Thursday, 14 October 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
257. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which her Department has been in contact with Kildare County Council in respect of local improvement schemes; the number of applications on hand in the county at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50301/21]
As part of Our Rural Future,the Government is committed to the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), recognising the important contribution it makes to connectivity in rural Ireland. The Scheme supports the improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not normally maintained by Local Authorities and represent a vital piece of infrastructure for rural communities. The Scheme is administered at a local level by the relevant Local Authorities.
I launched the 2021 Scheme on 14th May with funding of €10.5 million. The allocation to each Local Authority was based on the physical area of each county. Kildare was allocated €270,000.
I was very pleased to source additional funding for the Scheme and allocated a second round of funding on 29th July to bring the total level of funding to €21 million this year. This funding was made available on the understanding that it would be fully utilised by each Local Authority before the end of this year.
My officials engaged directly with each Local Authority, including Kildare County Council, to establish the number of upgrades which could be completed by year-end and the associated level of funding required to deliver these projects. Each Local Authority received 70% of funding sought as this second call was oversubscribed.
Kildare County Council secured €225,586 in the second round of funding, bringing the total allocation for 2021 to €495,586. Kildare has now been provided with €1.3 million since the Scheme was reintroduced in 2017.
The administration of the LIS scheme is a matter for each Local Authority and they are best placed to advise on the number of eligible LIS applications on hand at any given point in time.