Grants Allocation to Council

February 6th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Question No. 309

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Oidhreachta agus Rialtais Áitiúil:

To the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will meet a delegation comprising of Houses of the Oireachtas Members, the mayor of Clare, councillors and council officials to discuss the general purpose grants allocations to Clare County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 6th February, 2008.

Ref No: 3913/08

REPLY

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley):

I am providing some €999.2m in general purpose grants from the Local Government Fund to local authorities for 2008. These grants are my contribution to local authorities to meet the difference between the cost to them of providing an acceptable level of day to day services and the income available to them from local sources and from specific grants. The amount being made available for general purpose grants this year represents an increase of some €51.5m, or 5.4%, over the amount provided for 2007 and continues the trend of providing additional general purpose funding to local authorities.

Clare County Council’s general purpose allocation for 2008 is €16,476,569, an increase of 5.13% over the 2007 allocation. General purpose grants to Clare County Council have increased by some 460% since 1997 which is more than twice the average increase to local authorities over that period.

In addition, Local Government Funding of €23.4m has been made available this year to assist local authorities with the operational costs of newer water and waste water treatment infrastructure. Relevant expenditure by Clare County Council will be taken into account in the determination of the 2008 allocations.

In summary, and recognising that the Council has recently agreed its budget for 2008, I am satisfied that the funding available to it from all sources, including general purpose grants, will enable it to provide an acceptable level of services to all its customers. In the circumstances, while no useful purpose would be served by meeting the proposed delegation in the context of the 2008 general purpose grant allocations, I will take an opportunity to meet with the Council as part of a programme of visits to local authorities during the year.