Kildare County Council Publishes 2020 Annual Report
Over €1m invested in Covid 19 Business Continuity Support, helping over 700 businesses
1,222 housing units provided for individuals and families across Kildare
86 Arts Grants and Bursary Awards supporting local artists and arts organisations
€2.1m awarded in community grants, supporting almost 1,000 initiatives
Kildare County Council has published its Annual Report for 2020, giving an overview of the Council’s programme of work delivered in 2020.
The emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic across the globe saw every aspect of society and people’s lives impacted and completely altered in 2020. Kildare County Council’s 2020 Annual Report highlight’s how the council was agile, resilient and determined in responding to the challenges and ensuring the continued delivery of essential services as well as providing much needed additional supports and resources to businesses and communities across Kildare.
Community Support & Customer Service
In direct response to the pandemic, working closely with other agencies across Kildare, Kildare County Council formed the Covid 19 Community Response Forum to coordinate community supports. In addition to this, a dedicated Community Call Helpline was developed to assist older and vulnerable people. Kildare County Council awarded over €2.1m in community grants, supporting almost 1,000 different initiatives across the county, including the community enhancement programme, festival grants, education bursaries, community mental health grants and the Covid 19 emergency fund.
As well as adapting to maintain essential services, Kildare County Council also introduced a number of new initiatives such as an appointments system for customers, which has allowed for the continuity of essential services like Housing, Planning and Motor Tax. The appointments system will continue, helping to reduce waiting times and providing a more efficient service.
The business community in Kildare faced many critical challenges in 2020 and Kildare County Council responded with supports and initiatives to lead businesses through this uncertainty. Over €1m was invested in Covid 19 business continuity support, helping over 700 businesses along with other supports such as mentoring, workshops and access to other funding opportunities.
Peter Carey, Chief Executive, Kildare County Council said; “The sudden introduction and sustained implementation of restrictions on business and society from March 2020 was unprecedented, but necessary, in an effort to protect people and save lives. I’m proud that every department within Kildare County Council adapted their plans for 2020 to ensure the immediate and changing needs for our services were met. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the elected members and the staff of Kildare County Council for their ongoing co-operation, support and commitment to serve the people of Kildare, particularly in this most challenging year.”
Despite the challenges faced due to construction site closures throughout 2020, Kildare County Council made good progress in its build, acquisition, leasing and HAP/RAS, providing 1,222 housing units for individuals and families across Kildare. In addition, 529 grant supports were approved, including Housing Adaption Grants, Housing Aid for Older People Grants, which contribute to meeting housing needs by adapting existing homes to meet the need of the occupant.
Libraries, Arts & Culture
Ireland’s Arts & Culture industry was among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Kildare Arts Service is committed to supporting a vibrant arts infrastructure that reaffirms the intrinsic value of the Arts, enables public engagement and nurtures the artists. In 2020, Kildare Arts Services granted 86 arts grants and bursary awards supporting local artists and arts organisations. Over 60 online events were held, including live broadcasts, workshops, online exhibitions & theatre, music, literary and family events.
In order to keep vital library services operational throughout long periods of restrictions in 2020, online library services remained open 24/7, including eBooks, music streaming, online education courses and language learning, with an investment of €200,000 to support the provision of these services.
Tactical Urbanism Pilot Projects
Kildare County Council delivered a number of pilot projects to make our public spaces more people-friendly, usable and fun spaces to be. Market Square, Kildare Town and Poplar Square, Naas are two such locations which have been temporarily developed by Kildare County Council’s multi-disciplinary team to make the most of the outdoor space. Transforming car park space to a fully inclusive and accessible space for all, including soft landscaping and outdoor furniture and seating for all abilities and ages.
Kildare County Council’s 2020 Annual Report is available to view – https://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/YourCouncil/Publications/Corporate/AnnualReports/