The Minster for State for Local Government and Planning at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Kieran O’Donnell TD, has announced a new security allowance scheme of up to €2,500 for Councillors to provide for measures to enhance their personal physical security.
The announcement comes following a number of security and safety incidents experienced by locally elected Councillors and the recent introduction of a similar allowance scheme for Oireachtas members.
Regulations signed by Minister O’Donnell and the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, set out details of a scheme under which Councillors will be able to claim up to 50% of their personal security costs, to a maximum value of €2,500, whichever is the lesser amount.
The allowance will be made on a once-off, vouched basis and will be administered by Local Authorities. Guidelines regarding the operation of the scheme will issue very shortly to local authorities.
The allowance will allow Councillors to take measures to improve their personal physical security at their homes, following a review which is to be carried out by a member of An Garda Síochána.
Eligible expenses under the scheme include the installation of intruder alarms, CCTV and the provision of panic buttons/GPS-tracked panic button app. Work to install any security measures must be carried out by Private Security Authority registered installers and must meet industry standards.
Announcing this new allowance, Minister O’Donnell stated, “I am pleased to announce that I have signed Regulations to provide for a new security allowance to assist Councillors in enhancing their personal physical security at their homes. This follows the introduction of a similar allowance scheme for Oireachtas members recently.”
“Councillors will be able to claim up to 50% of their personal security costs, to a maximum value of €2,500. The allowance will be made on a once-off, vouched basis and will be administered by the Local Authorities. This allowance has been introduced in light of increased security and safety incidents experienced by Councillors. I would hope that this allowance will support and ensure that current and future serving councillors can continue to carry out the excellent and vital work they do locally for their communities”.