The elected members of Fingal County Council have passed the Council’s budget of €286m for 2021, an increase of €16.3m from last year.
According to the coucnil the budget, which is the equivalent of €966.78 per head of population, provides for increased expenditure in a number of key areas and also makes provision for possible adverse effects due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Council’s finances.
“I am glad that we have been able to pass a strong budget that responds to the circumstances we find ourselves in,” the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr David Healy said.
“The Council’s prudent approach to financial management over the last number of years has put us in a position to massively restructure the Council’s operations in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we prepare for the uncertainty of 2021, we have adopted a budget which will ensure our services are maintained and improved and which will enable us, responding to demand from our citizens, to provide new facilities and to carry out maintenance, particularly in active travel, in housing, and in parks and open spaces.”
There is no increase in rates in the 2021 Budget.
The Annual Rateable Valuation set in the 2020 Budget, following the periodic countrywide revaluation of rateable properties, resulted in a rates reduction for approximately 77% of ratepayers in Fingal and followed a period of zero nett commercial rates increases in the period 2010 to 2019.
In September, Councillors agreed, for the fourth successive year, to reduce the Local Property Tax by 10% rather than 15% and this has provided an extra €2m in each of the years to be allocated for services that directly improve the areas where citizens live.
“It is a significant amount of money and will mean that by the end of 2021 we will have spent an additional €8m, that we would not have had otherwise on improving the fabric of communities throughout Fingal.” said Fingal County Council Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly.
The €286m Budget can be broken down as follows:
- €80.22m – Housing and Building;
- €30.28m – Road Transport and Safety
- €18.92m – Water Services
- €22.21m – Development Management
- €47.53m – Environmental Protection
- €47.99m – Recreation and Amenity
- €1.34m – Agriculture, Education, Health and Welfare
- €37.87m – Miscellaneous Services
The Budget includes provision for a number of roles funded by the National Transport Authority to assist in the delivery of Active Travel infrastructure such as cycleways while there is also a strong commitment to further investment in the Climate Change Action Plan which was launched last year.
Budgetary provision has also been made for other projects across the county such as the Swords Cultural Quarter and there is also provision for a continued subvention for Draiocht in Blanchardstown. Other sums have been allocated to ensure ongoing maintenance of the housing stock and support non-Council owned Community Centres.
A copy of the draft 2021 Annual Budget can be viewed at https://www.fingal.ie/sites/default/files/2020-11/draft-annual-budget-2021.pdf