The local improvement scheme, LIS, supports improvement works on private and non-public roads which are vital to the functioning of every day life in rural Ireland. The scheme is administered by the local authorities who identify the roads to be included under the scheme each year.
Since I reintroduced the scheme in September 2017, I have allocated over €48 million to the local authorities for improvement works on these roads. To date, almost 1,700 roads have benefited from this funding.
On 7 February last, I launched the 2019 LIS and allocated a sum of €10 million to Local Authorities. Funding allocations on a county by county basis can be found on the gov.ie website.
Wexford was allocated €329,878 under LIS this year and €1.3 million in total since the re-launch of the scheme in 2017.
The LIS is clearly a very popular scheme and is greatly appreciated by the people who use the roads. However, some local authorities have been slow to utilise the funds which I allocated to them last February. That is wrong. I emphasise that my officials are pressing the local authorities to make full use of these funds by the end of the year.
Given the importance of the LIS to the people who live in rural Ireland, I have secured funding for the scheme again in 2020. A new round of LIS will be announced next year, but I want to consider first how the scheme can be operated more effectively for the benefit of the people who use those roads on a daily basis.