Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) supports the improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not normally maintained by local authorities and represents a vital piece of infrastructure for rural communities. As part of 'Our Rural Future',the Government is committed to ensuring that the Local Improvement Scheme is funded into the future. This reflects the important contribution which the scheme makes to connectivity in rural Ireland.
The scheme has been funded by my Department since 2017 and is administered by Local Authorities. Prior to 2017, the scheme was not funded for a number of years.
I launched the 2021 Scheme on 14th May with a budget of €10.5 million. I was very pleased to source additional funding for the Scheme during the year and to allocate a further round of funding on 29th July to bring the total level of funding to €21 million this year.
I was also pleased to be in a position to announce an increase in the provision for LIS from €10.5 million in 2021 to €11 million as part of Budget 2022.
Details of the 2022 Scheme will be announced in the new year.
183. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if the geographical size of County Cork will be taken into account when allocating funding for the local improvement scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53487/21]
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.
The allocation of funding under the Local Improvement Scheme in recent years has been based on the physical area of each county, with maximum and minimum amounts applied for any individual county. Cork receives the highest allocation of any county based on this methodology. For example, the 2021 Scheme was launched in May with funding of €10.5 million and Cork was allocated €920,000. This represented the maximum level of funding available to any individual county.
I should also clarify that this year I was able to allocate an additional €10.5m under the Scheme after the initial allocation was announced. This funding was provided on the understanding that it would be fully utilised by each Local Authority before the end of this year. As a result, it would not have been appropriate to allocate this additional funding without ascertaining what level of works could be delivered in each county before the end of the 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.