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Home > 32. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the degree to which he will offer additional financial or other assistance to community based voluntary groups involved in combating drugs throughout County Kildare in 2009; [23223/09]

[Oireachtas] 32. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the degree to which he will offer additional financial or other assistance to community based voluntary groups involved in combating drugs throughout County Kildare in 2009; [23223/09]. (11 Jun 2009)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2009/06/10/00034...


 33. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs  the degree to which he will offer additional financial or other assistance to community based voluntary groups involved in combating drugs in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23224/09]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran):  I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 33 together.

As the Deputy is aware, funding applications for community and voluntary groups for drugs initiatives are made through the Local or Regional Drugs Task Forces. The allocation for the Drugs Task Forces for this year is of the order of €32m. Projects have been approved funding for the first six months of 2009 and this expenditure is currently under review before allocating the remaining funding for the second half of the year. My Department is working with the Task Forces to ensure that this funding is targeted in the most appropriate manner. Capital funding of around €4.5m will be available in 2009. This allocation will fund existing and some new initiatives under the Premises Initiative Fund and it will also complete the outstanding commitments under the once-off 2008 Regional Youth Initiative Fund.

Overall, I am satisfied that the funding being provided in 2009 by my Department will continue to facilitate the delivery of valuable community-based initiatives to help address problem drug use. Across Government, we are taking a number of difficult decisions, but our approach is to do this in as balanced a way as possible. There is a critical need to ensure that resources are directed in a targeted and effective manner and that the maximum benefit is achieved. I would like to assure the Deputy that my primary concern has been — and continues to be — the protection of front-line community-based services delivering vital programmes and initiatives in areas worst affected by problem drug use.

The Deputy will be aware that the Drugs Strategy is based on a co-ordinated approach across many Government Departments and Agencies and my Department’s allocation is part of a much bigger investment programme in drugs services by these other bodies. In 2008, it was estimated that total expenditure on drugs programmes was over €260m and initial indications are that this level will be broadly maintained in 2009.As outlined to you previously, the following allocations have been made to Co Kildare, which is part of the South West RDTF area:

Abbey Project — funding of €150,000 has been provisionally allocated in 2009 to provide a number of services such as drop-in, family support, referral, counselling, holistic therapies and advice and information on housing to drug users and their families from Celbridge and the surrounding areas;

Community Drug Team for Kildare and West Wicklow — for 2009, funding of €350,000 has been provisionally approved for this service which will expand and complement existing treatment services along with family support and early responses to young people at the early stage of drug misuse; and

Newbridge Family Resource Centre — an amount of €22,354 was approved in 2007 in respect of the purchase and installation of a semi-permanent structure for the Centre to provide a dedicated drop-in facility for “at risk” youth.

Vol. 684 No. 2
Written Answers
Wednesday, 10 June 2009

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