Finglas RAPID Area Update Sept 2010

RAPID Boundary Changes:
Following a review of all RAPID areas, the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs have decided to revise the Finglas Rapid boundary area. Please refer to the enclosed map which contains the existing and revised boundaries.

As a result of the changes which came into effect from the 16th July 2010 the Finglas RAPID Area Implementation Team in conjunction with the RAPID Coordinator will seek to identify additional Community and Statutory representation on the AIT.

As yet the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs has not announced any funding for the RAPID programme, however the Finglas RAPID Area Implementation Team will endeavour to make best use of resources available.

Community Hub Finglas West:
Project West Community Development Project applied for €115,580 under Dormant Accounts Additionality 2009 to develop a community centre in the grounds of St.Kevin’s school. The total cost of the project is €165,580, with the balance of the required funding (€50,000) coming under Young People’s Facilities & Services Fund.

The proposed development would see the centre used for the following purposes.

No Name of Group/Organisation Activity
1 St.Kevin’s/Joseph’s Schools Breakfast Club/Afterschools
2 St.Kevin’s/Joseph’s Schools Informal Adult Education
3 Finglas Youth Services Youth Study Programme
4 City of Dublin VEC Formal/Informal Adult Education
5 Finglas Adventure Club Base for Adventure Club
6 Finglas Youth Resource Centre Outreach for FYRC Youth Support Clinics
7 Project West CDP Older Persons Programme
8 St.Kevin’s/Joseph’s Summer Project Summer Activities

Planning permission for the proposed development was granted by Dublin City Council on the 12th August 2010 (see item 13 on Area Committee Agenda – September 2010).
Discussions will take place between the Community Hub Board and St.Kevin’s BNS around a time frame for the development. The principle has requested that the main works i.e. installation of the pre-fabricated building be delayed until the mid-term in October, however some preparatory works will take place in the interim.

“The Den” Finglas South:

The two Youth Services in the Finglas area (Finglas Youth Resource Centre & Finglas Youth Services) have come together to develop a joint working plan for youth work in the Finglas area. The plan will focus on greater cooperation and targeting of services where they are needed, this will be done to avoid duplication of work and to make better use of youth resources.

As part of the development of services for young people in the area capital funding allocated to Finglas Youth Resource Centre under the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund (€220,000) to improve outreach services in the Finglas South has been reallocated to Finglas Youth Services (C.Y.C.) to develop “The Den” in Finglas South.

The development took place over the summer months and is due to be completed by the end of September and will result in significant improvements to the level and type of services on offer to young people in the Finglas South area.

Finglas Traveller Forum;

The Finglas Traveller Forum met on the 28th July 2010, the Forum looks to address issues and concerns of the Travelling Community in the Finglas area. A number of issues and concerns were raised at the meeting including the barrier on Dunsink Lane, Dumping, School Transport for Travellers, Barn Lodge and the proposed upgrade of St.Joseph’ site.
A number of the Forum members thanked the North West Area for the support they gave to the TESO Summer Programme, the clean up in Avila Park and for supporting the funding application for the Traveller Development Worker.

Community Safety Strategic Theme Review:
RAPID Programmes have for the past number of years operated under 7 Strategic Themes. The Finglas RAPID Area Implementation Team will review the Community Safety Strategic Theme in September. The original plan was drawn up in 2008. A revised plan now needs to be drawn up that is practical, achievable, meets identified needs of the community and fits in with Garda operations.
Community Representatives have highlighted the issue of low level anti-social behaviour as a major concern. It is hoped that the review will focus on that issue.

Dublin City Council Representation:
As Ken Hand has been transferred to the Engineering Department, Siobhan Maher , Administrative Officer – Finglas Area Office will replace him on the RAPID AIT.

Report On Mellow Spring Childcare Development Centre Ltd:
Mellow Spring Childcare facility opened in 2004 at an overall cost of €3m with supports from the then Finglas Cabra Partnership and Dublin City Council (DCC). The City Council provided the site as part of a mixed use Civic Centre at Mellowes Road, Finglas. Dublin City Council also provided €1.7 million in capital funding and provided grant aid over a three year period up to 2009 as a support to establish and run the service. Tolka Area Partnership facilitated grant applications under the Equal Opportunities Childcare Program. €1.3million was secured in funding under this programme.

The services provided by Mellow Spring responds to and meets the needs of children, parents, the wider community and statutory agencies in the area, facilitating:
• Back to Training and Education programmes.
• A Teen Parenting Programme – School completion.
• HSE, Social Worker and Community Nurse referrals.
• Participation in the Government funded Childcare Subvention Scheme which subsidises the cost of childcare for those on lower incomes.
• Early Childhood Care and Education scheme (ECCE) – free Pre-school Place.
• Childcare Employment and Training Support Scheme (CETS) scheme – Back to training and education currently awaiting approval.

In March this year it became apparent that the Centre was not in a favourable financial position. The Board appointed a Financial Expert to review the business and a number of cost saving measures were agreed and implemented. In July a 13 point restructuring /recovery plan was agreed and implemented by the Board, after negotiations and acceptance by staff and unions. This plan will run to December 2011 and will be closely monitored with the objective of achieving a more sustainable business model and therefore the future security of the service.

The Centre currently has high usage, with 90 children registered which equates to 53.5 fulltime equivalents at 5th September 2010. 85% of Centre users are sub-vented under the various Government Childcare schemes, through the Health Board or Community Welfare Officers and 15% are private fee paying. The original objective was to provide affordable childcare as a social inclusion measure and facilitate back to training/work and education for parents. This remains the focus of the centre while keeping the child at the centre of all decisions and policy.

Currently two Dublin City Council staff act as Director and Chairperson on the Mellow Spring Board of Management. The restructuring of the Centre consumes a significant amount of their time which will be supported to year end but will be subjected to review at that time.