Councillors’ Pay Rise and Capital Expenditure

The government approved a 47% increase in payment in July for 949 City and County Councillors. There are 40 County Councillors in Meath. Their pay increased from a previous basic salary of €17,359 a year to €25,788. In addition a compulsory vouched system allowing for €5,160 in expenses per year was introduced. Another €3,850 will be allowed for travel and subsistence expenses.

Councillors who hold positions of cathaoirleach of the council, chairpersons of municipal area councils, and of strategic policy committees also receive extra allowances. These are all subject to tax. This formed part of the programme for Government as “an acceptable level of remuneration is a key factor in the attraction and retention of competent, capable and diverse local representatives”.

There are divergent views on the role of local government in Irish society according to the lawyer SC Sara Moorhead who made the pay recommendations. “On the one hand, there is a view that it should be a full time position paid accordingly,” she said in the review.
On the other hand, “It was never intended to be a full time role and, indeed, the evidence does not support the assertion that it is a full time role”.

Nevertheless, the remuneration available to councillors should be sufficiently adequate to support an individual who puts themselves forward to represent their community Moorhead reports that 40% of Councillors now classify themselves as full time. §

Meath County Council Capital Expenditure to 2024

Meath County Council plans to spend more than €500 million on capital projects between now and 2024.

In one response to the many problems caused by the ban on beach parking, €1.4 million has been allocated towards parking in Laytown and Bettystown. Parking forms part of the current €44.5 million transport budget which also includes Road maintenance. The council will spend €200,000 each year installing road safety measures outside schools.

All 17,000 public lights in Meath will also be upgraded at a cost of €10 million. A coastal erosion study is also to be carried out on our beach fronts. €15m will be spent on libraries (including the proposed Bettystown library), swimming pools, courthouse facilities and the Solstice Theatre
Meath County Council hopes to spend €284 million euro on delivering over 1,300 houses and 280 energy retrofits over the next three years.
The projects will be funded through a combination of levies, grants and council reserves. §

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