Header Item Written Answers Nos. 313-30
 Header Item Pupil-Teacher Ratio
 Header Item School Textbooks
 Header Item Departmental Staff Remuneration
 Header Item Departmental Staff Remuneration
 Header Item Departmental Functions
 Header Item European Parliament Elections
 Header Item Traveller Accommodation
 Header Item Housing Assistance Payments
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Maintenance
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Reports
 Header Item Planning Issues
 Header Item Departmental Bodies
 Header Item Local Authority Finances
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Data
 Header Item Mortgage to Rent Scheme Applications
 Header Item Wind Energy Guidelines
 Header Item Local Authority Legal Services

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 922 No. 1
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 113 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 313-30

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

 313. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the cost in 2017 of ensuring a PTR to a maximum of 18:1 for each class, not averaged across the school. [27489/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Programme for Government has a commitment to reduce class sizes at primary level.

Budget 2016 provides for a one point adjustment to the staffing allocation to primary schools, which has been implemented for the 2016/17 school year. The primary staffing schedule now operates on the basis of a general average of 1 classroom teacher for every 27 pupils. Each 1 point adjustment to the staffing schedule is estimated to cost between 250-300 additional posts, at a cost of circa. €15 million-€18 million.

The configuration of classes and the deployment of classroom teachers are done at local school level. My Department's guidance to schools is to ensure that the number of pupils in any class is kept as low as possible, taking all relevant contextual factors into account (e.g. classroom accommodation, fluctuating enrolment etc.). Schools are also requested, where possible, to use their autonomy under the staffing schedule to implement smaller class sizes for junior classes.

My Department publishes annual statistics on class size data for each school. The most recent statistics are for the 2015/16 school year. These statistics are available on the Department website. The national average class size is 24.9 pupils. However, with over 21,700 classes in over 3,100 primary schools throughout the country there will always be variations in class sizes at individual school level.

School Textbooks

 314. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the cost in 2017 of providing free books to all secondary and primary school students, respectively. [27490/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Matters in relation to school books are dealt with at local school level.  My Department does not therefore have data in relation to overall school book costs at primary and post-primary level.

However one estimate from publishers' sources suggested that the Irish school book market is worth approximately €60 million per annum.

Circa. 94% of primary schools and 65% of post-primary schools operate a book rental scheme.

The number of school books covered by a book rental scheme can vary significantly between schools. Such schemes also typically involve a rental fee to be paid by the parent.

There is a School Books Grant Scheme in place that provides assistance for books for students in all recognised primary and post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme. Under this scheme, my Department provides funding of €15 million annually to all these schools.

In addition, Budget 2014 provided funding of €5 million per annum for three years to support the establishment of book rental schemes in primary schools that did not operate such schemes. Under this additional funding, DEIS schools received €150 per child and non-DEIS schools received €100 per child in seed capital to establish book rental schemes.

Primary schools that were operating book rental schemes prior to 2014 also benefitted from this funding. These schools received €18 per pupil in mainstream schools and €20 per pupil in DEIS schools over two year period.

The Government has just launched the first Action Plan for Education aimed at making the Irish education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. This plan, which incorporates my Department's Strategy Statement as well as the Action Plan of Education outlines hundreds of actions to be implemented across 2016-2019. One of the actions as part of the plan is to strengthen the focus on reducing school costs for parents by increasing the financial support for book rental schemes, in order to reduce/eliminate school book costs for parents as resources permit.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

 315. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the cost of introducing a minimum wage of €12, €13, €14 or €15 an hour for all employees under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27778/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The data requested by the Deputy is not collected or collated by my Department. There are over 3,700 individual employers in the education and training sector and it would require a disproportionate amount of time and administrative resources to gather the data sought by the Deputy.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

 316. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the cost to introduce a minimum weekly gross wage of €480, €500, €520, €560 or €600 for all full-time employees under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27787/16]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The data requested by the Deputy is not collected or collated by my Department. There are over 3,700 individual employers in the education and training sector and it would require a disproportionate amount of time and administrative resources to gather the data sought by the Deputy.

Departmental Functions

 317. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if the State has responsibility for Met Éireann; if so, the legislation in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27061/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Met Éireann, Ireland’s National Meteorological Service, is a line division within my Department. It has been part of a Government Department since its foundation and has been a part of my Department since 2002.

European Parliament Elections

 318. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his views on maintaining voting rights for United Kingdom nationals in elections to the European Parliament following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26473/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the European Union and goes on to outline the right of citizens of the Union to vote in elections to the European Parliament.

  I am not aware that there is any intention to change this Treaty provision in the context of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

Traveller Accommodation

 319. Deputy Seamus Healy Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when funding for a demountable will be made available in respect of persons (details supplied). [26482/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas. My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authorities in providing such accommodation, including a national framework of policy, legislation and funding.

