The elected members of Cork County Council have today passed the Council’s budget for 2021 totalling €348 million, an increase of almost €10m.
The 2021 Budget retains several local initiatives, including the general municipal allocation, town development fund and village enhancement fund, which will all be maintained at 2020 levels as a result of the decision to increase Local Property Tax rate by 7.5%.
Core services including Housing, Roads and Municipal District will be maintained at 2020 levels while the town presentation approaches fund will be €1.1 million.
A specific fund for the development of an Arts Programme toward the delivery of creative projects across county towns will be established to support this vital sector which is also a proven economic driver at local level.
Cork County Council’s budget is predicated on 2021 anticipated rates yield of €112.5m, up from €110.6m in 2020.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley highlighted the importance of delivering a budget which would continue to deliver services for the people of Cork: “Everything we do as a Council is about achieving the very best value in expenditure while creating real differences for the people who live and work in County Cork. Even during this challenging budget process, we will provide additional supports to areas such as our homeless service, housing aid for older persons, public lighting, investment in our mobile libraries and flood programmes. These are areas which have proven to be vital this year and which will be available and delivered in 2021.”
An Economic Development Fund of €1m will be allocated toward supporting economic activity including tourism, biotech and hospitality sector in addition to a renewed focus on the rejuvenation of town centres with a focus on bringing vacant buildings back into use demonstrating the Council’s continued focus on supporting local economic drivers.
A number of proposals featuring small increases, Civic Amenity sites charges and fire service charges, will provide additional income to support the Council’s 2021 budget.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey went on to say: “As evident in our 2021 Budget, we continue to seek efficiencies while maintaining core services to the very highest of standards. Our role as an enabler of economic development and climate adaptation remain a priority with a continued focus in these areas, all the while ensuring services are delivered as close to our citizen as possible.”