Limerick City and County Council’s elected members have today voted in favour of a balanced annual budget for 2024. The budget, which does not include a commercial rate increase, is being delivered to fund growth and expand Council services.
- Housing: Increased resources for maintenance, boiler servicing, and homeless provision.
- Local and Regional Roads: Augmented budget to meet additional service demands.
- Town Centre First Policy: Additional resources for projects and focus on Rathkeale town.
- Enhanced Public Services: New mini street sweepers for rural districts and a city centre public realm maintenance team.
- Horticulture: Increased budget for staff resources and grass cutting.
The draft Annual Budget for 2024, totalling €1.4bn, underscores the commitment to maintaining service levels from the previous year while focusing on critical areas to stimulate economic growth.
The total estimated expenditure included in the Revenue Budget for 2024 amounts to €943million, an increase of €37million on the adopted figure for 2023.
The majority of the budget €694 million (74%) is for HAP Shared Services, which Limerick runs on behalf of the 31 local authorities, with the remaining €249 million allocated to day-to-day services for the citizens of Limerick.
The total estimated expenditure from the Capital Budget for 2024 amounts to €460million, with key areas to include housing, roads, flood relief and economic development.
The amount allocated to day-to-day services reflects an increase of €18million to maintain services at current levels while also enhancing resources in key priority areas. These key priority areas will bring focus on local service improvement with the aim to stimulate local economic boosts.
Housing grants totalling €6.6million (an increase of €1.5million) will provide critical assistance to people in need to help them remain living in their own homes. These grants include housing adaptation grants for people with disability, mobility aids grant, housing aid for older people grant and disabled person grant.
A key challenge is the ongoing inflationary pressures on all our services but particularly in the areas of housing maintenance, street-cleaning, grass cutting and roads maintenance.
There are no increases proposed to parking charges, cemetery charges, housing rents, planning fees, fire charges or fees at the recycling centres.
Expansion of services
There will also be an increase in several budget areas that are subject to high demand including housing maintenance, homeless provision, estate management, street cleaning, grass cutting and our Local and Regional Roads.
The demand for enhanced public realm and outdoor amenities has grown sharply in recent years, alongside a population, and increased provision has been made to maintain these areas, which has the dual benefit of responding to the demand of residents but also supports business through increased footfall in the towns and villages across the county.
Examples of which are new mini street sweepers for rural municipal districts, a city centre public realm maintenance team and additional resources for projects and additional focus on Rathkeale town by delivering on the Town Centre First Policy.
With a proposed change in the governance of this Local Authority in 2024, with the introduction of the Directly Elected Mayor, provision has been included in the budget to assist the Directly Elected Mayor in the implementation of their program.
Limerick City and County Council provides over 700 different services to the residents, businesses and visitors in the city and county, while continuing to work towards our 2030 Climate change targets and to meet the objectives of the Climate Action plan and the Water framework directive.
Budgets for the key areas include:
- Housing Maintenance, Traveller accommodation and Estate Management - €15.6m (Increased budget of €1.7m from 2023)
- Rental Accommodation Scheme/ Leasing – €27m (Increased budget of Increased budget of €3.2m from 2023)
- Local and Regional, Primary and Secondary Roads, Public Lighting and Road Safety - €42.4m (Increased budget of €3.4m from 2023)
- Limerick Fire & Rescue Service - €21.8m (Increased budget of €3m from 2023)
- Street Cleaning - €6.4m (Increased budget of €0.8m from 2023)
- Grass Cutting/ Trees and Horticulture, Maintenance of Parks - €5m (Increased budget of €0.8m from 2023)
- Festival and Events - €1.35m (Increased budget of €0.42m from 2023)
The following schemes operated by Limerick City and County Council to support businesses are being retained:
- Small and Medium Business Support Scheme
- Vacant Property Allowance Scheme
- Business and Retail Incentive Scheme
Mayor Gerald Mitchell added:
“I welcome today’s balanced budget and I wish to thank both the management and staff at Limerick City and County Council for all their efforts this year. The elected members have once more agreed a budget which, for the people of Limerick will see existing services protected, allowances for expansion of amenities and will no doubt strengthen the city and county’s strong foundations for future growth”
Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council added:
“The Annual Budget for 2024 has been prepared in the context of no commercial rate increase and maintaining the service provision at the same levels as 2023 while also enhancing resources in key priority areas identified through engagement with Councillors. Key priority areas will bring focus on local service improvement with the aim to stimulate a positive economic boost”
“The demand for services across Limerick continues to grow and this is matched by an increase in public expectation. The Budget 2024, which has benefitted from very significant feedback from the elected members in the Budget process, has committed to maintain and in some cases enhance service delivery. We look forward to 2024 with optimism and excitement for what is to come for Limerick.”
You can view the adopted budget (later today, once officially updated) here.