Killenard has retained all its points earned last year and gained an extra 10 points this year!!!
That’s another fantastic result thanks to the effort, commitment and support of the whole Killenard Community!!!
The full report is as follows:
Tidy Towns Competition 2013
Centre: Killenard County: Laois
Overall Development Approach 31/50 (increase of 3 from 2012)
The Built Environment 33/50 (increase of 1 from 2012)
Landscaping 38/50 (increase of 1 from 2012)
Wildlife and Natural Amenities 23/50 (increase of 1 from 2012)
Litter Control 33/50 (increase of 1 from 2012)
Sustainable Waste And Resource Management 11/20 (increase of 2 from 2012)
Tidiness 20/30 (same as 2012)
Residential Areas 33/40 (same as 2012)
Roads, Streets and Back Areas 33/50 (same as 2012)
General Impression 8/10 (increase of 1 from 2012)
TOTAL MARK 263/400
Thank you for the excellent application form and pack which includes detailed supplementary material such as letters of support, pictorial records and detail of school and other local community involvement. The Village map was also very much appreciated as it made it easier for the adjudicator to find places of interest.
The adjudicator would love to be in a position to comment on all aspects of your submission but this report has to be concise and address the criteria of the competition.
Rest assured that the adjudicator has read all of your first-rate application and will adjudicate accordingly. The level of cooperation between the local authority and other agencies is admirable plus the fact that you have the full support of your community augurs well for the village in the years ahead.
The Committee structure which involves youth leaders is strong and looks as if it has the capacity to get work done in an orderly and practical manner.
Obtaining grant support from both the Laois County Council and Laois Partnership indicates that you have a programme of work that is worth supporting and in this austere climate of cutbacks with more on the way this is a big plus for your community as a whole.
This was the adjudicator’s first visit to Killenard and I was very impressed with its overall appearance and the little touches that are appealing to a first time visitor.
The Heritage Golf Complex and Hotel has been a big bonus to the village and indeed to tourism in County Laois and one notes that you have good support from the management.
Mount Saint Anne’s Retreat Centre, which was undergoing some refurbishment work, is also a contributor to the local economy and a supporter of your efforts.
Having everybody in the community supporting you, well I presume most people, is very encouraging and it shows that you as a committee have succeeded in harnessing all the good will that is out there in the parish of Killenard.
The standard you have attained in his particularly category that involves forwarding planning merits an increase of 3 marks. Keep up the excellent and planning approach that has been well documented in your application.
The Built Environment:
In your application you have gone into great detail to give a good outline description on the main points of interest under built environment and this was much appreciated by the adjudicator as he traversed your lovely village.
The Heritage Complex dominates the village but not in an obtrusive manner it has dovetailed in the fabric of Killenard very well and is not out of place in the built environment infrastructure.
The bonus of having such a prestigious complex outside of the economic benefits it contributes is that ancillary services such as roads and footpaths have been upgraded to cater for the large numbers that use the complex and in doing so visit the village.
Killenard has a very orderly look about it and this is due to the quality of the aforementioned road and footpath combination plus the exceptional street lighting, traffic control area, effective street bollards to deter vehicles from parking in an area in the centre of the village and encourage users to avail of car parking unit across the road.
All of the above improvements have been done without affecting the rural look of the village.
The Heritage Complex has many fine building features without being anyway brash looking and the enclosed housing development is extremely well managed and of course it helps when owners of properties are in a postion to ensure proper upkeep.
St John’s RC Church and grounds were in splendid condition and with nice mix of greenery and shrubs in the landscaping arrangements.
The adjoining graveyard was also very well maintained and credit to the people that maintain both the Church and graveyard.
The newly contemporary designed Scoil Naomh Eoin was as would be expected one of the highlights of the built environment and isn’t it fortuitous that it was completed before all the austere cutbacks hoisted upon the education sector now.
The Community Centre was in very good condition and some ongoing maintenance work was in progress on the day. Well done to the members of the famed O Dempseys GAA Club for presenting their grounds in such a good state.
You as a committee are very lucky that you have virtually no dereliction of unoccupied properties to contend with and that you are very much on top of any problems that exist in this context. Mount St Anne’s was in the throes of some refurbishment or extensional building work and was very busy on the day which is good for the local economy.
The closure of retail units at the Heritage end of the village is disappointing but not uncommon in the present commercial climate.
Overall the standard was very good and this is due in no small way to the Committee’s ability to get issues addressed.
The standard and quality of landscaping was in the top tier for villages of the size of Killenard.
It does help that the Village attracts large numbers of visitors to both the Heritage Complex and Mount St Anne’s Retreat Centre in that the local authority were proactive in putting some very fine planting arrangements in place on both the outskirts and in the main core area. The Council has also provided you with young tree stock which doesn’t happen in many centres around the country.
All of the above is all well and good if these planting areas are not maintained properly and judging from the application form you as a committee are very much hands on when it comes to basic maintenance.
