* To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will meet with Galway County Manager to discuss the provision of fire services, in view of the seriousness of the issue and in view of the budget preparations currently underway at county council level and at Departmental level.
– Seán Kyne.
The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs, the provision of a premises and the making of such other provisions as it considers necessary or desirable, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Act 1981 and 2003.
I have not received a request to meet with the County Manager from Galway on the provision of fire services or related budgetary matters. My Department supports fire authorities through the setting of general policy, the provision of training support, the issue of guidance on operational and other related matters and through the provision of capital funding.
A primary concern of my Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management is the development of consistent and effective fire services to keep communities safe from fire and other emergencies. Value for money is also a key concern and future developments, including investment in infrastructure, will need to be brought to fruition within tighter resource constraints.
Further support from the Department’s fire services capital programme for Galway County Council in the period ahead will have regard to the council’s priorities, the extent of previous investment, the value for money offered by proposals, the spread of existing facilities and the totality of demands from fire authorities countrywide.