Thursday, 27 May 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
70. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the uptake of the €93,000 announced in late 2020 under the Comhairle na nÓg ICT capital funding scheme; and if this allocation has been sufficient to date in 2021. [28715/21]
My Department secured capital funding in 2020 to administer a once-off grant scheme for the purchase of ICT hardware by Local Authorities, to enable Comhairle Na nÓg to meet Covid-19 related challenges.
This funding was secured in order to support the development and implementation of a blended virtual and in-person approach by the Comhairle Na nÓg, designed to maximise the potential for participation of young people in the activities of the comhairli, whilst adhering to Covid-19 Government guidelines.
My Department processed applications for funding from 30 Local Authorities under this scheme in 2020. The €93,000 expended under this scheme resulted in an average of €3,100 being allocated to the participating Local Authorities. The funding allocated amounted to 90% of the funding requested as a small proportion of the applications submitted did not meet the qualifying criteria.
This scheme, as noted above, was conducted on a once-off basis to meet the unique circumstances that arose last year. It is not planned that this scheme will run again in 2021. My officials engage closely with the Local Authorities in relation to the administration of the Comhairle Na nÓg on an ongoing basis. If additional supports are required, these will be considered the context of ensuring that comhairli can continue to operate effectively, engaging with young people at local level on matters of relevance to them.