As part of the capital funding supports provided by my Department, funding of 50% is provided to housing authorities for the purchase of ‘Emergency Replacement Mobiles’. A ‘demountable’ falls into the category of a mobile, as it is not considered to be permanent accommodation in accordance with building standards. An emergency in this respect is an unanticipated event, such as flood/storm/fire damage, that would render a caravan uninhabitable or dangerous to live in. Emergency is not where a caravan falls into disrepair over time due to lack of maintenance, as this can be foreseen and preventative action taken by the owner/local authority. Also, overcrowding is not deemed as an emergency situation, as this is something which should be managed within the housing authority’s social housing waiting list or Traveller Accommodation Programme.

In respect of the case referred to in the Question, Tipperary County Council requested funding from my Department towards the cost of a demountable. In accordance with the criteria outlined above, my Department recently wrote to the Council confirming that the request was not deemed to be an emergency situation and therefore did not meet the criteria for funding support, and advised the Council to consider a more permanent solution to meeting this family’s accommodation needs – this would include, such as mentioned above, responding through the normal social housing process or through Traveller-specific accommodation within the Traveller Accommodation Programme.

Housing Assistance Payments

 320. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is taking up to 12 weeks to process application forms submitted to the local authorities for social housing support; if he will provide additional resources to local authorities to deal with social housing support claims in an expeditious manner, especially in view of the hardship this is causing persons who urgently require assistance under the housing assistance payment and rent supplement schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26514/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The processing of applications for social housing support is a matter for individual housing authorities and is carried out in accordance with the timescales and rules set down in current housing legislation.

Regulation 12 of the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribes the timescales for the processing of applications by housing authorities and provides that, subject to conditions, a housing authority shall deal with an application within a period of 12 weeks. Different timescales may apply where the housing authority requires additional information from the applicant within the relevant period, as defined in the Regulations, thus leading to possible extensions to the 12 week deadline in terms of completing the application process.

Any issues that may arise in relation to the current timescales for the processing of applications for social housing support across housing authorities will be considered by my Department in the context of the ongoing review of social housing assessment procedures currently being undertaken as part of the broader social housing reform agenda.

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

 321. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide further information on phase 3 of the proposed works at the Oldcourt Estate in Bray, County Wicklow; if the upgrade works will be extended to private homes for residents who purchased their property from the local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26533/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In response to a request from Wicklow County Council , I recently approved Exchequer funding support for the continuation of a significant programme of upgrade works to the social housing units at Oldcourt Estate, Bray, County Wicklow.

  As is normally the case, works to private homes, including those at Oldcourt Estate, is a matter for the individual private owners involved.

Departmental Bodies Reports

 322. Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if the working group of officials comprising senior representatives from his Department, local authorities and other relevant bodies to bring forward proposals for new urban regeneration measures chaired by the Minister of State, Deputy English, has met; and if so, the timeframe for publishing proposals on urban regeneration. [26545/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English The Programme for a Partnership Government, published in May 2016, sets out the ambitious priority attached to urban regeneration by the Government, incorporating a series of specific actions aimed at facilitating the regeneration of our urban centres, many of which have been adversely impacted by our recent economic difficulties. The Government’s Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness – Rebuilding Ireland, published in July 2016, further reinforces the Government’s commitment to the area of urban regeneration.

  In this context, a Working Group, which I chair, comprising of senior representatives from my Department, local authorities and other relevant bodies , has been established to bring forward proposals for new urban regeneration measures by the end of the year. It is intended that the new measures will complement the existing regeneration programme under my Department’s Social Housing Capital Programme, as well as other social regeneration initiatives already under way.

  The inaugural meeting of the Working Group took place on 15 June last with a second meeting scheduled for tomorrow, 28 September, at which it is intended that the work programme for the formulation of proposals on new urban regeneration measures with specified timeframes will be agreed.

Planning Issues

 323. Deputy Pat Casey Information on Pat Casey Zoom on Pat Casey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of planning enforcement proceedings in relation to short-term lettings that have been commenced by each local authority against a company (details supplied) and other online platforms, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26595/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Article 10(4) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2015 provides that development consisting of the use of not more than 4 bedrooms in a house, where each bedroom is used for the accommodation of not more than 4 persons as overnight guest accommodation, shall be exempted from the requirement to obtain planning permission under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, provided that such development would not contravene a condition attached to a permission under the Act or be inconsistent with any use specified or included in such a permission.

The interpretation and application of enactments relating to exempted development in any particular case is matter for the planning authority concerned, or An Bord Pleanála on appeal or referral. Similarly, responsibility for enforcement action in relation to any breach of the planning code is a matter for individual planning authorities, under Part VIII of the 2000 Act. Section 30 of that Act specifically precludes me from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case, including enforcement, with which a planning authority is or may be concerned.

