Thursday, 8 June 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
128. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the swimming pools which have been funded by his Department in the years 2000 to 2006; the locations where they have been built; the size of population areas they serve; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22083/06]
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O’Donoghue): My Department administers the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme, which provides grant aid to local authorities in respect of the capital costs of a new swimming pool, a replacement pool or the refurbishment of an existing pool. The closing date for receipt of applications under the current round of this Programme was 31 July 2000 and since then a total 57 projects have or are being dealt with. Of the 57 projects within the Programme, 19 have been completed and 14 are now under construction or are about to start construction. In addition, 24 other projects are at various stages in the Programme — 6 at tender stage, 10 at contract document stage and 8 at preliminary report stage. Details of these projects are provided in the table which follows. It is important to note that progress under the programme is largely determined not by my Department, but by the speed at which individual local authorities progress their projects.
As part of the Preliminary Reports/Feasibility Studies required for each project, local authorities are required to address issues of population/catchment areas in assessing the viability of their projects, bearing in mind that all operational costs are solely the responsibility of the local authority. An Expenditure Review of the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme, which is underway at present, will also addressing the issue of the population/catchment areas for public swimming pools from the regional/national perspective.
129. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if his Department plans to support the establishment of a swimming pool in Lucan; the result of discussions which have taken place with South Dublin County Council on same; when funding will become available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22084/06]
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O’Donoghue): I understand that South Dublin County Council is preparing a revised Water Leisure Strategy at this time and that part of this strategy will address the question of the provision of a new public swimming pool for Lucan.
The current round of the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme, which is administered by my Department, was closed to applications on 31 July 2000 and no application was made in respect of a public swimming pool for Lucan before that date. The priority in relation to the current round is to support the 57 projects that applied for funding and new applications for grant aid towards the construction of swimming pools are not being considered at this time. However, my Department is carrying out an Expenditure Review of the Programme which is examining, among other things, how it has worked to date and what amendments, if any, are required to ensure its effective and efficient delivery. This Review is expected to be completed by end July. On completion of this Review, the question of re-opening the Programme will be addressed.
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