Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 128 - National Drugs Strategy [Community groups] [11165/08].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 128 - National Drugs Strategy [Community groups] [11165/08]. (13 Mar 2008)

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128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will take particular steps to address the needs of community based groups involved in the fight against drugs or other crime with particular reference to the use of grant aid from the proceeds of the national lottery to assist such groups in the provision of facilities at local level to meet community and youth needs. [11165/08]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): The majority of capital expenditure allocated to community groups through my Department for drugs initiatives is channelled through the Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces and the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund (YPFSF). In this context, the Deputy should note that funding for these programmes is met from the Exchequer, not the National Lottery.

Drugs Task Force projects normally originate at community level and are submitted to the National Drugs Strategy Team, who then make recommendations to me on funding. Under the YPFSF, projects are submitted for consideration to the Fund’s National Assessment Committee, chaired by my Department and recommendations to me arise from there. The combined capital expenditure on these in 2007 was €8.125m and I happy to advise the Deputy that the allocation of €9m in 2008 represents an increase of over 12.5% on the 2007 allocation.

I recently announced an additional capital investment of €4m under the YPFSF this year. This is additional to the overall funding of €147m approved under the YPFSF since it was established in 1998. In addition, I have also announced the expansion of the Fund to four new towns — Athlone, Dundalk, Wexford and Arklow. I hope that the inclusion of these four towns is the first step on the way to further coverage under the Fund over the next few years. Vol. 650 No. 2 Written Answers Thursday, 13 March 2008

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