Elected Members for South Dublin County Council have voted to adopt Budget 2022 which provides for approximately €282 million in expenditure on service provision, an increase of over 5% on the 2021 budget. Against the backdrop of the ongoing economic challenges posed by COVID-19, elected members of South Dublin County Council have voted to increase spending to ensure the Council continues to provide high level of services throughout the County.
The Draft Budget for 2022 provides for a total expenditure of €281,713,700 and anticipates income of €136,463,500 from a range of services and sources including rents, fees, charges, loan repayments, grants and recoupments. The balance totalling €145,250,200 will be funded from a combination of commercial rates and local property tax.
Specific budgetary provisions are:
Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development
Our Capital Programme is the main driver of our economic development programme. Where possible we take opportunities to raise additional supports through the revenue budget. This year the Council will continue to provide for the Dublin Mountains Project, the Tallaght Innovation Centre, various Greenway projects, the expansion of Grange Castle and the Business Support Programme:
- The continuation of the €1,000,000 Business Support Fund,
- €1,000,000 has been allocated for feasibility and design work associated with the proposed Tallaght Heritage Centre,
- Grange Castle remains positioned for high levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and indigenous investment of scale with the substantial completion of the access road and associated utility corridor by end 2021 to serve future clients at Grange Castle West,
- The Local Enterprise Office will be expanding to €600,000 the level of grant support available to new and growing businesses through its Feasibility, Priming and Business Expansion Grants,
- The substantial renewal and upgrade of Lucan Village Centre will go to planning before the year end as part of the “Destination Town” designation,
- Grant funding has been awarded for the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway and construction on this project will commence in early 2022.
A budget of €101,829,000 is allocated for housing services in 2022, representing an increase of €6,685,100 on the 2021 budget as our comprehensive build, purchase and leasing initiatives under the Capital Programme continue to meet and exceed targets. In the context of current operations, the following new and enhanced measures are in keeping with our intention to enhance services where possible, on an ongoing basis:
- €5,729,800 for housing welfare services, estate/ tenancy management, housing stock insurance and addressing anti-social behaviour, with new funding for resilient places including streetscape enhancements and permeability works for school routes in Balgaddy (€250,000) and estate improvements in MacUilliam (€100,000),
- €15,889,500 on maintenance for over 10,000 homes – with €1,400,000 further funding for our planned maintenance programme, an additional €1,000,000 for re-let works and to support rightsizing transfers plus €20,000 funding for a tenant smart heating pilot initiative,
- €1,878,100 for Traveller Accommodation maintenance and supports including €50,000 new funding for Traveller-led initiatives,
- €3,414,300 based on anticipated 2022 funding allocations from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH), for housing grants for adaptations, mobility aids and essential repairs for disabled, older and other persons,
- €300,000 has been provided for estate road improvements,
- €9,305,500 to support the housing strategy, the housing construction programme, Part V and other housing delivery.
Recreation, Amenity and Community Development
The development of social infrastructure in the interests of community integration, health and wellbeing and quality of life is central to our approach to community development. We have made good progress in this regard and aim to build on that, with the following additional and enhanced initiatives:
- Improvement works are on site in Templeogue Village and will be completed in early 2022. Design and planning work for Lucan Village, Weir Side and Demesne entrance are currently underway with a plan to progress delivery on-site in 2022. Designs for an improvement within Clondalkin Village will commence in 2022,
- €2,192,800 for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme,
- €1m has been provided to progress new community centres in Newcastle and City West
- €650,000 has been provided to cover the full cost of the development of a linear walk along Whitestown Stream in Tallaght
- €500,000 has been provided to implement plans for St. Cuthbert’s Park in Clondalkin,
- A provision of €546,500 has been included for social inclusion initiatives. In addition, new provisions have been made for specific initiatives including €50,000 to equip the Clondalkin Age Friendly Centre, an additional €50,000 for traveller supports, €50,000 to undertake an accessible disabled parking audit and €250,000 as part of the Healthy Communities Initiative to be undertaken in conjunction with the HSE,
- An additional €500,000 has been provided to support the continued roll out of our pitch strategy. The next all-weather pitch will be developed in the east of the county, with a site selection process to be completed by year end. This is in addition to the new Airlie Park pitches that will be available from next summer.
A key priority of Elected Members is the retention and expansion, where possible, of frontline day to day services. A number of service areas have been allocated additional resources including:
An additional €429,000 to cover the cost of twenty seasonal workers to assist with litter management, grass cutting and a specific provision of €100,000 to deal with graffiti and back lanes
Pitch and playground maintenance is increased by €200,000
The Fire Services budget increases by €912,000
Tree management will again receive an extra €500,000 additional to the annual maintenance budget, to accelerate delivery on our “Living with Trees” programme,
Grass cutting has been increased by €412,000,
Library operations expenditure has been increased by €339,000 as additional support to our recently opened libraries.
Presenting the budget, Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council, said, “The Budget as presented is positive and makes best use of available resources, while mindful of ongoing challenges. It is vitally important to make a real difference in supporting communities, while advancing the development of the County. This budget seeks to achieve this in a balanced way.”