Tuesday, 17 December 2019
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Water Services Funding
740. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government when the decisions for funding for the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021 will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52796/19]
741. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the reason for the delay in the decisions for funding for the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52797/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 740 and 741 together.
On 8 February 2019, I announced details of the eight measures being funded through my Department under the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021 (MARWP).
Local authorities were subsequently invited to submit their bids for the funding of schemes or projects under Measures 1 through 7, in their functional areas. An Expert Panel was put in place to support the evaluation process and its membership includes Departmental, stakeholder and independent representation. Following an evaluation process, the Expert Panel made recommendations to my Department on the suitability of schemes and projects for funding based on objective criteria which are set out in the framework document issued to local authorities when requesting proposals.
On 14 October this year, based on these recommendations, I announced approval of projects and schemes under the MARWP for 2019. Local authorities were informed of the details on the same date.
Work is now at a very advanced stage in finalising the detailed schemes for Measure 8 of the Programme, which relates to the provision of assistance to householders in relation to on-site domestic water supplies and waste water treatment systems. This includes the development of two revised schemes to replace existing schemes.
In order to ensure the integrity of the new schemes it has been necessary to seek legal advice, and the relevant unit within my Department is currently in the final stages of confirming the required legal text. I expect that the necessary Regulations dealing with the financial assistance arrangements and related administrative matters will put in place shortly and this will enable a circular letter, terms and conditions, guidance and the application form to issue to local authorities shortly thereafter.
742. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if an application (details supplied) for the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021 will be awarded; if so, when; if not, the reason for refusal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52798/19]
On 8 February this year, I announced details of the measures being funded through my Department under the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. In parallel to the announcement local authorities were invited to submit their bids for the funding schemes or projects in their functional areas, with the deadline for receipt of proposals set as 14 March 2019.
The new multi-annual programme includes Measure 6 – Community Connection (Water and Wastewater) Networks. This new measure facilitates the continued expansion of the coverage of piped water supplies and central wastewater collection systems by extension off the public (Irish Water) network where it is technically and economically viable to do so.
Mayo County Council made a number of bids under the measure, including a proposal for the Community Water Connection (community water connections were previously called public group water schemes) at the location referred to in the details provided.
I included the proposed Community Water Connection in the approvals and allocations that I announced in October. It is now a matter for the Council to advance the project in partnership with the applicants.