As your County Councillor, Mayor, and now Senator I have been a strong political voice for Cork the last decade. Investment in our communities and public services is essential and some of my priority local issues include a new hospital for Cork, sufficient long-term housing infrastructure and rural broadband connectivity.

21st June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

Cork-based Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has highlighted that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be paid in early July and has also encouraged families who don’t receive an automatic payment to make an application for the allowance.

Senator Lombard said: “My colleague, Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has confirmed to me that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be made available again this year.

“The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a once-off payment to assist eligible families with the extra costs when children start school each autumn.

“In 2018, 13,535 Cork families received this allowance to help with the cost of school clothing and footwear during what is an expensive time of year for families.

“The majority of eligible families in Cork will receive an automatic payment from the week beginning 8 July, which is great as it allows families sufficient time to prepare for back to school. These families will receive written confirmation before the end of this month informing them of their automatic entitlement.

“I strongly encourage families in Cork who do not receive this letter to make an application for the allowance, even if they received a payment last year. To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, a person must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes, and their income must not exceed the threshold.

“People can apply up to 30th of September on www.mywelfare.ie or by picking up application form from 24th of June in their local Intreo Centre. You can also get this form by texting ‘Form BTSCFA’ followed by your name and address to 51909, or by sending an email to BSCFA@welfare.ie.”

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019. Dependents aged between 18 and 22 years must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2019.

Minister Doherty said: “I was very pleased to secure €56 million in Budget 2019 for this year’s scheme.

“Many families can be under pressure with back to school costs and I would urge them to check their eligibility for this scheme. While the benefit will be automatically paid to almost 110,000 families in respect of approximately 200,000 children already registered with us, I would recommend others to check out the scheme to see if they are eligible.

“The income limits for this payment have been adjusted to ensure that the increases in social welfare payment rates introduced by Budget 2019 do not negatively impact on people’s entitlement to the allowance.”

The Department of Social Protection is also providing a dedicated phone bank that will be open to answer enquiries from Monday 24 June during business hours 9.00am to 5.00pm.  Anyone wishing to make enquiries about this scheme can contact LoCall 1890 66 22 44.

 

21 June 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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Kinsale needs a heritage strategy

Kinsale and its environs needs a heritage strategy to help make the most of its unique potential, Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has said.

Following the news that wreck of the Lusitania has been gifted to the Old Head of Kinsale Lusitania Museum Committee, Senator Lombard said: “The town of Kinsale is blessed with an incredibly rich cultural heritage.

Always strategically important, it has witnessed battles and events that have shaped the history of these islands and indeed the rest of the world.

“I was delighted by the generosity of Gregg Bemis in gifting the wreck of the Lusitania to the Old Head of Kinsale Lusitania Museum, and I want to thank him profusely. The sinking of the Lusitania was a defining moment of the first World War, the wreckage represents the incredible historical significance of the area and is an invaluable gift to our community.

“The Lusitania is just one example of the offerings of Kinsale, I believe the town and its environs needs an overarching heritage strategy to help us make the most of what the town has to offer.

“I intend to invite all local stakeholders to a public meeting to come together to create a unified vision for our heritage town.”

 

09 May 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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Carers in Cork to benefit from Support Grant

Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said that 12,685 carers in Cork will benefit from the Carer’s Support Grant.

“The Carer’s Support Grant is worth €1,700 and is available to all carers providing full-time care to an older person or a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions.

“Furthermore, carers who are providing care for two or more people will receive a grant in respect of each person being cared for, to take account of the additional costs and challenges of providing care to more than one person.

“My colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, TD, has allocated €218 million for the Carer’s Support Grant this year which will benefit some 116,000 carers nationally and 12,685 locally here in Cork.”

The Carer’s Support Grant is paid automatically to carers who are receiving Carer’s Allowance (whether full rate or half rate), Carer’s Benefit, or Domiciliary Care Allowance. Other full-time carers who are not receiving any of these payments may also apply for the Carer’s Support Grant.

Senator Lombard continued: “Another very positive development for carers in recent years is the funding provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, as part of the Dormant Accounts Action Plans, to support training for carers.

“Under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2018 in excess of €1.7m has been allocated to 12 projects across the country which will provide training, information and related support services for family carers.

“The purpose of this measure is to assist carers to provide the best care possible to the care recipient, to reduce the risk of injury to the carer and care recipient and, to help family carers cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of their role.

“Carers do such valuable work and are a huge benefit to our society. I urge carers in Cork to apply for the Carer’s Support Grant to make life a little easier. It is not means-tested and is assessed on the level of care being provided by the carer. The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2019 Grant is 31 December next year (31 December 2020).”

