By Joe Barrett
The most recent report from the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), which was published recently said that Laois County Council has improved its services it offers to the people of Laois.
NOAC is the national independent oversight body for the local government sector in Ireland.
It said in its 2021 report that despite Covid-19 and other challenges Laois County Council provided additional innovations and services and played a vital role in the national response to the pandemic.
It also provided a range of new supports and grants to the public and businesses during the pandemic, including resilience and wellbeing community supports and changes to the public realm in the interests of public health and safety and local businesses.
The Performance Indicators Report 2021 showed that at the end of 2021the council owned 2,222 social housing units, having added 61 units to its housing stock in 2021. The overall percentage of Laois County Council housing stock that was vacant at the end of 2021 was just 1.72%, an improvement on 2020 figure of 2.65%. The percentage of the public lights using energy efficient LED lights in the county increased to 61.85% from 60% in 2020.
The report also noted that there was an 83.72% increase in new builds notified to Laois County Council, increasing to 553 in 2021. The council inspected 12.84% of these 2021. In the same year a total of 246 private rented dwellings were inspected by council officials.
In 2021, there were a total of 84,697 visits to libraries around Laois and a total of 125,766 items were borrowed.
There were more than 651,918 visits to council websites and social media following increased by 12.75% to 58,211 with 86.51% of motor tax transactions conducted online during 2021.
Commenting on the findings in the report the council’s Chief Executive John Mulholland paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of the council’s employees and elected members saying: “Laois County Council continued to provide hundreds of services throughout 2021. 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 we made significant progress in a range of areas last year. We will build on our progress, continue to innovate and deliver quality public services.”
To see the full report log on here.