Clare County Council has announced an additional €1.1m investment in service delivery and tourism, business and community development projects around the county during 2015.
The announcement follows the publication of the Local Authority’s unaudited Annual Financial Statement (AFS) for 2014 which shows that the Council ended the year with a €611k surplus on a total revenue expenditure of circa €105m.
Clare County Council billed a total of €42.4m in commercial rates in 2014, which represents approximately 40.4% of Clare County Council’s revenue expenditure in the year. The council collected €40.9m in rates in the year.
Announcing the unaudited AFS for 2014 at its May Monthly Meeting last evening (Monday), Clare County Council also confirmed additional allocations in 2014 to the Municipal Districts (€400,000), Shannon Area (€100,000), proposed acquisition by the Council of Holy Island on Lough Derg (€100,000), a Visitor Services facility at Doolin Pier (€100,000), Library and Museum Development (€100,000), and Kilrush’s participation in the 2015 International Entente Florale competition (€50,000).
Provision has also been made for Public Light improvements (€100,000), Public Area enhancements (€100,000) and playgrounds throughout the County (€50,000).
Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council has welcomed the overall positive result being reported in this unaudited AFS for 2014.
“Taking into consideration the fiscal challenges faced by the Council in the years since the economic downturn, this result has arisen from effective budget management of both expenditure and income throughout the organisation. I particularly welcome the significant progress being made in relation to the collection of billed commercial rates which bodes well for the future financial operation of the Council, while it also demonstrates the recovering that is ongoing in the local economy,” he stated.
Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council commented: “During the past five years, the Council’s cumulative operating debit balance, which stood at €1.77m at the start of 2009, has been reduced to €800,000 at the end of 2014. This reduction in the cumulative deficit in a period of reduced funding and uncertain economic circumstances is a positive development and will have lasting implications for the delivery of services and investment in business and community development projects throughout Clare.”
He continued: “The achievement of a positive result last year took place in the context of a number of significant changes brought about as a result of the Local Government Reform Act 2014. They include the abolition of Town Councils, changes to the budgeting process, the creation of new structures such as the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and Municipal Districts, the commencement of operations of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and the commencement of the operation of water services on behalf of Irish Water under a Service Level Agreement.”
“I wish to acknowledge the commitment of Council staff and the support of the Council Members for achieving this positive result,” added Mr. Coughlan.