Thursday, 14 October 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
13. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development her level of engagement with Cork County Council in meeting its demands on delivery of upgrades works on rural roads and laneways due to increased funding to €21 million in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50106/21]
The Local Improvement Scheme (or LIS) supports the improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not normally maintained by local authorities. It makes an important contribution to connectivity in rural Ireland. Cork County Council has secured over €6 million in funding since the Scheme was re-established in 2017.
I launched the 2021 Scheme in May with funding of €10.5 million. The allocation to each Local Authority was based on the physical area of each county. Cork, as the largest county, was allocated €920,000. This was the maximum level of funding available to any individual county.
In July, I was pleased to be able to allocate an additional €10.5m under the Scheme, bringing 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 Cork County Council, to establish the number of road projects they could complete by year-end and the associated level of funding required to deliver these before the end of the year. Each Local Authority received 70% of what they indicated they had the capacity to deliver before the end of the year. On this basis, Cork County Council secured some €493,000 under this second tranche, bringing their total funding in 2021 to over €1.4 million.
The approach to allocating funding to each County in 2022, including County Cork, will be reviewed in advance of the launch of the scheme next year.