As Chairman of the City Council’s North Inner City Area Committee, I receive a monthly report from the North East Inner City Programme Office detailing the work that is being undertaken under the remit of the Taskforce set up by the former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and supported by his successor, Leo Varadkar T.D., local Minister Paschal Donohoe T.D. and by our Fine Gael Government. In March, the Programme Implementation Board chaired by Michael Stone approved approximately €1.507M of the €2.5M 2018 RAPID funding allocated to the NEIC Initiative by the Department of Rural & Community Development.
The new proposals approved at the March meeting of the Board are as follows:
Sub-Group 1 – Tackling Crime and Drugs:
- Community Action Network (CAN) €8,000 – to fund a dialogue process to build positive relationships between young people and local Gardaí in the NEIC including preparation of report setting out the process and issues arising.
- Hands on Peer Education (HOPE) €9,000 – To fund counseling, acupuncture and massage therapies services to provide 360 client sessions until end 2018.
- Extension of Garda CCTV €150,000 – To fund extension to a further 6 – 8 locations in addition to 13 locations funded in 2017. Preliminary scoping work is currently underway on the proposed new locations.
Sub Group 4 – Improving the Physical Landscape
- Shopfront Improvement Scheme €60,000 – Following on from the pilot project in Dorset St. the scheme will now be extended to Talbot St. and plans are also underway to extent to Amiens St. / North Strand.
- Street Art / Murals €80,000 – Following on from positive public reaction and feedback on street art projects undertaken under the NEIC initiative to date it is proposed to continue this initiative with further sites to be selected in the coming months.
- Programme of Community & Family Events 2018 €100,000 – This further allocation brings the total 2018 allocation under this heading to €300,000 to fund and support local public events including development of new proposals. A further report will be brought to the Committee in this regard in the coming months.
A variety of other measures and programmes have been introduced since the start of the year. I am happy to report that:
• Vantastic – Health Route for NEIC and East Wall area (6 month pilot) €15,000
This partnership pilot project, proposed by Vantastic and the Dublin City Council’s Age Friendly Initiative, provides a fully accessible door-to-door minibus service to elderly and mobility impaired (over 65’s) residents to attend appointments at the Mater and Beaumont Hospitals. The Health Route operates Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 11:00 am and 13:00 – 16:00 at a nominal charge to the individual user. Service users are required to register with Vantastic; https://vantastic.ie/health-route/; and can then contact the customer support free phone no.1800 242 703 in advance to book a journey. The fee for each journey is invoiced to clients on a monthly basis. The service is now up and running and is being piloted until the end of the year. It will be promoted via local services for the elderly and DCC networks.
Full information is available at https://vantastic.ie/health-route/; If assistance is required with registration interested users can contact the Bláthnaid Conlon, Community Officer, Phone: 01-2225048 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The issue of lack of accessible and affordable transport was raised in the NICCC (North Inner City Community Coalition) submission to Kieran Mulvey. The full cost of the project is co-funded by Vantastic and the North East Inner City Initiative.
• NEIC Community Grants 2018 – €100,000
The 2018 NEIC Community Grants Scheme (Round 1) is now open for applications In order to facilitate seasonal proposals this year’s scheme is being run in two rounds The purpose of the Scheme is to financially support North East Inner City communities in delivering their own projects locally to benefit the defined NEIC area. Priority will be given to applicants that can be linked to delivery of actions and recommendations contained in the Mulvey Report. Funding may be awarded for a broad range of proposals e.g. for one-off community projects; environmental improvements; physical activity and wellbeing; community social events and festivals; provision of materials and equipment; minor improvement works etc. The first round is currently open with applications being accepted until Monday 30th April 2018. Guidelines and application forms are available via http://www.neic.ie or from Bláthnaid Conlon, Community Officer, Phone: 01-2225048 or e-mail email@example.com. Round 2 will run in Autumn/Winter 2018.
• Lourdes Day Care Centre – €425,000
Following grant of planning permission in December 2017 (Reg. Ref. 4028/17) and confirmation of funding for the delivery of the project in the sum of €425,000 incl. VAT work has commenced on site at Lourdes Day Care Centre to deliver a single-storey extension (165.30 sq. metres) to rear and side (incorporating new sitting room, wet room, locker room and general store) alterations to site (north elevation & front elevation, internal alterations and ancillary site works. The estimated timeframe for the works is 22 weeks.
Pilot social employment fund of €1million (co-funded €500K – Dept. Employment Affairs and Social Protection €500k and Dept. Public Expenditure & Reform)
This fund was established as a pilot project to support priority projects/services that are adversely affected by lack of uptake of existing CE places in the NEIC area. Target groups for support are those providing services in childcare, youth, eldercare and the environment. This pilot scheme will see a total of 30 new employees recruited on a 30 hour week across the various priority projects. The breakdown of the 30 approved posts is as follows:
On 18th December 2017 Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin announced a national investment package of €1.5M in Dormant Accounts funding for sport. This included a specific allocation of €100,000 for Dublin North East Inner City based on a successful submission made by the NEIC Sports Development Officer, via the Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership. Funding has been drawn down via Sport Ireland and the status of the funded projects is as follows:
- North East Inner City Canal Adventure Programme – €25,000
The Canal Adventure Project is due to become operational in late April. The Project is currently linking in with local youth groups and services in relation to its detailed summer programme.
- Scoil Uí Chonaill – ‘Cultivating Connections Programme” – €15,000
Scoil Uí Chonaill have commenced their nursery in O’ Connells Sports Hall on Saturday mornings. They are currently averaging over 40 participants per session. They have also commenced training sessions for older teams in Larkin Community College.
- DCU Sport & Wellbeing Research and Intervention Programme – €20,000
DCU have commenced their research in relation to physical activity levels (10 – 18 year olds) in the North East Inner City. Initial testing has been carried out in 7 local schools – St. Laurence O’Toole Girls School, St. Laurence O’ Toole Boys School, Gardiner Street Girls School, Central Model School, Larkin Community College, O’Connell Secondary School and Mount Carmel Secondary School. Over 180 young people have been tested over a number of physical parameters. The study will compare the North East Inner City to National norms.
- Corporate Governance Programme – €5,000
A second round of Corporate Governance Workshops are due to take place in May which will work with sports clubs and organisations in relation to working towards good governance. Further more in depth courses are being organised for clubs that have already completed the introductory workshops and are seeking further training.
- Activation Programmes for Volunteers (New Activities and Sports Club Development) €15,000
Courses have recently been held in relation to Child Safeguarding and Disability Inclusion Training with local clubs and volunteers. A suite of coaching courses have also been organised for 2018 with the FAI which are being hosted in the North East Inner City.
- Trinity Access Programme – (linked to Sporting events) €20,000
Development work is currently underway. The Sports element of the project is due to commence in May 2018.
If you have any questions or queries arising from the details outlined above, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavour to answer any enquiries you may have.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee