6th May 2021 | Green Gazette

Green Ministers launch €10m Community Fund, €5m anti-litter fund and a creative activity day for children

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Minister O’Brien launches €10m Community Fund

Applications have opened for a €10 million fund designed to support community and voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises, which have suffered as a result of the pandemic. The €10 million investment builds on the €45 million Covid Stability Fund 2020, which supported almost 600 organisations across the country.

“I know how important the Covid Stability Fund has been during such a challenging time,” Minister O’Brien said. “As we work towards reopening Irish society, it is critical that organisations supporting our communities are provided with the resources necessary to allow them to continue their vital services particularly to those most marginalised which is why I, along with my colleagues, am very pleased to provide this additional €10 million funding for the scheme.”

Minister Ryan announces €5m additional funding for litter prevention and cleaning  

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, this week announced €5m in additional funding for litter infrastructure and awareness campaigns to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully. This funding comes in addition to €3 million provided to local authorities in support of the 2021 Anti-Dumping Initiative, and €225k in funding for An Taisce in support of an extended 2021 National Spring Clean programme.

Minister Ryan has sought an immediate mapping of bin infrastructure to identify optimum placement of new bins and to pinpoint where smart solar-compacting bins could be feasible. Minister Ryan will also seek to harmonise the local authority response to the litter issue, to centralise procurement of materials, so that quality litter pickers, gloves, dog litter bags and bins are available. The aim will be to reduce costs, reduce duplication of effort and to harmonise the quality of product.

“I am providing this extra funding to support local authorities so we can all enjoy an outdoor summer in a pleasant environment”, Minister Ryan said. “The funding will add more recycling and litter facilities to meet increased demand – but it’s also up to all of us to clean up our act when it comes to litter, and make a conscious effort to leave no trace.”

Minister Martin launches Cruinniú na nÓg 2021

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, announced details of Cruinniú na nÓg 2021, a day of free creative activity for children and young people held on Saturday, 12th June.

“Over the past 3 years Cruinniú na nÓg has become a key date in Ireland’s cultural calendar”, Minister Martin said. “It provides opportunities for Ireland’s 1.2 million children and young people to be inquisitive, innovative and to fulfil an inner creative talent. The emphasis is always on participation and trying something new like knitting, drumming, stop-start animation, contemporary dance and so much more. All events are free and are accessible online.”

“This time last year we were forced to bring all our Cruinniú na nÓg events online, yet it proved to be our most successful Cruinniú to date with hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world joining us in our national day of youth creativity. This year we hope to replicate the same level of international excitement with new and exciting projects.”

Minister O’Gorman announces Public Consultation on Flexible Working

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, this week launched a public consultation on Flexible Working. Flexible working allows employees to structure their work day in way that suits their needs. The consultation is being undertaken to seek views from employers, employees and the wider public on the types of flexible working arrangements currently in place and the changes that they wish to see.

“The pandemic has brought about huge changes in the way we work, and has highlighted the need for workplaces to be responsive to the needs of families and those with caring responsibilities”, Minister O’Gorman said. “With many organisations moving towards flexible working arrangements, we are now presented with a unique opportunity to reinvent the way we work and create a flexible working model – one that supports a better work-life balance and a more inclusive labour market.”

Minister Noonan launches public consultation on National Peatlands Strategy

Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform has today (Friday 30 April 2021) launched a two month public consultation on the mid-term review of the National Peatlands Strategy.

The purpose of the mid-term review is to provide a broad assessment of where the Strategy currently is, what it can achieve over the next five years, and, where necessary, to propose changes to the actions set out in the Strategy to refocus it in line with its overall goals and the current context.

“I believe that the Implementation Plan will improve the effectiveness of the Strategy and support the achievement of its goals by setting out prioritised actions to be undertaken over the next five years”, Minister Noonan said. “The Implementation Plan is intended as a pragmatic and practical approach to focus on what is achievable over that timeframe, outlining what should be prioritised, and what can be measured and reported on effectively in line with timelines for the commencement/completion of actions.”

Minister Smyth welcomes new competency framework for public procurement in Ireland

The Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure, Ossian Smyth TD, welcomed the publication of ProcurCompEU, a new European framework to support the professionalisation of public procurement. The framework has now been recommended for all Irish public bodies in order to increase professionalisation across the sector.

“Public procurement forms an important element of the Programme for Government, supporting our ambitions to improve environmental outcomes, provide opportunities for business, and achieve value for money for the public. Increasing professionalisation in the practice of procurement is critical to ensuring successful outcomes across these goals,” Minister Smyth said.

Minister Hackett welcomes half million-bonus payment to Hen Harrier Farmers

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Senator Pippa Hackett has welcomed the news that 996 farmers have this week shared nearly half a million euro in Hen Harrier bonus payments.  The payments were made under the €25 million Hen Harrier scheme funded by the Minister’s Department under the Rural Development Programme.

“I am delighted to see these results-based payments being made to farmers who have ensured that the Hen Harrier population in Special Protection Areas have reached their objectives”, Minister Hackett said. “This is a real achievement and the farmers involved have earned every cent. This payment is not a hand-out.  The farmers have managed their farms to deliver a habitat that sustains the Hen Harrier population, and they deserve recognition for that.  These farmers are true farmers for nature.”