 

10 June 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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€151,782 for South-West Cork harbour projects

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has confirmed that South-West Cork is set to benefit from €151,782 funding for pier and harbour projects. The significant allocation will help Cork County Council to carry out developments on the following projects:

  • Baltimore Harbour; €14,344 for new power supply facilities, and €22,500 to provide adequate waste oil collection facility and other waste collection facilities on quay side
  • Kinsale Harbour; €14,344 for new power supply facilities, and €22,500 to provide adequate waste oil collection facility and other waste collection facilities on quay side
  • Union Hall Harbour; €14,344 for new power supply facilities
  • Crookhaven; €30,000 for upgrade works to existing pier and slipway
  • Snave Pier, Ballylickey; €33,750 to reconstruct section of existing slipway, steps, repairs & install hand rail

Senator Lombard said: “The Cork County Council owned harbours in receipt of funding under this year’s programme play a critical role in the social and economic wellbeing of rural coastal communities.

“In addition to an immediate employment spin off during the works, this funding contributes to the ongoing development of fishing related activities, increasing participation in marine leisure and supplementing measures to attract greater numbers of tourists which ultimately create the environment for sustainable job creation opportunities in rural locations”

The Local Authority programme forms part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marines’ 2019 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, whereby the Department co-funds up to 75% of the total cost of approved projects with the Local Authority providing the balance.

 

02 April 21019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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€20 million Sláintecare Integration Fund

Fine Gael Senator for Cork South West, Tim Lombard, has said that the publication of the €20 million Sláintecare Integration Fund will support the delivery of community healthcare in Cork.

The Fund will be open to applications from both the public and voluntary sectors and will focus on testing new models of care with a focus on community care. Successful applications will facilitate a shift in care to the community or provide measures to help people avoid hospital.

Senator Lombard said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for our local Cork health and social care sectors to pitch their ideas to Slaintecare. The Integration Fund is looking for initiatives that help support us in meeting our ultimate goal of reducing waiting lists and reducing waiting times.

“The entirety of the €20m Integration Fund has to be spent in 2019, and I would encourage local interested parties to check out the guide to the application process on the Department of Health website – to demonstrate leadership and help realise the aims of Sláintecare implementation.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Sláintecare is our ten year cross party plan to significantly improve and modernise the health service. However, we certainly don’t think we have a monopoly on good ideas, and we now want to hear directly from health and social care providers on how we can better provide care in the community.

“Through this €20m Integration Fund, we can put good ideas into action and share best practice to help care for people closer to home and keep them out of hospital.”

Minister for Health, Simon Harris said: “Sláintecare will reform Ireland’s health and social care service to create a modern, responsive service that offers the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Central to this is our goal to shift the majority of care from the acute to the community setting in order to bring care closer to home for service users.

“Today, we are asking those within the health and social care sector at large to pitch their ideas to help deliver this Sláintecare goal. Finding, supporting and scaling innovative new ways of providing care is fundamental to delivering Sláintecare,” the Fine Gael Minister said.

Applications are to be submitted via email to PitchToSláintecare@health.gov.ie.

 

02 April 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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58 public car charging points now operational in Cork

The transition to Electric vehicles (EVs) is being made easier thanks to a range of Government supports, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

​Cork Senator Tim Lombard said, “For a country of our size, we have one of the more comprehensive charge point networks currently in place across Europe.

“The latest numbers for Cork show we have 58 standard charge points and 7 fast chargers.

“The majority of the existing network of publicly accessible charge points was rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme. A real-time map showing the charge points, including the status and availability of the charge points, is available on the ESB’s website at www.esb.ie/ecars. The management of these charge points is an operational matter for the ESB.

“An electric vehicle home charger grant was introduced in early 2018 to assist homeowners install an electric vehicle charge point on their property.  This scheme will provide a grant up to the value of €600 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger unit. The scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

“This Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, in conjunction with the SEAI, is currently working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging.

“In May 2017, the Government approved and published the National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland 2017 to 2030. This policy framework sets an ambitious target that by 2030 all new cars and vans sold in Ireland will be zero emissions (or zero emissions capable).

“Electric vehicles offer an increasingly realistic solution to the challenge of reducing the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy in transport and reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.

“SEAI is also offering grants of up to €5,000 for a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) purchased and registered in Ireland,” the Fine Gael Senator said.

 

19 March 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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Lombard urges Cork businesses to apply for funding to save 30% on energy costs

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has urged Cork businesses to apply for funding to help them save 30% a year on energy costs.

The Cork Senator said that applications to the SEAI Excellence in Energy Efficient Design (EXEED) Scheme are now open. A fund of up to €6 million is available for projects delivering best practice in the design, construction and management of buildings for optimum energy efficiency.

Senator Lombard said: “5 Cork businesses saved a combined €255,861 on energy costs thanks to this scheme last year.

“Recognising increased potential and growing appetite for investment in this area, a total of €6m has been allocated funding for this programme this year – almost about double the value of the demand in last year’s scheme.

“Successful applicants will be currently in the design phase of planning capital projects for new or existing buildings.

“In order to qualify for a grant, participants must follow the SEAI EXEED standard and embed energy efficiency measures in the design of their projects.

“The grant is open to public and private organisations who are planning an investment project of any scale or complexity.

“Energy savings in excess of 30% are common and in addition to the energy and climate impacts, the SEAI EXEED certification will assist businesses to become more efficient, competitive and resilient.

