Community development

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Expansion of RAPID, CLAR programmes?

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey, responded to suggestions by Bernard Durkan (FG, Kildare N) for an expansion of the CLAR and RAPID programmes (Dail Eireann, Debates, 3rd November 2010, 893-6).  The minister told him that the programme had already been expanded in 2009, with the addition of five towns to RAPID (Ballina, Dungarvan, Enniscorthy, Mullingar and Rathkeale) and with the expansion of 46 RAPID boundaries.   Bernard Durkan asked him whether he had updated his data for 2010 with projections for 2011.  The minister said that he agreed with the need to constantly monitor the needs of communities , but added that the strength of RAPID was that it applied to a limited number of disadvantaged areas and that if it were spread around, then its effectiveness would be diluted.  There was, though, merit in using the quarterly national household survey to get a clearer and more up to date picture.  The social inclusion division of the department was involved in monitoring changes in income and employment levels.