Wealthy north Dublin areas may lose funding for upkeep of suburbs

Council to vote on cash allocation described as ‘unfair’, giving ‘raw deal’ to areas like Swords

The motion, advanced by Green Party Cllr Ian Carey, notes a ‘lack of progress on resolving the issue’ which was first raised last year.

The motion, advanced by Green Party Cllr Ian Carey, notes a ‘lack of progress on resolving the issue’ which was first raised last year.

 

Elected officials are to consider a proposal to restructure local funding that would see money taken away from some of the most affluent suburbs of north Dublin.

Programme of works funding is used to pay for local maintenance of housing estates, roads and parks. It is normally divided evenly between Fingal County Council’s three area committees.

However, there is concern that this model disproportionately funds the smaller area, Howth and Malahide – which, by population, is believed to be about half the size of others, yet receives the same allocation.

If successful, plans to restructure the funding approach could mean a reduction of cash going into those areas and an increase elsewhere. Proposals are tabled for debate before the council’s monthly meeting on Monday and are likely to prove divisive among councillors focused on constituency interests.

The motion, advanced by Green Party Cllr Ian Carey, notes a “lack of progress on resolving the issue” which was first raised last year. It asks elected members to adopt the policy of no longer allocating programme of works funding evenly by area committee and “starting from 2022 allocate any such funding proportionately”.

With tourism interests affected in areas such as Howth, it also asks that officials would “prepare proposals for a new fund, separate to the Programme of Works budget, which will be allocated to areas for upkeep related to unique needs including, but not limited to, tourism related additional footfall”.

Population booms

Speaking to The Irish Times ahead of the council meeting Cllr Carey described the current allocation of money as “unfair”, giving a “raw deal” to areas like Swords.

“Because the council hasn’t adjusted for population booms in certain areas they end up giving twice as much to Howth and Malahide as they do to Swords, Balbriggan and Dublin 15,” he said.

“My motion is seeking to stop this and to direct the funds to the communities that need them by allocating based on population.”