Tipperary County Council welcomes the findings of the NOAC Local Authority satisfaction survey report 2018 as we are always striving to make Tipperary a better place in which to live and work. This is an opportunity to receive feedback on how the Council is achieving this.
We are not surprised by the low satisfaction rating for the county’s roads. Otherwise, the satisfaction rating with Tipperary was reasonable; we ranked highest for Knowledge of Local Council and 45% of Tipperary respondents felt well informed by the Council compared to the national average of 38%. It is noted that over half of those surveyed felt that Tipperary County Council had improved provision of local services over the past few years.
In considering the roads rating, cognisance must be taken of the fact that Tipperary County Council manages approximately 5,500km of local and regional roads, yet the grant allocation has reduced by 32% over the past few years, while at the same time the volume of traffic using our roads has increased. A number of severe weather events have put further pressure on the county’s roads maintenance schedule and this was of particular relevance at the time that the survey was undertaken. The Council is not surprised that the survey would highlight that issue. But we are determined to address the investment deficit in our roads. Tipperary County Council has consistently highlighted the need for more investment in our roads and has been active at local level in informing our communities of the measures we are taking to seek that investment. . The Council will continue to lobby the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and other relevant bodies for increased funding to address the regional and local road conditions in the County.
While the survey shows people are aware of our remit regarding roads, footpaths and parking for example, they are not aware of all the work being done to generate jobs and stimulate Tipperary’s local economy. Tourism plays an important role within the economy of County Tipperary with over 400,000 domestic and international visitors injecting over €103 million into the county annually. The Council has been very active in supporting the tourism sector through the establishment of the Tipperary Tourism Company and investment in new initiatives including the Munster Vales and Lough Derg. In 2017, the economic development of the County was accelerated via grants approved by the Local Enterprise Office leveraging a spend of €4.8millon and resulting in the creation of 142 jobs over the next three years. The Regional Enterprise Development Fund awarded a grant in the sum of €4.628m for the pilot scale facility project in Lisheen for work in the Bio-economy sector.
This was the largest grant awarded under this heading and was subsequently followed by an announcement of €22m EU funding in the Glanbia-led AgriChemWhey Project
Tipperary County Council also developed an inward investment suite of marketing material for the County by launching a brand for Tipperary ‘Tipperary – The Place, The Time’, this event was attended by over 130 business interests.
It is acknowledged that the survey highlights a need to inform people more about all the valuable work that the Council is doing in some areas. This includes providing community, sports, leisure facilities, managing our heritage, arts, tourism and generating jobs. A key focus of the Council over the next 12 months will be more proactive communication of the work of the Council across its full range of services.