Mayor of South Dublin County, Councillor Guss O’Connell announced the eight projects which will receive funding from the Participatory Budget over the next 12 months.
South Dublin County Council received 160 submissions and 17 projects were shortlisted for inclusion in the public vote to decide how to spend the €300,000 community fund.
Of those 17 projects the eight with the highest number of public votes during the process have now been given the green light and will proceed over the next 12 months.
Projects which have been approved by the community and received the most votes include Christmas Lights for Lucan Village, a feasibility study for the restoration of Silver Bridge in Palmerstown, planting of native apple trees, access to the Church and Graveyard at Mill Lane, free library book banks in public places, a multi-games wall for Lucan and the restoration of King John’s Bridge in Griffeen.
A playground for Waterstown Park was deemed to be the most pressing matter for the community with 1184 people voting for the proposal; the highest total received by any project.
Mayor O’Connell said: “This is a truly historic moment. For the very first time in Ireland the people have decided on how a Local Authority spends its budget. It has been a wonderful exercise in community building. Everyone wins, the items that were not successful this time are banked for future consideration. I look forward to the next stage which will include further participation by the public.”
He also thanked South Dublin County Council Chief Executive, Daniel McLoughlin and council staff for their “Trojan work” and commended the people of the Lucan, Palmerstown and Adamstown areas, who submitted ideas and those who voted for the various projects.
This was the first time Participatory Budgeting has been piloted in Ireland and the process will be the subject of a feasibility study to find out if it will be rolled out further.
Mayor O’Connell said: “Participative Budgeting has been a learning curve for all of us involved in the process. That learning will be captured by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) who are engaged in an independent evaluation of the Pilot which, when concluded, will enable South Dublin County Council to plan the next step.”