My Department does not collate statistics of enforcement measures taken by planning authorities in relation to particular classes of development.

Departmental Bodies

 324. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the status of the work being completed by the expert panel established to investigate incidences of defective blockwork at properties in counties Donegal and Mayo; when the panel will complete its work and finalise its report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26602/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English The expert panel on concrete blocks has met on four occasions since it was established in April 2016, and is continuing to receive and review the information that has been made available to it in relation to the problems that have emerged in affected homes in Donegal and Mayo. A substantial volume of information has now been provided by affected homeowners in both counties, as well as from Donegal and Mayo County Councils, which will be of particular assistance in completing the necessary research to inform the preparation of the panel’s report.

In the case of Donegal specifically, the panel visited the owners of nine affected homes during the second week of May, in order to view first-hand the problems that have emerged in those homes. Meetings with representatives from the Mica Action Group and with both the elected members and officials from Donegal County Council were also held in order to seek additional information on the nature of the problems that have emerged in the blockwork of the affected homes. The panel also met with members of the Oireachtas from Donegal in late July to discuss the problems that have emerged in the blockwork of certain homes in the county.

Separate to the panel, I have also held meetings in June last with the elected members from Donegal County Council and with representatives from the Mica Action Group in order to hear their concerns directly. In addition, I visited three of the affected dwellings and spoke with the homeowners concerned on the very difficult and distressing situations they are facing due to the damage to their homes. I also visited a number of affected homes in Mayo in late July and met with the homeowners to discuss the problems they are facing with regard to their homes.

Earlier this month, the panel visited twelve homes in Mayo in order to observe the problems that have emerged in those homes and to gain an insight into the damage from homeowners. Meetings also took place with both the elected members and with officials from Mayo County Council in order to hear of their experiences in the matter.

Further meetings have taken place with a number of industry bodies and additional meetings are anticipated with other interested parties before the panel conclude their research into the problems that have emerged in the affected homes.

Ultimately, the panel’s terms of reference aim to establish the facts behind the problems that have emerged in Donegal and Mayo and to outline technical options for addressing the problems identified in order to assist affected homeowners. It is anticipated that the panel will complete their report before the end of the year. In this regard, I will await the outcome of the panel’s report before considering what further actions may be required to assist the parties directly involved in reaching a satisfactory resolution to the problems that have emerged in the two counties.

Local Authority Finances

 325. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide details of existing debts of all local authorities here showing total loans and total annual servicing costs and loans as a percentage of total annual revenue on a local authority basis, in tabular form. [26633/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department monitors the impact of borrowing by local authorities on the General Government Balance (GGB) on an on-going basis. While there is a requirement for the overall borrowing of the local government sector to remain within the GGB parameters, should there be a requirement to borrow, my Department will consider any sanction request in the context of supporting priority infrastructural investment, meeting contractual commitments and ensuring appropriate projects can proceed. Budgetary matters are, however, a reserved function of local authorities and it is incumbent on individual authorities to ensure that any new borrowing is matched by appropriate repayment capacity.

  The information in the following table has been sourced from the audited Annual Financial Statements of the 31 Local Authorities for the year ending 31December 2014 (the most recent year for which audited accounts are available) and includes the balances outstanding at that date and the total annual revenue for the year. The servicing costs of these loans are not however separately identifiable in the Annual Financial Statements and are not available in the format requested.

Authority Name Total Loans Payable as at 31/12/2014 Total Revenue & Capital Income FYE 31/12/2014 Total Loans as % of Total Income
Carlow 49,065,853 71,557,250 69%
Cavan 26,606,703 83,749,351 32%
Clare 123,331,400 130,357,473 95%
Cork City 157,649,450 195,950,461 80%
Cork County 487,085,970 374,727,125 130%
Donegal 171,016,202 171,698,179 100%
Dublin City 732,776,234 919,095,061 80%
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown 158,723,960 207,841,666 76%
Fingal 439,073,989 309,142,673 142%
Galway City 85,713,809 98,478,506 87%
Galway County 106,440,032 145,360,285 73%
Kerry 106,949,972 159,392,828 67%
Kildare 137,697,382 192,826,445 71%
Kilkenny 50,041,566 90,420,124 55%
Laois 119,155,326 73,841,456 161%
Leitrim 13,377,261 42,542,946 31%
Limerick City & County 86,088,544 232,605,123 37%
Longford 51,325,154 50,765,957 101%
Louth 162,414,468 101,152,728 161%
Mayo 156,718,197 210,965,905 74%
Meath 92,515,844 121,030,825 76%
Monaghan 30,099,471 77,859,409 39%
Offaly 68,210,192 73,818,773 92%
Roscommon 25,224,121 94,900,935 27%
Sligo 121,377,694 78,015,662 156%
South Dublin 252,993,300 307,409,369 82%
Tipperary 122,349,738 156,656,051 78%
Waterford City & County 165,234,831 171,756,182 96%
Westmeath 109,613,803 89,326,063 123%
Wexford 155,584,083 133,723,371 116%
Wicklow 121,922,343 139,129,287 88%
TOTAL 4,686,376,891 5,306,097,471 88%