The following appealed to the adjudicator, a well presented flower bed of marigolds, stocks and alyssum outside the Heritage Complex entrance, at the very attractive name plates at entrances to the village, a few noted form Duke Street Bridge end into the village, in front of the Community Centre and also in the previously mentioned St John’s Church grounds.
The adjudicator would also like to make a positive comment on some excellent private gardens that he encountered during his travels around the village and its outskirts,
Well done to these homeowners for adding to the colour and attractiveness of the village and as was stated in lat years report contributing to the well being of various insect species and other forms of wildlife in the area.
One negative there were signs that weed killer was used to kill weed growth in a few places and this is not a recommended practice.
Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
Some of the initiatives that you have in place are very much in keeping with good practice for the conservation and promotion of wildlife in your area.
Simple ideas that can be implemented easily are often the most effective and the provision of bird boxes in places of high density foliage such as in the Graveyard grounds is just one example of this.
The now ubiquitous insect hotel at the area that houses the recycling centre was visited and noted.
As a Tidy Towns Committee you have an important role to play in protecting and increasing the appreciation of wildlife in your community and judging by your input in the application form and what is in place on the ground you are doing this in admirable fashion.
One presumes that you are in occasional communication with the wildlife officer of Laois County Council for advice and also for awareness of any relevant seminars or workshops that maybe taking place at different times.
Litter control in the village was very good and this is due to the efforts of you the Committee who have been proactive in promoting the message of anti litter by practical actions such as litter picks and also promotional posters advocating what litter does to the environment.
The Community as a whole has seemingly bought into what is being done by the Committee as the vast majority of people have helped by keeping the village virtually litter free.
As in other centres there will always be those that have very little or no civic spirit but one has to keep promoting the good message.
Scoil Naomh Eoins involvement is very important and any educational programme that can advance the cause of good litter management is something that should be always supported.
Commendations to the Scout Troup for its involvement as well as the younger generation of today will be the adults of tomorrow and best wishes in their quest to achieve their “Community Service” special award.
Sustainable Waste And Resource Management:
This is a category that in the past under its previous heading of waste minimisation has caused some headaches in terms of interpretation.
This new revised section with additional guidelines advocates the prevention of the actual production of waste as distinct from just reduction.
Projects that relate to this concept is what is required under the heading and to help with this advice can be sought form either the local council environmental officer or from a number of web links such as www.localprevention.ie www.greenhome.ie or www.stopfoodwaste.ie
It is quite obvious from your application that you have embraced the idea and put in place a large number of mini projects that are attainable and that will help educate people in ways to actually reduce the production of various forms of waste.
Your application indicates to the adjudicator that you have informed yourself of what is actually needed as projects under sustainable waste management.
School projects such as Waste Free Lunch other very innovative ideas that such as the use of recyclable materials to create first communion artwork, composing of the Green Anthem are just wonderful examples of what can be done when some thought is put into developing ideas.
Contributions from businesses and the community by way of using water butts to collect water, growing plants from slips and seeds not alone is practical in terms of building up replacement plant stock but cost effective as well.
Overall the input into this category was top class and merits an increase of 2 additional marks
The standard of tidiness was quite good and the basics of good and acceptable tidiness were very much in evidence on the day of adjudication.
The Village was very orderly in appearance and was devoid of clutter and unsightly overhead wires or excessive fly posting of any kind. Weed growth or farm related activity residue was minimal one or two pockets as one exits the Village by the Duke Street Bridge end.
Certainly the standard is on par with what was reported on last year and there is work being done that helps maintain that level of tidiness on an on-going basis.
The recycling area and it surrounds were clean and free from any “maverick” bags of litter lying around but that whole area could do with resurfacing
Carriglea is a very well maintained and manageable housing estate at the Duke Bridge end of the Village and it was noted in the application that the residents have undertaken work of their own volition on the communal areas of the estate.
The map of the estate will be a nice addition when the funds are available to do it.
One or two boundary walls in the estate just needed to be power washed or dashed accordingly.
Killenard Lodge is a very impressive development and again the residents have taken it upon themselves to get work done that benefits both their own area and the village as a whole.
Many houses in these areas have beautifully managed and presented gardens something that was mentioned under the landscaping heading.
Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
The adjudicator was impressed with the entrances in to the village from both main sides.
Duke Street entrance has been enhanced in practical way by tarmacking the walls of bridge to stop the grass and weed growth.
Portarlington entrance is quite impressive with nice stone walls and striking tree coverage but some of the road surface a little further out is somewhat rough.
The siting of very nice nameplates at entrances enhances the entrances even further.
All these nameplates, directional and speed limit signage was in good condition both clean and visible. Verges were cut back in accordance with good practice to encourage and promote wildlife conservation.
This was the adjudicator’s very first visit to the very impressive village of Killenard.
The level of commitment and hard work undertaken by the very proactive committee has paid off handsomely as the results achieved in the competition have proven over the last number of years. This adjudicator will look forward to seeing Killenard realise its potential in the Tidy Towns in the years ahead and you are wished well for the future.