For Oral Answer on : 31/05/2022
Question Number(s): 16 Question Reference(s): 27388/22
Department: Rural and Community Development
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
* To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if there will be a further round of local improvement scheme funding in 2022; if her Department has received an update on whether the Department of Transport will match funding for the scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– David Stanton T.D.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 31 May, 2022.
The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) supports the improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not normally maintained by local authorities. As part of Our Rural Future, the Government is committed to ensuring that the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) is funded into the future. The scheme makes an important contribution to connectivity in rural Ireland.
The Scheme was reintroduced in 2017 following a number of years with no dedicated funding. Between 2017-2021, my Department has allocated €80 million towards improvement works on over 3,000 non-public roads and lanes benefiting over 13,300 landowners and residents in these rural areas.
I was pleased, as part of Budget 2022, to announce an increase in the base funding for LIS from €10.5 million to €11 million this year. I announced details of the 2022 Local Improvement Scheme in early April and approvals have now issued for works to commence in all but one Local Authority.
Last year, I was in a position to double the initial LIS allocation to €21 million following the identification of savings in other capital areas. This year, I am continuing to closely monitor expenditure patterns. Should savings emerge, I will give consideration to again allocating additional funding to the scheme.
Finally, my colleague, Eamon Ryan, T.D., Minister for Transport has confirmed that his Department is not in a position to allocate funding to upgrade LIS roads at this time. The Minister has indicated his priority remains on the maintenance and renewal of the public regional and local road network and that funding allocations have been made for this year. I will, however, continue to explore the potential for further financial support for LIS from his Department.