Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
88. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she will provide clarity in relation to local improvement schemes particularly in areas that were formally within the boundary limits of Cork County Council which now find themselves within the boundaries of Cork City Council which are no longer entitled to funding. [38620/21]
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. I launched the 2021 LIS on 14th May. I have also recently announced the allocation of an additional €10.5m for the scheme in 2021, bringing the total allocation to €21m.
Local Authorities in Dublin and the City Councils in Cork and Galway have not been eligible for funding under LIS. 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, I acknowledge that there were areas of Cork that were previously eligible under the Scheme but are not now eligible as a result of the recent boundary change. If both Local Authorities in the county were agreeable to including these areas affected by the boundary change as part of the scheme for Cork County, it is open to them to submit a joint proposal to my Department for consideration. I have indicated this previously.
Any such proposal would need to be made in the context of the existing allocation provided to the county, 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.