SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: Tidy Towns adjudicator experiences hazardous N63 during Killashee walkabout
Here's what the SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017 adjudicators had to say about Killashee and above are the marks Killashee received.
Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:
Killashee is very welcome to the 2017 SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition.
Thank you kindly for the excellent and concise application supported by ancillary material in the action plan, a simple but very effective map indicating all parts of village. The submission was further supplemented by pictorial records of work that you are involved in.
The village fits into the under 200 category and the committee structure is sufficient to handle the activities that you are involved. That said it is never a burden to have extra volunteers as the village has potential to achieve more in this competition so if you have additional projects you may need extra resources as a result. Your involvement in many activities has resulted in an incremental improvement in the competition year on year.
Methods of communication are a combination of the tried and trusted combined with social media and email contact when necessary. Good support from the local community has helped you to raise funds for activities.
The community involvement with Longford County Council has resulted in the production of a Village Enhancement Plan. The adjudicator is at a loss as to why you have not attached it as a support document to your application! Of course like other village with similar plans this is very much contingent on monies from the local authority’s coffers. Well done on bringing the local National School on board and creating awareness amongst school children of the good things you do for the community. You are wished well in this regard and finally thanks for the strong endorsement of the competition and how it has impacted positively on the village community.
Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
The adjudicator spent some time walking the village right to the outskirts on all roads and this can be slightly hazardous on the busy N63! The time spent on this walkabout allowed one to get a real appreciation of the built environment of the village and its surrounds. The planting of flowers is probably best entered into the next category but these arrangements were admired on the day. Well done to the local resident who constructed the new fence on the Longford side of the village it was example of real community spirit and generosity.
The following are objective observations made by the adjudicator during the walkabout.
Road surfaces were good as were the footpaths some of which should have maybe stretched a bit farther out on the main road. The HSE Centre is need of a little tidy up job even a basic coat of dash to boundary wall and clearing of the weed growth at the base would see a big transformation. St Paul’s RC Church was presentable without being spectacular but one noticed a planning permission notice for infrastructural improvements that will transform the immediate area.
Scoil Naomh Earnain was well maintained and had ample set down parking for parents dropping off or collecting children and also had its green flags flying proudly. Magans Public House has a long association with the village and is still an attraction for the visitor but has suffered like other rural pubs and has now reduced its opening hours. The Chestnut Tree is also well maintained and popular hostelry and the colour adds that bit of vibrancy to the village.
The Royal Canal and lock was visited and the area around it was pretty well maintained and accessible with well placed information boards. The new tourist and heritage information panel in the centre of the village was admired and this is a good initiative led by Longford County Council to have these placed in central parts of villages and towns in the county.
Overall the standard of the built environment in the Killashee was good and merits an increase in marks.
Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
The standout feature in this category for the adjudicator were the many fine examples of stone walls that were to be seen in the village and at the perimeters. There are some sections of these walls that need some remedial work to reinstate them to near original state. The work that you undertake in this category is primarily of the ongoing maintenance variety and whilst adjudicators often like to see new additional project it is important to point out that keeping what you have in place maintained is the key to effective landscaping.
The adjudicator visited all areas of the village and observed the planting arrangements and the standard of presentation was good but there is far more potential. If you are considering planting flowers at the entry from Longford do consider a low maintenance and sustainable option.
As one who is into annual flower colour and has garden of primarily annuals I can vouch for the fact it’s a tedious job to maintain them. One assumes that when the village plan is due for consideration that it will contain a planting plan section. You are wished well in trying to solve the problem with unkempt gardens in those housing developments and yes they are very unkempt and certainly take away from the efforts that neighbours have made in presenting attractive gardens.
Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
There is a bit of a cross over in this category and in fairness it is probably a reaction to comments made in this section of last year’s report. The unsightly pump or should I say the removal of same has been noted by the adjudicator but it belongs to the built environment category.
As regards the comment on “inappropriate” advertising on the bridge I see where you are coming from and indeed the provider of the kayaking service has to advertise to attract customers and this adjudicator doesn’t have a problem with that. Now onto what is required in this category the objective of which is to create an awareness and understanding of the natural wildlife and natural amenities in one’s area. That in reality is the whole essence of biodiversity.
You have a natural amenity in the section of the Royal Canal that is not available to other centres around the country. I would suggest that you make contact with either the local county environmental officer or heritage officer and ask them to meet you in relation to doing a dedicated wildlife project or sub plan that will encompass all the options of wildlife preservation and promotion that are available in the Village and its surrounds. Make sure that the school is asked to be part of this development as children bring enthusiasm and no little knowledge to proceedings.
Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
The objective of this category is to promote the need for the reduction of the production of waste at source. The revamped category did cause some confusion for many centres but a greater understanding has been seen over the last year. The Tidy Towns Unit did produce a booklet last year that gave a good overall view of what was needed in terms of mini projects that could be undertaken by committees that would fit into the main objective and get people thinking about the reduce reuse and recycle options.
There are marks to be gained in this section for Killashee if some relevant projects are submitted. Consider the following steps, get in touch with the county environmental officer to come and give you a talk on the subject. Consult the following for mini project ideas www.localprevntion.ie www.greenhomes.ie and www.sustainableprocessing.ie
Looking forward to seeing new project ideas for next year and hence a possible increase in marks.
Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
Litter control was very good as there were only one or two wrappers seen on the day and this was in fairly large area that the adjudicator traversed. So well done on your regular litter picks they certainly have the desired effect.
Like most villages on a busy road the litter is not caused by locals who would have a basic pride in their own place but by passersby who indiscriminately fire anything from cigarette butts to snack box packing out windows of cars. Magan’s Pump has been finally removed and full marks to the owner for responding to your requests.
There is a large section of a boundary wall that surrounds an impressive Georgian House in the core of the village that a bit unsightly as it seems to be part repaired. Pity that this boundary wall cannot be re constructed something akin to what it was originally.
There are a few messy tracts of property in the core area that need to be addressed ,because of local sensitivities the adjudicator does not want pinpoint them but they must be known to the committee. Overall the standard was good and credit is due to local residents who help to keep boundary walls etc well maintained.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
Your problems with Cluain Na Sidhe and the unoccupied houses have been addressed in a previous section. It is quite annoying to see no comeback, even if you were given permission to cut the front garden grass it would be a positive step. There are exceptions to every rule and there are people who will always be non cooperative and unfortunately this is part of modern day life. Given its background the standard of presentation of those houses that were occupied was very good and people have made the effort to present properties well.
Cluain Na Sidhe has a nice attractive boundary wall with the name of the estate embossed on it. This estate was quite well maintained and the communal green area was cut and tidy. The residents association is obviously playing a big part in making sure that it is seem at its best. The village proper has a number of very impressive private residences that caught the adjudicator's attention. The standard of presentation was quite good and deserving of an additional mark.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
Approach roads into the village were maintained in good condition and one got a good feel as one entered Killashee from both sides of the very busy main N63 road. Nice stone shrub beds were admired on the road in from Kenagh as one approached the school. The road in from Clondra has a very attractive flower bed that complements the blue and white name sign at the Royal Canal Bridge. Road surface here is a bit uneven but other than that it tidy and the verge cut in accordance with good practice.
It was a pleasure to visit Killashee for the very first time and experience its rural charm. The village has good potential to make progress in the competition and you are wished well for the future.
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