Written Answers John Brady

John Brady

These are the written answers received by John Brady TD to questions asked of Ministers on various subjects.

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

NAMA Portfolio

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the details of all the National Assets Management Agency’s properties and land portfolios in County Wicklow, by addresses, by occupancy status, and by usage type; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8571/16]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) does not own or manage properties. NAMA’s role in relation to properties is that of a secured lender. Properties securing NAMA’s loans continue to be managed by their legal owners, or in the case of enforcement, on their behalf by duly appointed insolvency practitioners. While my Department is working closely with NAMA to ensure that all opportunities to identify and secure housing units for social housing use are maximised, it does not have access to the information requested by the Deputy.

Information on social housing activity supported through engagement with NAMA is available on the website of the Housing Agency at /NAMA.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Department of Social Protection

Disability Allowance Applications

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if an application under the disability allowance scheme by a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7269/16]

Joan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for disability allowance from the above named person on 26 January 2016. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

The processing time for individual disability allowance claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the three main qualifying criteria, the person’s circumstances and the information they provide in support of their claim.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Water and Sewerage Schemes

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to identify the presence of lead water pipes in County Wicklow; and the programme of work in place to deal with any lead pipes found. [7290/16]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)

Neither I nor my Department have any responsibility for, or role in relation to, the identification, management, operation or maintenance of water services infrastructure. With effect from 1 January 2014, Irish Water is responsible for public water services and water services infrastructure including water supply pipes or drainage pipes extending from a waterworks or waste water works to the curtilage of a private property. The identification of lead in public water mains is therefore a matter for Irish Water. Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.

The Water Services Act 2007 provides that the owner of a premises is responsible for the maintenance and renewal of the internal water distribution system to ensure that water intended for human consumption meets required quality standards. Responsibility for identifying and replacing lead pipes or fittings within the property boundary therefore rests with the property owner.

On 9 June 2015, I announced a Government-approved National Strategy to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water. The Strategy was prepared by my Department and the Department of Health in consultation with Irish Water, the HSE and the EPA. The roles and responsibilities of the various public and private stakeholders are set out in the Strategy, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas library.

As part of the Strategy, I have established a new grant scheme to assist low income households to replace lead pipes in their homes. Full details of the scheme, which is administered by the local authorities, is available on my Department’s website.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Local Authority Services

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he is aware that Wicklow County Council is requiring all elected representatives to provide a signed waiver form from constituents in order to make representations on their behalf in relation to housing and planning issues; the rationale for this practice; if he is aware of the massive difficulty this poses for local councillors and Teachtaí Dála in properly representing their constituents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7291/16]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)

While I as Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government have responsibility for policy and legislation in respect of the local government system, local authorities are independent corporate entities with responsibility under law for the performance of relevant functions and the discharge of their governance and other responsibilities. The detailed arrangements implemented by local authorities in respect of their dealings with public representatives when they are acting in a representational role on behalf of others are a matter for the authorities themselves. I have no function in this regard.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Coastal Protection

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the nature of coastal works planned at Murrough, Wicklow town; and if he has carried out any study to ascertain if these works will be sufficient. [6406/16]

Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

In March 2016 the Office of Public Works (OPW) approved funding of €450,000 to Wicklow County Council (WCC) following receipt of an application from WCC under the OPW’s Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme for funding to carry out emergency coastal protection works at the Murrough in Wicklow town. WCC engaged RPS Consulting Engineers to investigate the problem and to recommend a solution to the erosion problem at this location. The works recommended and designed by RPS involve the replacement of the existing rock revetment structure and comprise the installation of new rock armour and specialised concrete sea defence units, all of which are standard and proven methods of coastal protection. The new revetment structure will also incorporate a properly designed terminal extension which will help to minimise the possibility of future erosion of the kind experienced last Winter.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Planning Issues

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the progress of the investigation into serious allegations of planning irregularities and other issues in County Wicklow into which he said he would establish an inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6405/16]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)

I have received correspondence in relation to a number of complaints regarding certain matters in County Wicklow which is being considered. A reply will be issued in due course.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Fire Safety

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government whether he is aware of the independent fire safety audit that was carried out on Oldcourt estate in Bray in County Wicklow in 2005 and published in 2007; and given this report, if he will fund a phase 3 for these critical works. [6407/16]

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the nature and purpose of works to be carried out at Oldcourt estate in Bray in County Wicklow; and if he will extend these works to private homes which were bought in good faith from the local authorities. [6408/16]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 763 and 764 together.

My Department has provided approximately €1.2 million to Bray Town Council and Wicklow County Council towards a range of improvement and retrofitting works undertaken since 2012 to houses in Oldcourt Estate.

The precise nature and extent of the necessary works is a matter for Wicklow County Council to determine; however, my Department is in dialogue with the Council in respect of further works and the Council’s proposals in this regard are currently under consideration.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

 Planning Issues

 

John Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he is aware of the rezoning of the Old Bray Golf Club lands for high density development given that it is a flood plain; if these lands are under the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6410/16]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)

The matter raised by the Deputy is one for the local authority in question, which is Wicklow County Council, while queries relating to the National Asset Management Agency are a matter forthat organisation and the Department of Finance. In addition, local authorities are required to adhere to ‘The Planning System and Flood Risk Management'(2009) Planning Guidelines issued by my Department under Section 28 of the Planning & Development Act 2000. These Guidelines provide a rigorous approach to flood risk assessment as an essential step in drawing up development plans and plans are generally now accompanied by a flood risk assessment for the geographical area of the plan. Under the 2009 Guidelines, developments vulnerable to flood risk, such as new housing, and other residential uses, are not generally permissible in areas known or predicted to be at risk of flooding.

As a statutory consultee for such proposed local area plans my Department examines all draft plans for compliance with Section 28 Ministerial Guidelines, including the Flood Risk Management Guidelines.

My Department understands that a local area plan is to be drawn up for the area in question by Wicklow County Council under provisions outlined in the Draft Development Plan 2016-2022 , taking account of flood protection works and the advice of the Office of Public Works.It would , therefore , be premature to make any further comment until such time as my Department has had the opportunity to examine a future local area plan.