Thursday, January 24th 2013
Local Improvement Schemes may be reopened by councils – Griffin
Kerry Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin, has received confirmation from the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, that local authorities will be allowed to reopen the Local Improvement Scheme this year. Deputy Griffin raised the issue in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister.
“I welcome this confirmation from the Minister that the Local Improvement Scheme, which provides funding for private roads, can be reopened by local authorities. The scheme was suspended due to budgetary constraints.
“Under the new arrangement, local authorities may use up to 7% of their Discretionary Grant towards local improvement schemes, should they wish to do so. The local contribution for these schemes has been increased to 20% of the total cost of the project.
This means that some people who had been close to the top of the list when the scheme was suspended in 2011 may now be able to get their roads improved, subject to approval from their local authority.”
Brendan Griffin TD
Note to Editors:
Please see below the Parliamentary Question issued and response received by Deputy Griffin:
Dáil Question No: 700
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he envisages the re-introduction of the local improvement scheme at the very least to clear the roads that were on the list prior to its suspension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Brendan Griffin. *
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 22nd January, 2013.
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar
The Local Improvements Scheme provided funding for private roads. However, the maintenance and improvement of these roads is, in the first instance, a matter for the relevant landowner.
Given that the priority in using scarce resources in the current difficult economic climate is to maintain public roads it was not possible to continue to assist with works on such roads and the scheme was suspended in 2012. It should be noted that it continues to be open to local authorities to operate the scheme or a similar scheme from their own resources.
I am currently in the process of approving the regional and local roads grants for 2013 and I can confirm that the Local Improvement Scheme will be reinstated for 2013. However there will be no separate allocation for this grant category. Under the new arrangements local authorities may use up to 7% of their Discretionary Grant towards local improvement schemes should they wish to do so. The local contribution for these schemes has been increased to 20% of the total cost of the project. Apart from this amendment the same eligibility rules apply for these schemes.
Details of the 2013 regional and local roads grants, which will include details of this, will be communicated to local authorities in the coming weeks