Budget for 2017 is adopted with council prepared to spend €227m

By Mary Dennehy

SOUTH Dublin County Council has adopted its Budget for 2017, despite the issue of housing splitting councillors during the vote last Thursday. On November 3, the council adopted its annual Budget 2017, which provides for a total expenditure of €227,992,900.

While the allocations and provisions still have to be implemented, Budget 2017 signals a time of growth for South Dublin County Council, a growth which hopefully will be reflected on the ground, in communities, and in the homes, businesses and services that call South County Dublin home.

SDCC Budget 2017 2

For the past 18 months, the council has been recruiting, with around 140 staff being added to the organisation across all staff grades – and with 65 vacancies remaining.

According to the Budget, this return to recruitment and national pay awards has increased revenue and capital payroll by €5m for the period 2015 to 2017, including an additional €1.5m for the year ahead.

Once again, it’s important that these recruitments are felt on the ground and in the provision and support of frontline services, with the Budget ringfencing €200,000 to fund 15 additional seasonal workers and €250,000 provided to fund a third, full-time tree-pruning crew.

SDCC Budget 2017 4

An investment in council resources must be an investment in the people and communities it serves, and that investment must be reflected and felt across the county.

Housing and Building has received the largest allocation, with the local authority stating that a budget increase of €2,596,000 is a “measure of the crisis [they] are endeavouring to manage”.

According to the council, next year will see the commencement of a number of infill schemes and the completion of rapid-build units, with the council also continuing to roll out the HAP programme, which houses around 20 applicants a week, and investing €14,222,200 into the maintenance of its existing housing stock of 9,195.

However, Nicky Coules, Tallaght People Before Profit councillor, told The Echo how his party members on the council rejected the Budget to “force a crisis” and put pressure on Housing Minister, Simon Coveney TD, to provide adequate funding for local authority builds.

The AAA councillors also voted against the Budget as, according to Councillor Mick Murphy: “There has been little or no progress on this issue since the Minister met the council in June and we argued that the council should not agree a budget as it is one of the few ways we can make a stand and highlight the complete lack of progress on housing provision.

“We also have an on-going issue where 11 per cent of the budget is made up of the property tax, but with no additional services to show for this tax.”

SDCC Budget 2017 3

Economic development, tourism and business is also high on the local authorities list, with a further €1m allocated in this budget to help fund a number of innovative tourism attractions, with funding also earmarked for a new outdoor sport and recreation festival called Gaelforce East.

The council also places an emphasis on citizen engagement, with a new discretionary fund of €300,000 provided for community engagement at local electoral area level, while a Traveller Specific Participatory Budgeting Scheme will be funded with €38,000 from councillors’ expenses fund.

Secured by Clondalkin Sinn Féin councillor Mark Ward, the pilot Traveller participatory budgeting scheme is the first of its type in the country, and will see members of the Travelling community directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

In recent years, cutbacks have impacted on many communities across South Dublin County and the services and facilities that work to make life better.

A focus in this budget on the health and wellbeing of citizens is therefore welcome, with the council building on its support to library services, sports, recreation and community provisions – a positive and pro-active approach to community development.

Read the budget at www.sdcc.ie.

Prev Calls to eradicate invasive Japanese knotweed species
Next Crumlin United with Carzone sponsorship deal
  • Bus with no passengers or driver ends up in bush in Square Shopping Centre
  • Isaac from Kilnamanagh was presented with a Garda hat from the Community Policing Unit in Tallaght
  • Ducks spotted skating in Tymon Park
  • Exchange Hall fire
  • Thanks for all of your support this year

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.