Clare County Council says it lost two and a half million euro in commercial rates last year.
The findings are revealed in the National Oversight and Audit Commission’s annual performance indicator report, which provides mixed reading for the local authority.
The Local Authority says Covid-19 placed a considerable burden on the Council, but that essential services were delivered throughout the pandemic.
The NOAC’s report for 2020, which has just been published, covers a broad spectrum of issues including roads, housing, litter and motor tax.
This year, Clare County Council was selected as one of six local authorities to provide a quality assurance review for the large amount of data gathered.
The report says that during meetings with NOAC back in July of this year, the Council told its officials that it is ‘highly dependent on a few large commercial rates payers that have now been lost’.
While not unexpected as a result of COVID-19 and other factors, it suggests the local authority will be looking to plug that seven figure gap urgently.
Elsewhere in the report, Clare recorded the largest increase in unpolluted or litter free areas of anywhere nationally in 2020, leaping from 13 to 36 percent.
More than half of the regional roads surveyed in this county were deemed to have ‘no defects or minor surface defects’ – again the highest of any of Ireland’s local authorities.
2,600 social houses were in the Council’s stock at the end of last year, which is a near 2 percent increase on 2019 levels.
Interestingly, the Council also has the highest number of social media followers per capita of any local authority at 1.86.
In a statement to Clare FM, Clare County Council has welcomed the report and says it played a vital role in the national response to Covid-19 and established the Community Call service to provide support to people in Clare during Covid.
A range of new supports and grants to businesses were provided, resilience and wellbeing supports were provided to the community, and the council facilitated changes to the public realm in the interests of public health and safety.
The local authority says the data in the report is already known to its various departments, that the Council will take the report on board and examine areas where improvement is needed.
You can read the full report here
Statement from Clare County Council
‘Clare County Council welcomes the NOAC Performance Indicator Report for 2020, which was compiled with the assistance of local authorities. The report is evidence of the vast range of activities the local authority is engaged in.
Covid-19 placed a considerable burden on the Council, however essential services were delivered throughout the pandemic, as the Performance Indicator Report 2020 shows.
Clare County Council played a vital role in the national response to Covid-19 and established the Community Call service to provide support to people in Clare during Covid. The Council also provided a range of new supports and grants to businesses, offered resilience and wellbeing supports to the community, and worked to facilitate changes to the public realm in the interests of public health and safety.
The data in the report is historic and already known to Clare County Council and its various departments, as the local authority monitors performance on an ongoing basis in order to improve services and increase efficiency. The Council will take the report on board and examine areas where improvement is needed.’