Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
Local Improvement Scheme
84. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if consideration will be given to extending the local improvement scheme for the new areas of Cork city which were areas of Cork County and should not be disadvantaged as a result of boundary changes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43591/20]
The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas which are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities. The scheme is funded by my Department and is administered through the Local Authorities. It is a matter for each Local Authority to determine the roads for inclusion in the LIS in any given year, from within the allocation provided to it by my Department.
Since the LIS was re-launched in 2017, over €58 million has been allocated to 25 Local Authorities for improvements to qualifying roads under the scheme.
Local Authorities in Dublin and the City Councils in Cork and Galway have not been eligible for funding under the scheme. This is due to the nature of the scheme, which provides funding for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas and is typically linked to access to agricultural land. I have no plans at present to broaden access to the scheme to the City Councils.
However, given the particular circumstances of the recent boundary changes in Cork, if both Local Authorities in the county were agreeable to including areas affected by the boundary change in the scheme for Cork next year, it is open to them to submit a joint proposal to my Department for consideration.
Any such proposal would need to be made in the context the allocation being provided to the county as a whole, and without any additional funding requirement from my Department. Roads selected for inclusion in the scheme would, of course, have to meet the criteria for the scheme.
I will announce details of the county allocations under the LIS when the scheme is launched next year.