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Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Saga Part 3.

Contrary to what I thought; this female Jackdaw photographed hereunder, working on Kickham Street, Thurles, is not suffering from Bird Flu symptoms and hence she is not attempting to blow her nose.

No, truth is that due to the failure to employ a sufficient number of employees with which to deliver services, Thurles Municipal District Council officials supported by Thurles elected councillors and Tipperary Co. Council have decided to teach Jackdaws to pick up “indiscriminate littering” from under parked cars, where a recently purchased mechanical street sweeper has failed to reach. Read HERE.
Same project, if successful could lead to less drains becoming blocked within the town and leave areas more litter free, before the arrival of King Charles III to Thurles, expected next month.

King Charles III, as you are probably aware, has been invited by councillors to visit the grave of his ancestor Lady Liz of Thurles, despite nobody knowing where she is buried, since no grave site exists. [Don’t tell Alison O’Reilly in the Cork Examiner Newspaper.]

This new experiment with Jackdaws, if proven successful, could see a reduction in the Councils already badly depleted workforce, leading to a reduction in the amount of Local Property Tax paid by Thurles householders, who get absolutely nothing in return for their forced annual generosity.

Jackdaw collecting litter in Kickham Street, Thurles.
Pic: George Willoughby.

Now, all humour aside and speaking of ‘Local Property Tax’; I was sick of not being replied to by local Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill and his friend Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry; so one year ago, I wrote to the Fianna Fáil leader, the then Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin and his coalition partner, the Fianna Gael leader and now Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar.

My reason for communicating with both men, was the possibility of acquiring the possible acquisition of a waiver in relation to this same Local Property Tax (LPT), due to the failure by Tipperary Co. Council to sort out, over the previous 5 year period, the road surface and drainage issues effecting every home on Kickham Street.

As everyone is aware, Kickham Street remains the busiest road, both for exiting and accessing Thurles town. I had pointed out that Tipperary Co. Council officials were trying to make the homes of residents uninhabitable.
A link shown HERE, was forwarded, in the vain hope that same would achieve even some reaction.

The office of Mr Leo Varadkar as expected, failed to reply, while the office of Mr Micheál Martin sent a prompt notification to me, redirecting my communication to the then Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD.

The reply came from Mr Alex Costello (Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance) on April 12th, 2022 at 09:22am.

Dear Mr Willoughby.

The Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, has asked me to refer to your recent email, addressed to the Taoiseach, Mr Micheál Martin TD, concerning a waiver of Local Property Tax. Your correspondence was passed to Minister Donohoe for attention and direct reply to you, in view of his responsibility for the Local Property Tax.

Local Property Tax (LPT) proceeds collected by the Revenue Commissioners are subsequently transferred to the Local Government Fund which comes under the responsibility of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The funds are ultimately redistributed to local authorities in accordance with Government policies on funding allocations. Annual LPT allocations to local authorities are published on the Gov.ie website HERE

LPT along with other revenue streams is used to fund essential local services such as, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; maintenance and cleaning of streets and street lighting – all benefiting citizens directly. LPT income supplements income from commercial rates, from the provision of goods and services and from other Government grants. All of a local authority’s LPT allocation is used to help provide services within the local authority area. The benefits of these services accrue to all members of society. The decisions on and implementation of these services are matters for each individual local authority and the councillors for each.

The LPT legislation provides for exemptions from LPT in relation to properties that are unoccupied for an extended period due to illness of the owner; purchased or adapted or built for use by incapacitated persons; used by a charity or public body providing special needs accommodation; owned by charities for recreational services; registered nursing homes; properties certified as having pyritic damage; properties constructed using defective concrete blocks; properties fully subject to commercial rates and properties of North-South implementation bodies. As you can see there is no LPT exemption in relation to the circumstances outlined in your correspondence.

The Programme for Government commits to requiring each council to publish an annual statement of accounts to all homeowners and ratepayers, giving a breakdown of how revenue was collected and how it was spent. Information on individual local authority expenditure is generally available from their respective websites including Annual Budget documents and Annual Financial Statements and Annual Reports. In addition, the Annual Service Delivery Plan is prepared in accordance with Section 134 (A) of the Local Government Act 2001 which requires that each local authority prepare such a plan. The plan sets out the principal services that the local authority intends to deliver in the relevant year and is to be consistent with the provisions in the local authority budget of the expenditure estimated to be necessary for the local authority to carry out its functions during the local financial year to which that plan relates. The Annual Service Delivery Plan of Tipperary Co. Council is at this link HERE
A number of councils also publish documents outlining how LPT monies are spent in their area or divisions thereof and the effects of local variation decisions. An example is at this link HERE. [No it is not, for same has been moved with no forwarding address.]

The Local Authority Performance Indicator Report is published annually by the independent National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) to provide independent oversight of the local government sector. This is a matter for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The NOAC reports present the performance of local authorities for a wide range of services. The performance indicators are categorised by local government functions: housing, roads, water, waste/environment, planning, fire services, library/recreational, youth/community, corporate, finance and economic development. NOAC’s report for 2020 is accessible HERE.

I hope the foregoing is of assistance.

Yours sincerely
Alex Costello, (Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance).

So there you go folks, I relate to you all this, in the event that you might want to review your voting preferences, come next elections.

Over the next day or two tune in for “Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Saga Part 4”.

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