Council approves over €211 million in expansionary budget for the county in 2021
Elected Members for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council voted to adopt Budget 2021 which provides for over €211 million in expenditure on critical service provision, an increase of almost €19 million on 2020.
The annual revenue Budget provides funding for a very broad range of services from road, cycle lane and foot path maintenance, energy efficient streetlighting, enhancing our parklands, sports and community facilities, developing biodiversity and heritage initiatives as well as providing grants for local businesses. The budget also provides for the maintenance and repair of the Council’s assets including its houses, corporate buildings, parks and Dún Laoghaire Harbour.
The Council provides over 700 different services to the residents, businesses and visitors in our county. In preparing the dlr Annual Budget, we must consider, hand in hand with our statutory obligations, our delivery of the Councils corporate objectives and balance the varied needs of everyone in our area. This is an in-depth process, involving many months of consideration due to the amount of services areas that the Council are involved in.
The emergence of Covid-19 earlier this year had an immediate and very detrimental impact on the Councils finances with a significant reduction in several income streams, together with an increase in COVID 19 related expenditure.
The Council is obliged to adopt a balanced budget each year. If the rate of Local Property Tax was to remain unchanged from previous years it would have been necessary to implement a wide range of significant cuts to services in 2021, as a direct result of Covid-19.
The Council met in September to consider whether to vary the basic rate of Local Property Tax. In previous years it was reduced by 15%. As there was no decision to vary the basic rate for 2021 it reverted to the basic rate by default. As a result of the Local Property Tax reverting to the basic rate €7.8m of additional income will be available to the Council in 2021.
With this additional funding not only will it be possible to maintain the same level of services in 2021, but there are also several new initiatives included in the budget including the provision of additional bins and benches, beach accessibility works, new ladders and improved access at 40 Foot, additional business supports, extra tree planting and maintenance, summer camps for children with special needs, a cycle training programme for people with disabilities, cycleway cleaning and grants for high security locks for the elderly and grants for residents associations to provide additional planting, benches and wilding and a new dlr Beta Project. These new initiatives were selected because they will improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors to dlr by creating a more attractive and vibrant county.
Speaking of the adoption of the Budget 2021, An Cathaoirleach Cllr Una Power commented " This budget allows the Council to maintain and expand on its services to the citizens in every part of our county. It will protect the service level we have and allows for the development of innovative methods of delivering on our goals.
The continued improvement of liveable space in our in towns, villages, parks and seashore area, grants to help local business to adapt and thrive, community development, further development of sustainable transport solutions will be of benefit to people living and working here, while local climate action initiatives and biodiversity enhancement will be of benefit to our environment in general.
The adoption of this Budget shows that this Council continues to adheres to its values and is ambitious in delivering on its goals of providing forward looking, high quality public service for all."
The Council is committing specific budgetary provision across a range of service delivery areas to ensure that our county continues through 2021 to be attractive, inclusive and accessible to all
For reference to the figures debated by Councillors please see the draft Annual Budget 2021, click here. This will be superseded shortly by a finalised Adopted Budget Book 2021 with any amendments made on the night included.