a comprehensive response to the problems of drugs misuse in the various regions.

Vol. 619 No. 4
Written Answers
Tuesday, 16 May 2006

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