Local Government Act, 2001

Community initiative scheme.

110.—(1) In this section—

“community fund” has the meaning given in section 109 (2);

“community initiative” has the meaning given in section 109 (1);

“dwelling” includes a part of any premises let as a separate dwelling whether or not the person to whom it is let shares with any other person any accommodation, amenity or facility in connection with it or any other portion of the premises;

“occupier” means a person or persons who occupy the dwelling in question;

“scheme” means a scheme adopted by a local authority under this section and “draft scheme” shall be read accordingly.

(2) Where a local authority considers it appropriate it may, in accordance with this section, by resolution adopt a scheme for the making of an annual contribution by the occupier of each dwelling in the area to which the scheme applies towards particular community initiatives specified in the scheme.

(3) Annual contributions received in accordance with a scheme shall be paid into the community fund.

(4) A community initiative to which a scheme applies may be undertaken by a local community or other group, the local authority, any other person or jointly by any of them.

(5) A scheme shall—

(a) describe the particular initiative or initiatives to which annual contributions under the scheme are to be applied,

(b) provide for a separate record to be kept in the community fund as regards such annual contributions,

(c) specify the amount of the annual contribution to be paid by the occupier and different amounts may be specified for different categories of person as may be specified in the scheme,

(d) provide for the waiver or the remission in whole or in part of the annual contribution in the case of personal hardship, ability to pay or other specified circumstances,

(e) specify the period of years for which the scheme is to operate,

(f) specify the period within which an annual contribution is to be paid,

(g) specify the area to which the scheme applies, and

(h) provide for all such other matters as the local authority may consider necessary to ensure the satisfactory operation of the scheme.

(6) (a) Before adopting a scheme, a local authority shall publish a notice in at least one newspaper circulating in its administrative area indicating that a draft scheme has been prepared.

(b) The notice shall—

(i) describe the community initiative or initiatives and the area in respect of which the scheme would operate,

(ii) state the amount of the proposed annual contribution,

(iii) indicate that a copy of the draft scheme may be inspected at the principal offices of the local authority or at such other locations as may be specified and may be obtained free of charge at such offices or locations, and

(iv) indicate that any person may make submissions or observations in writing to the local authority in relation to the draft scheme on or before a date specified in the notice, and the date shall not be less than one month after the notice is first so published.

(7) (a) A local authority may by resolution decide to hold a plebiscite regarding a draft scheme in that part of its area in respect of which it is proposed to make a scheme.

(b) The Minister may make regulations governing the conduct of plebiscites and matters relating to plebiscites.

(8) A local authority may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the authority vote in favour, adopt a scheme with or without amendment at any time after—

(a) the date specified for the purposes of subsection (6)(b)(iv),

(b) the consideration of any submissions or observations made to it under subsection (6)(b)(iv), and

(c) the consideration of the outcome of any plebiscite held under subsection (7).

(9) (a) Where a scheme has been adopted, the local authority shall in each year in which the scheme operates send to the occupier a notification to pay the annual contribution.

(b) The occupier shall pay to the local authority the annual contribution specified in the notification within the period specified.

(10) Where an annual contribution to be made by the occupier in accordance with a notification to pay has not been paid within the period specified for payment in the notification the local authority may recover such annual contribution from the occupier as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(11) A scheme may be made jointly by 2 or more local authorities in respect of an area specified in the scheme which includes part or all of the administrative area of each of the local authorities concerned but a scheme shall not be made in respect of any area which comprises an entire county or city.

(12) A notification to pay shall indicate—

(a) the amount of the annual contribution,

(b) the period within which it is to be paid, and

(c) the community initiative or initiative to which it relates.

(13) A notification to pay may be addressed to any occupier of the dwelling by name, but where the name of the occupier cannot be ascertained by reasonable inquiry, the notification may be addressed to “the occupier” without naming the occupier.

(14) Only one contribution is payable in respect of any dwelling in respect of a particular year.