Monday, 15 July 2019
COUNCIL PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2018
Kerry County Council has today published its annual report for 2018. The report is a comprehensive record of the work and achievements of the local authority during last year and sets out the infrastructural improvements, service delivery and investment in projects and initiatives achieved in the year against the backdrop of a €225m spend in capital and revenue expenditure.
During 2018, there was significant investment in essential infrastructure including, for example, an increased investment of €53m in the county’s roads network, the continuing rollout of a €62m housing programme, and the opening of a new €30m water treatment plant at Lough Guitane which provides clean drinking water to approximately half of the population of the county as well as the many visitors to Kerry.
Across the Municipal Districts, there was ongoing focus on the delivery of enhanced local services and supports with significant investment in community groups and projects through the Community Support Fund and other funding streams. There was also a sustained focus on the development of enterprise and tourism through a range of measures and investments.
Launching the report at County Buildings today, the Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Niall Kelleher said that during 2018, there was a strong and continued commitment on the part of the local authority to improve the quality of life of the people of the county by investing in infrastructure, services and facilities across Kerry.
‘The range of facilities and services provided by Kerry County Council across the county is considerable and the council continued throughout 2018 to ensure that our citizens receive an efficient, trustworthy and reliable service in a cost-effective manner.
‘The success and vibrancy of our communities was epitomised in the wonderful triumph for Listowel in being named Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2018, which was one of the year’s outstanding highlights. This honour is representative of what is being achieved by so many voluntary organisations in enhancing their localities with the strong support of the local authority,’ said Cllr Kelleher.
The Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell said throughout 2018, there was ongoing collaboration with the council’s strategic partners in promoting Kerry as a place to invest and do business and in which to create and support jobs and foster enterprise as the council continued to expand its economic development role.
‘Housing continued to be a priority with advances in construction through the rollout of the Rebuilding Ireland programme, the upgrading and maintenance of our existing housing stock and additional units provided in conjunction with approved housing bodies. The council also worked to improve our environment, water quality and public amenities including libraries, playgrounds, cultural facilities and public parks and beaches.
‘In tourism, there was major progress on implementation of our Tourism Strategy and Action Plan and sustained development of the tourism product at a time of growth in the tourist industry nationally. There was also a strong emphasis on enterprise and economic development,’ she said.
‘As Chief Excutive of the council, I wish to sincerely thank the staff of the organisation – those based in Áras an Chontae, our Municipal District offices, our local Area Offices and our outdoor staff in every part of the county. Their dedication and professionalism exemplify the important public service provided by the local authority,’ she added.
Some of the highlights and achievements for 2018 include:
- €1/4bn expenditure in the county
- 75% of motor tax transactions dealt with online
- 61,743 payments made to suppliers
ECONOMIC, TOURISM AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
- €530,000 investment in 30 projects by Local Enterprise Office
- 1,305 planning permission applications received
- €760,000 funding for projects under Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme
- 273 actions in Tourism Strategy on which progress was made
- €750,000 grants to community projects through Community Support Fund
- €460,000 support for artists, arts projects and festivals
- 3m visitors to Kerry in 2018
HOUSING AND SOCIAL SUPPORT
- €62m housing programme rollout
- 4,321 housing maintenance requests received; 96% of requests completed by year end
- €2.84m spent on housing adaptations for the elderly and people with disabilities
- 201 new social housing units commenced/completed
ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
- €53m investment in the county’s road network
- Maintenance of 4,881km of national, regional and local road in Kerry
- €36.8m investment in flood relief schemes
- 395 investigations by roads enforcement unit
- 153 burial grounds and 59 piers maintained
- 135 staff deployed as part of severe weather response
WATER, ENVIRONMENT, FIRE AND LIBRARY SERVICES
- €30m investment in new water treatment plan at Lough Guitane
- 2,026 tonnes of recyclables received by council recycling facilities
- 45,315 tests carried out by council laboratory
- 1,018 incidents attended by Kerry Fire Service
- 84 events attended by Civil Defence volunteers
- 451,055 individual visits to Kerry’s nine library branches