Increased expenditure approved for Fingal in 2022 budget
In order to keep pace with continued growth across the county, Fingal County Council has adopted a spending plan of around €300m for 2022 which will help deliver improved services and see support remain in place to help reenergise economic development in a post-Covid environment.
Agreed by Fingal’s Councillors, the €299.8m budget will enable the Council to continue to provide the high level of services that have come to be expected in Ireland’s youngest county.
The budget is an increase of around €13m from the previous year and means the equivalent of €1012 per head of population will be spent in a number of key areas such as roads, parks, housing and the environment. While it comes against a backdrop of ever-increasing demands for the wide array of services that the council delivers, there have been no rises made to commercial rates or Local Property Tax.
There is significant increases in the budget to help deliver a range of operational services across local communities, including road maintenance, traffic management, increased street cleaning, improvement works at parks and open spaces, as well as for projects as part of the Council’s efforts to encourage active travel. Some €1.2m has also been set aside to assist the recovery and development of the tourism sector in Fingal.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh said: “This is a very positive and well-balanced budget which will play an important role in Fingal’s ongoing economic recovery. It confirms that we are committed to undertaking the necessary steps to help progress the best possible outcomes from our citizens and that we can continue to encourage business development opportunities.
“In doing so, we have once again been able to increase the services and support available for the people of Fingal, something which is testament to the excellent work of the Council’s leadership team and its staff. They have been at the frontline of our efforts to deliver our key priorities in order to make Fingal a great place in which to live, work and invest.”
Welcoming the increased budget, Fingal County Council Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly said: “In bringing this budget to Council we wanted to ensure that we would not only be able to enhance the services we provide, but also be in a position to deliver several new initiatives that will benefit and support our communities.
“I am particularly grateful for the high level of engagement afforded to us by the Elected Members across the year as we kept them updated on the strategic issues we have faced and as we looked to shape our vision for the future.
“We have a great opportunity to enhance the quality of life for our citizens and also improve the way we deliver our services to meet their changing needs. A budget of nearly €300m goes some way to helping support our local businesses and ensures that we can provide our towns and communities across the county the right environment to thrive.”
Investment in housing and building once again makes up the largest allocation of funding, accounting for about 30 per cent of the overall budget. The Council’s social housing stock is increasing annually due to additional properties provided under the housing delivery pipeline – it will manage in excess of 6,200 homes in 2022 and there is significant provision (€12m) made for funding the maintenance and improvement of the local authorities housing units across the year. Around €2.5m has also been budgeted to tackle homelessness as part of the council’s commitment to the work undertaken by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.
The budget includes allocations to the following key areas:
- €89.1m - Housing & Building
- €32.7m - Road Transport & Safety
- €19.4m - Water Services
- €24.9m - Development Management
- €49.4m - Environmental Services
- €52.3m - Recreation & Amenity
- €1.5m - Agriculture, Education, Health & Welfare
- €30.4m - Miscellaneous Services
While there was a reduced number of events held in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions, funding allocated for 2022 will allow Fingal to host several key events which had been postponed or cancelled throughout the pandemic and means it will be able to further develop its culture and arts programme. That will see the highly popular Flavours of Fingal return in July 2022 and see further steps taken to develop key projects such as the Swords Cultural Quarter. These is also more funding available for heritage properties.
There are also further commitments made to caring for the environment, with investment into air quality, noise pollution, biodiversity initiatives, cycling schemes, and improvements to green spaces. Climate action is increasingly being integrated into the Council’s policies and plans, including a growing fleet of fully electric vehicles, LED streetlighting and other energy efficiencies.
The Budget comes on the back of Fingal’s three-year, €784m capital spending plan which was presented to Councillors in October. Money from the programme will be spread to approximately 230 projects across the County.