Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced an increase in the funding for a number of local Councils.
The extra funding of £2.6million is being made available to Councils for Rates Support (£2.1million) and Emergency Planning (£0.5 million).
Speaking at the meeting of the Partnership Panel, Mark H Durkan said: “Whenever DOE’s budget was reduced last year, I had to reduce grants to Council. I promised that I would try to find ways of addressing the difficulties that posed. This additional funding, as a result of good financial management and reprioritising within my department, now provides additional in-year money to less well off Councils through the Rates Support Grant. ”
“I recognise the valuable contribution Councils make to emergency planning and civil contingencies arrangements. Through the Emergency Planning Grant my department supports Councils in preparing emergency plans and responding to local emergencies in their districts. This extra £0.5million will help councils to plan ahead to ensure they are fully prepared for the winter months ahead.”
“I am certain the Councils will welcome these additional funding and that it will to some extent ease the financial difficulties they have been facing over the last number of months. ”
“With continued prudent financial management and possible funds resulting from further departmental savings through the Voluntary Exit Scheme, I am hopeful that I may be able to consider further in-year allocations.”