To date, no local authority in Ireland has drawn down its 2019 funding allocation under the Local Improvements Scheme (LIS).

This was the information that emerged during Dáil proceedings last week when Fianna Fáil’s deputy Éamon Ó’Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, if further funding will be allocated to the scheme this year.

Ó’Cuív told those gathered that – in view of the low expenditure by the minister’s department on capital projects – county council’s would need to be informed of any further allocations, under the scheme, to them.

He also asked the minister to reveal the allocations made for LIS schemes to local authorities for 2018 and 2019 that had not yet been spent.

Meanwhile, the minister said he launched the 2019 LIS in February and subsequently allocated a sum of €10 million to local authorities under the initiative.

The number and location of roads to benefit from improvement works in 2019 is a matter for the relevant local authority.

Minister Ring continued: “Funding allocations, on a county-by-county basis, can be found on the website; over €20.8 million was allocated under LIS in 2018 and less than 10% – almost €2.3 million – remains to be drawn down.

“To date, no local authority has drawn down their 2019 allocated funding.

However, payments are made in arrears, on the basis of projects being completed, and I anticipate that the summer period will provide an opportunity for many LIS improvement works to be carried out.

“I am confident that the full amount available for the LIS this year will be drawn down.”