Skip Page Header

Home > 357. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will explain the management structure overseeing the National Drugs Strategy and the way in which the National Drug Strategy team has been replaced; the number of members of staff currently working on the National Drugs Strategy within his Department; [28453/09]

[Oireachtas] 357. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will explain the management structure overseeing the National Drugs Strategy and the way in which the National Drug Strategy team has been replaced; the number of members of staff currently working on the National Drugs Strategy within his Department; [28453/09]. (08 Jul 2009)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2009/07/08/00250...


358.  Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his plans for the local and regional drugs task forces into the future; if he envisages them having a long term role with the National Drug Strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28454/09]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran): I propose to take Questions Nos. 357 and 358 together.

The Government approved the establishment of an Office of the Minister for Drugs (OMD) on 16 June. The main staffing cohort for the new Office will be drawn from my Department. A total of 14 people are currently working in this area, which equates just under 12 whole time equivalents. Direct involvement of the broader statutory sector will continue through the assignment of personnel on a half-time basis, with the possible additional direct engagement by some further agencies. Representation from the community and voluntary sectors will continue in the OMD with funding being provided by my Department to support their engagement. I look forward to the Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces continuing to play an important role in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, supported by the OMD.

359.  Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the funding available under his Department for drug related initiatives and projects for the remainder of 2009; when and the way this money will be allocated to the drugs task forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28455/09]

361.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the reason for the lack of communication with local drugs task forces since the ending of the national drugs strategy team in relation to security of their funding, the transfer of promised funds, and the fact that the insecurity regarding funding is threatening the future of several key drugs projects around the city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28614/09]

362.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many drugs task force funded drugs projects have no wages to pay staff for July and August 2009 as a result of a delay or confusion regarding funding due to the demise of the national drugs strategy team and the dispersal of their staff. [28615/09]

363.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the lacuna in deciding funding for drugs projects and drugs task forces is causing problems for planning service delivery in 2010; when a decision will be made regarding future funding of these services; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that any cut in budget at this stage or into 2010 will result in an inability to deliver the same level of services. [28616/09]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran): I propose to take Questions Nos. 359, 361, 362 and 363 together.

The revised funding allocations for the period July to December 2009, taking account of the Supplementary Budget in April, have now been advised to all Local Drugs Task Forces (LDTFs) and to seven of the Regional Drugs Task Forces (RDTFs). Approval was conditional on the requisite information being furnished by them and outstanding material is still awaited from 3 RDTFs. My officials are working closely with the Task Forces concerned and I would expect their allocations to be finalised in the coming days.

In 2009, €32.5m in current funding is being provided to the 24 Task Forces - €22.3m to the Locals and €10.2m to the Regionals. I want to assure the Deputies that my officials have been working closely with the Task Forces in recent weeks on finalising their funding allocations.

As I have pointed out previously, the challenges posed by the reduction in funding arising from the reduced budget allocations means that some schemes will be affected. However, I believe that if properly managed, this may also lead to improved efficiencies in services and foster better interagency working to the benefit of all.

In relation to funding for 2010, the Deputies will appreciate that this is a matter for the annual Estimates process.

Vol. 687 No. 4
Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy
Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Repository Staff Only: item control page