Local Authority Housing Data

 326. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the average billed cost per unit anticipated for a two, three and four-bedroom local authority house; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26634/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English The cost for the capital-funded construction of a new social housing unit varies widely, depending on the type of housing unit and the location, but in the current market, a reasonable average for the per unit cost for a two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom house would be €185,000, €205,000 and €225,000, respectively.

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Applications

 327. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of applications for the mortgage-to-rent schemes which have been approved and finalised since the scheme's inception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26683/16]

 328. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the various housing bodies which are approved under the Housing to Rent Scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26684/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 328 together.

  There are currently two Mortgage to Rent (MTR) schemes funded by my Department. A scheme exists whereby a local authority (LA) can acquire ownership of properties with unsustainable local authority mortgages, thus enabling the household to remain in their home as a social housing tenant (LA-Mortgage-to-Rent). The second scheme provides for an Approved Housing Body (AHB) to acquire ownership of a property with an unsustainable private mortgage from a lender, which also enable the household to remain in their home as a social housing tenant (AHB-Mortgage-to-Rent). Both schemes are part of the overall suite of social housing options and an important part of the mortgage arrears resolution process.

  Information in relation to Local Authority Mortgage to Rent (LAMTR) scheme applications during its pilot phase in Dublin City Council and Westmeath County Council in 2013 and from the national roll out of the scheme in 2014 to end - 2015 is available on my Department’s website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-prices-loans-and-profile-borrowers/local-authority-loan-activity. Local authorities are responsible for submitting valid LAMTR applications to my Department and all applications received were approved.

  In addition, to date in 2016, 27 LAMTR cases have been received and approved and a further 10 claims have been received from Dublin City Council and are currently being processed by my Department.

  In relation to activity under the AHB Mortgage to Rent scheme which was introduced in 2012, up to the end of Quarter 2 2016, a total of 3,432 cases had been submitted. Of the 3,432 cases submitted, 2,593 were ineligible or terminated during the process, for a variety of reasons. Agreement on the sale could not be agreed in a further 76 cases. Of the remaining cases submitted, 675 are actively being progressed and 164 have been completed. Participation in the scheme is open to any AHB that has expressed an interest in the scheme and signed up to the Voluntary Regulation Code: Building for the Future - A Voluntary Regulation Code For Approved Housing Bodies in Ireland.   A panel of such AHBs has been established by the Housing Agency which administers the MTR scheme. The AHBs that are currently operating the scheme are Oaklee Housing Trust, Tuath Housing Association, Clúid Housing Association, North and East Housing Association, Respond! Housing Association, Tintéan Housing Association and Carbery Housing Association.

  Further statistical information relating to the Scheme since its inception, including AHB activity, is available on the Housing Agency’s website: www.housingagency.ie/Our-Services/Housing-Supply-Services/Mortgage-to-Rent.aspx.

Wind Energy Guidelines

 329. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the timeline he anticipates in determining proper setback distances for wind turbines; if he has a preferred distance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26690/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In December 2013, my Department published proposed draft revisions to the noise, setback distance and shadow flicker aspects of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines. These draft revisions proposed:

  - the setting of a more stringent day- and night-time noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy developments,

  - a mandatory minimum setback distance of 500 metres between a wind   turbine and the nearest dwelling for amenity considerations, and

  - the complete elimination of shadow flicker between wind turbines and neighbouring dwellings.

  A public consultation process was also initiated on these proposed draft revisions to the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines, which ran until 21 February 2014. My Department received submissions from over 7,500 organisations and members of the public during this public consultation process.

  As outlined in the Programme for a Partnership Government, this Government is committed to finalising the revisions to the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines within the first 6 months of Government. The revisions to the Guidelines will be informed by the public consultation process and by best international practice. My Department will continue to advance work on the Guidelines, in conjunction with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

  The revisions to the 2006 Wind   Energy Development Guidelines, when finalised, will be issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. Planning authorities, and, where applicable, An Bord Pleanála are required to have regard to such guidelines, issued under Section 28, in the performance of their functions under the Planning Acts.

Local Authority Legal Services

 330. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if it is common practice for local authorities to tender for external legal services as they are required in cases, such as personal injury and conveyancing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26692/16]

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I have no role in the matter referred to in the Question. Procurement of legal services is a matter for the Chief Executive of each local authority in accordance with section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001.


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