“The government are committed to making Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. Minister Bruton is currently developing an all of government plan, which will have actions across all sectors according to strict timelines. Ensuring our built environment uses energy efficiently is critical to delivering on this ambition,” Senator Lombard said.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton said: “A huge range of bodies ranging from local GAA clubs to Data Centres and from hospitals to agribusiness have made savings of over 30% in their energy costs through the scheme.

“The certification it yields is a great selling point for climate aware leaders.”

The SEAI EXEED grant application process is now open. For further information on the scheme and details on how to apply visit https://www.seai.ie/energy-in-business/training-and-standards/exeed-certified-program/.

 

04 March 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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€214,555 for Cork youth clubs for 2019

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has confirmed that youth clubs in Cork are set to benefit from €214,555 in funding.

Senator Lombard said: “I am delighted that Cork will benefit from a new funding increase of 12% for the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme for 2019.

“The increased funding will bring the overall allocation for Cork up to €214,555 and will provide our small volunteer-led youth clubs with greater capacity to reach more young people in during 2019.

“The Local Youth Club Grant Scheme supports youth work activities at a local level by providing grant aid towards the cost of running clubs and groups and is part funded by the proceeds from the National Lottery.

“The primary focus of the scheme is to assist volunteer led youth clubs that provide a programme of youth work activities for young people.

“Clubs that work with young people but are not specifically providing youth work may also be eligible to apply under the scheme.”

Senator Lombard continued: “The scheme, which is open to new entrants, will be advertised locally and applications for funding will be invited by our Education and Training Board from local groups in their respective areas.

“Our ETB will be advertising the scheme on its website over the coming months.

“The impact of small clubs working on the ground here in Cork is huge, reaching practically every community in the country – and is deserving of Government support.

“Through their efforts young people in Cork are developing their talents, skills and experiences which will make them leaders of the future.

“This additional funding will mean a greater volume of volunteer-led youth activities over the next year. I encourage every volunteer club or group to check locally for application details and see how it can benefit their work.”

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, said: “The scheme is open to over 1,600 youth groups and clubs, with an estimated 90,000 club members around the country.

“In every part of the country which I have had the opportunity to visit, I have seen at first hand the important impact that youth clubs have on local communities and the lives of young people who attend these clubs.

“These clubs are providing adventure, activities and opportunities for our young people.”

 

04 March 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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Expanding An Garda Síochána services in West Cork

Last week Cork Senator Tim Lombard attended a number of community meetings during the tour of West Cork by Minister for Justice and Equality, and stated he was delighted by the community response but also the confirmation of increased An Garda Síochána services for the area.

Senator Lombard said: “My colleague, Minister Flanagan, confirmed on Friday 15th that the Ballinspittle Garda station will be re-opened in early July this year. This is great news for the local community; this Garda station was closed during the recession and for a number of years I have been campaigning for its reopening.

“Ballinspittle and the surrounding region includes a large coastline. Reopening this local Garda station will not only provide increased security and services for residents but also strengthen Ireland’s coastal boarder security.

“Additionally, it was confirmed that the Kinsale Garda station will be manned 24 hours, 7 days a week as of April 2019. This station services a wide hinterland and the increased hours will enable local Gardaí to be much more actively involved and visible in the area, providing increased emergency cover and security.

“These announcements are a sign of healthy regeneration of An Garda Síochána; over recent years the national numbers of Gardaí have built up sufficiently that we are now able to strengthen and enhance these vital services.”

 

18 February 2019

13th June 2019 Comments are off Alesha Clarke
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BEEP pilot will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves

Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has confirmed the new Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot will receive €20 million funding in 2019 and is encouraging all eligible Cork farmers to apply to funding.

The scheme will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves – measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow’s live weight.

Senator Lombard said: “Prior to the Budget I made continued representations to the Department on behalf of farmers and I am very pleased my Fine Gael colleague Minister Creed has responded and shown his understanding that this sector is under terrible financial pressure.

“Participating farmers will also get detailed feedback on the performance of individual animals and this will allow them to identify the most productive cows in their herd.

“Building on the success of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, the data collected will also be a valuable addition to Ireland’s already impressive cattle breeding database. Breeding improvement through the Economic Breeding Index is identifying the most efficient animals for grass based production system.

“I am very conscious that 2018 was a very difficult year for beef farmers in Cork, in terms of weather, fodder issues and market volatility. This is the sector most exposed to Brexit, given its reliance on the UK market.  The BEEP is designed to provide an injection of investment at a critical time for farmers navigating the challenges ahead, while delivering in real terms on our climate objectives.

“I would encourage all beef suckler herd owners in Cork to apply for the scheme, applications will be accepted by the Department of agriculture between 4 and 22 February 2019.”

Application forms are available on https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/beep/. The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot was announced in Budget 2019 as part of the €78m Brexit package for the agri-food industry. As well as clear environmental and climate benefits, the BEEP will provide farm gate investment at a time of market volatility and uncertainty relating to Brexit.

 

04 January 2019