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18/10/2021

Laois council says report shows it improved its performance in the pandemic

Laois County Council says it has improved its performance across a range of indicators during 2020 despite Covid-19 challenges and while providing additional innovations and services during the pandemic. 

The local authority has made the claim following the publication of the  National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) Local Authority Performance Indicator Report 2020. The council says it shows that advances were made  last year, in particular in the areas of housing, roads, climate action and information technology. 

A statement issued by County Hall says Covid-19 placed a considerable burden on the Laois County Council, with a reduction in revenues and strained resources. However, the council says essential services were delivered throughout the pandemic while Laois County Council played a vital role in the national response to Covid-19.  

One such initiative highlighted was the Community Call service which received 815 calls from people since March 2020.  

The local authority says it also provided a range of new supports and grants to businesses, offered resilience and wellbeing supports to the community, and worked to facilitate changes to the public realm in the interests of public health and safety. 

Alongside this, the council says it has continued to deliver essential services throughout the pandemic. It highlights some of the findings in the Performance Indicators Report 2020 shows.

  • Laois County Council added 49 units to the social housing stock and provided social housing for 224 families in 2020  
    81.52% of motor tax transactions were conducted online in 2020, a significant increase from the 2019 figure of 64.71%.
  • The Local Enterprise Office approved 176 trading online vouchers to support Laois businesses to increase their online offering. The LEO also provided mentoring to 300 Entrepreneurs in business. 1,099 people participated in 71 LEO business training courses.
  • In 2020, €3,170,484 was invested in strengthening 23.8 km of local roads. 
  • The median number of minutes taken to mobilise the fire brigade in Laois Fire stations to respond to a fire incident was 5.92 minutes and 5.5 minutes in relation to all other incidents. 
  • There were more than 621,105 visits to Laois County Council websites and our social media following increased by 17.85% to 51,629 in 2020. 

John Mulholland, Chief Executive, paid tribute to what was described as the hard work and dedication of council employees.

“Laois County Council continued to provide hundreds of services throughout 2020, despite the challenge and uncertainty of Covid-19 and the constraints of public health restrictions. At the same time, we played a vital role in the national response to the pandemic, supporting communities, businesses and local economies.

“We are continually seeking to improve services and increase efficiency and did manage to make progress in a range of areas last year. Now that we are in a more certain situation with regard to Covid, we will build on our progress, continue to innovate and deliver quality public services,” he said.

The Local Authority Performance Indicator Report 2020 can be viewed at https://noac.ie/

The NOAC Local Authority Performance Indicator Report 2020 presents the 2020 performance indicators for the local authority sector in Ireland. It is claimed that the performance indicators deliver a uniform approach to measurement and benchmarking and the availability of the information is intended to support all local authorities to improve the services they provide to local communities. 

The councils says the indicators are collected and analysed by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) on behalf of the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) as part of the Commission’s role in monitoring the performance of local authorities. The report presents the performance of local authorities in 2020 indicators identified by NOAC.

performance indicators are categorised by local government functions; housing, roads, water, waste/environment, planning, fire services, library/recreation, youth/community, corporate, finance and economic development. While the indicators address the core functions of local authorities, it is acknowledged by NOAC that they do not reflect the extensive range of services delivered by city and county Laois County Councils throughout the State.

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