Community development

Print FriendlyPrint This Article

Status of community development projects

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey, responded to Paul Connaughton (FG, Galway E) on the status of community development projects  (Dail Eireann, Debates, 3rd November 2010, 896-8).   The minister told him that he had approved four alternative models: HSE South, Limerick City/PAUL; the women’s sector CDPs and the Northside partnership.  Three had decided to go it alone and were withdrawing from the new Local and Community Development Programme and here the department would help them wind up.

Frank Feighan (FG, Roscommon – Leitrim S) asked him how many were still in discussion: the minister told him that it was a small number in single figures and he anticipated decisions would be made within the next three weeks. But how could the minister ensure community development projects receive an adequate amount of support?  Pat Carey told him that he agreed that the level of funding for community development projects had not been great.   The average grant was €103,000, with some receiving up to €145,000, usually allowing for the recruitment of a full-time coordinator and a part-time administrator.  He did not agree that the proposals discussed should lead to any reduction in the level of community development activity.  The volunteer input would also remain strong and he assured ‘those in the sector who were concerned that the proposals would marginalize them that they would not’.

Jack Wall (Lab, Kildare S) expressed the hope that the minister’s door was still open for negotiations – ‘we should not lose any of these successful projects’.  The minister concluded by saying that the sector had blown the whistle on problems on 20th September.  He had met with a representative group and this had worked well.  He would not be making a recommendation for the extension of any timetable.   It was necessary to bring closure to the problem that he had inherited and that we could embark on a new scheme on 1st January.  He recognized the concerns of those who felt that their jobs were under threat, but they were not.  ‘The people key to this are the recipients of services and the volunteers’.