27 Nov 2021

'Year of the Stork': Longford County Council passes 'largest ever' budget for 2022

'Year of the Stork': Longford County Council passes 'largest ever' budget for 2022

Members of Longford County Council were thrilled to unanimously support the local authority's budget for 2022, which is the "largest-ever budget" for Longford County Council.

"€61.6m was announced by the government on the 18th of November," explained Head of Finance with Longford County Council, John McKeon, "so this will result in additional moneys in this budget now that we can allocate to local roads and housing maintenance and drainage.

"The success on that is predicated by certain levels of debt. So if a Local Authority shows a deficit in any particular year, then their ability to borrow in the subsequent year is hampered. So up until recently, that was something that was very real for us and something that we were looking in the face.

"At the end of quarter two, we were running a deficit of approximately €296,000. Now, this would be dependent on the goods and services compensation coming for 2021. We’ve got that and we needed that to turn it around. So at this point, I’d be confident we’re going to show a surplus now at the end of 2021. And that’s the seventh surplus in a row.

"We’re now looking at the largest capital and revenue budgets ever seen in Longford County Council, totalling €112m. We have €24m in regeneration projects underway. The Local Property Tax funded Longford model is firing on all cylinders now. Our level of debt still remains manageable. We have increased spending across every service division for 2021 and 2022.

"So despite all the challenges at the start of 2020, our financially robust position has been maintained and even has been strengthened over the course of the pandemic. Today it results in the largest ever revenue budget for Longford County Council. So we’ve come through everything so well that we’re now in a position to be able to present this large budget today."

Council members expressed their delight at the good news with Cllr Seamus Butler dubbing 2022 the "Year of the Stork" or "the year we will deliver".

For the full story, see this week's Longford Leader.

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