Council commits to €183m spend on services in the county
At its Budget meeting this evening, the elected members of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council adopted Budget 2019, signalling expenditure of €183.8m, compared to €176.8 in 2018. This budget marks the increased buoyancy and upturn in the market, with no increase in commercial rates, while housing rents and environmental and parking charges remain stable for the first time in a decade. An additional €830,000 has been made available for the provision of homeless services. The number of inspections carried out in the private rented sector will increase by 150% with a corresponding uplift in budget of €245,000
With the final year of the current Council drawing to a close, the uplift in development activity across the county has impacted positively on the 2019 Budget, with an increase in income of €2.4m from commercial rates, leading to more efficient service provision and a number of new initiatives. These include the roll out of electric charging points, village clean ups across the county and development of an anti-littering amnesty policy. The additional expenditure allows for enhanced service levels across a range of departments and services. Councillors acknowledged the budget’s strong people focus and noted the supports for people working and living in the county, and for those visiting its many beautiful places and attractions.
Welcoming the 2019 Budget, An Cathaoirleach, Councillor Ossian Smyth stated:
“The adoption of the Budget reflects the Council's commitment to shaping and promoting a smart vibrant county which is attractive, inclusive and accessible to all. The provision of €150,000 towards Climate Change initiatives and the promotion of environmental initiatives is critical for future generations. I am pleased to see a continued allocation towards the upkeep of our high quality public realm with ongoing improvements to our beaches and bathing areas, and the provision of disability access to an additional two bathing areas in the county. I am particularly happy that this Budget is pro-business; local businesses will see no increase in their commercial rates and we will be introducing initiatives to increase footfall, and funding assistance to update commercial premises for re-letting and tourism marketing.”
2018 saw the dissolution of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the transfer of the Harbour to the Council. While the transfer presents significant challenges for the Council, it is an unprecedented opportunity to bring the town and harbour together, and to develop a world-class marine leisure harbour which can be sustainable, attract visitors and offer new possibilities to the county.
dlr has been at the forefront of local government’s transformation agenda in recent years, leading out on Smart Dublin; the digitising of systems such as the Universal Grants Scheme, and in 2019, developing a new Tenant Portal, which will assist housing clients, from the moment they apply for housing.
“The new Civic Hub provides an exciting opportunity to lead on such initiatives,” CE Philomena Poole stated, “We place the citizen at the centre of our activities. In bringing our services into one space, there are now additional public opening hours, and the Civic Hub team will deal with all communications to ensure that everything is monitored to allow for improvements in service delivery, and emphasise our people focus. I am also pleased to note the incentives offered to local businesses in the area; providing opportunities for businesses to prosper and improving the quality of life generally”.
Some Budget 2019 highlights
• Universal Grants to aid Communities – €733,000. This represents an increase of €50,000 on 2018.
• An increase of €800,000 has been made available for the provision of homeless services
• The number of inspections carried out in the private rented sector will increase by 150% with a corresponding uplift in budget of €245,000
• Increased provision of 500K for road restoration programme and patching programme.
• Climate Change Initiatives - €150,000
• Tree Planting and Pruning - €200,000
• Village Clean-ups –€150,000
• Playgrounds - €80,000
• Roll-out of Electric Charging Points
• Columbarium Wall - €110,000
• Anti-Littering Amnesty – €30,000
• Removal of Leaves – €15,000
• Uplighting – €25,000
• Weed-removal – €44,000
• Age Friendly Expo – €40,000