Local authorities are multi-purpose bodies responsible for an extensive range of services, which include among other services, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; roads; maintenance and cleaning of streets and street lighting.
Income from local sources such as commercial rates, housing rents, environmental and other waste charges, and charges for non-domestic water services provide over half of the current funding needs of local authorities. The balance of the funding is provided through specific State grants from a range of Government Departments and agencies.
It is a matter for each local authority to determine its own spending in the context of the annual budgetary process having regard to both locally identified needs and available resources. Local authorities are required to prepare their annual budget and annual financial statement in the prescribed format in accordance with the Local Authority Accounting in Ireland Code of Practice and Accounting Regulations, issued by my Department in December 2009 under section 107 of the Local Government Act 2001. This publication is available on my Department’s website www.environ.ie.
The provision of detailed information on projects and services is a matter for each individual local authority. I understand that local authorities do make a number of annual reports and other information regarding the cost of their services available to the public, including on their websites.