MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL
The Borough Council comprises twelve members, elected for a five year term of office.
The current Borough Council was elected in June 2009 and membership at 31st December 2009 was as follows:
Councillor Malcolm Noonan (GREEN PARTY)
Councillor Marie Fitzpatrick (LAB)
Councillor Andrew McGuinness (FF)
Councillor Joe Malone (FF)
Councillor John Coonan (FF)
Councillor Joe Reidy (FF)
Councillor Martin Brett (FG)
Councillor Betty Manning (FG)
Councillor Paul Cuddihy (FG)
Councillor David Fitzgerald (FG)
Councillor Sean O hArgain (LAB)
Councillor Kathleen Funchion (SF)
28 Whitescastle, Knocktopher, Co. Kilkenny
- County Manager: Mr. Joe Crockett
- Director of Services: Mr. John Mulholland.
- Senior Executive Officer: Mr Brian Tyrrell
- Senior Engineer: Mr Kieran Fitzgerald
The Municipal Rate for 2009 was €60.64.
ROLE OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL
It is the role of Kilkenny Borough Council to administer local services with the Borough. Such duties include infrastructure, community and social services and the promotion of Kilkenny as a major tourist centre.
The Borough Council plays a major role in the preservation of Kilkenny's medieval heritage and in the promotion of Kilkenny as a major tourist centre.
Kilkenny Civic Trust augments the work of the Borough Council in these areas.
PROFILE OF THE CITY
Kilkenny was constituted as a City by a Royal Charter of James 1 in 1609. The Sovereign and Council of Twelve have since been replaced by a Mayor, and Councillors.
The City has an area of 373.5 hectares (923 acres) and a population estimated at 8,625. The Borough and Environs has a population of 23,967 approx. The medieval character of the city has been maintained, particularly by the preservation of such historic buildings as Kilkenny Castle, St Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House and Shee Alms House.
Freedom of the City Events
On Saturday, 22nd November, 2008, at a meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council held at The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, the Freedom of the City of Kilkenny was conferred on Mr. Seamus Pattison and Mr. Brian Cody by the Mayor and Members of Kilkenny Borough Council.
Mr. Pattison, former Ceann Comhairle, was honoured for a lifetime of public service, during which he served his native Kilkenny in both local and national politics.
Mr. Brian Cody, Kilkenny Senior Hurling Manager, was honoured for his contribution to hurling in Kilkenny, both as a player and manager.
On Tuesday, 19th May, 2009, at a meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council held in The Great Hall, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, the Mayor and Members of Kilkenny Borough Council conferred the Freedom of the City of Kilkenny on The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.
Kilkenny Borough Council hosted the Ambassadors of United States of America, Great Britain, China, Nigeria, Norway,
SOME OTHER ACTIVITIES
Kilkenny achieved Fairtrade status in 2005. With the support of coffee shops, pubs, hotels, offices, churches, clubs and schools the city has met many of the stipulations set out by Fairtrade Ireland. A range of Fairtrade products from tea and coffee, to honey, cocoa, chocolate and fresh fruit can be purchased in the major supermarkets in Kilkenny. Numerous schools have undertaken project work on the issue of Fairtrade which encompasses human rights issues, child labour and environmental protection.
KILKENNY 400 CIVIC CELEBRATIONS
April 11th was the date in 1609 when Kilkenny was granted its Charter from James I which made Kilkenny a City. 2009 was the year that Kilkenny celebrated 400 years of City status. To mark the celebrations, a calendar of events for the year was organized. Most, if not all, activities scheduled for Kilkenny 400 were free to the public.
Festivities included street theatre, busking competitions, Opera for the people, free entry Art exhibitions, classical music, parades and craftsmanship. Other forms of entertainment presented during Kilkenny 400 included Public lecture series on History, Heritage and Archaeology; Movies in the castle, Marching Bands and Classical Music.
REFURBISHMENT OF THE PARADE / CANAL SQUARE PROJECT
Kilkenny Urban Renewal Scheme of The Parade, Mayors Walk, Canal Square and Canal Walk, commonly and collectively known as The Parade Project, is the result of a commitment by Kilkenny Borough Council in their Kilkenny City Centre Local Area Plan to reinstate The Parade as the city's main urban space and to redevelop Canal Square as a gateway to Canal Walk.
To further their commitment, Kilkenny Borough Council, after an open design competition, engaged a Dublin based architect, GKMP Architects, to design a concept that would be in line with other major urban renewal schemes, such as O'Connell Street in Dublin and Patrick Street in Cork. The design is based on bringing to life the urban space by use of selected paving materials and lighting installations, while respecting the sensitive historical and cultural importance of The Parade and Canal Square.
Kilkenny Borough Council completed the refurbishment of the Parade and Canal Square in September 2009, and Kilkenny City now has two new civic spaces available for use. The Official Opening of the newly refurbished Parade and Canal Square by the Elected Members of Kilkenny Borough Council took place on 28th November, 2009.
These civic spaces can be used for performance, display, exhibition, etc. and Kilkenny Borough Council is interested in hearing from any individual or group with an interest in using these areas.
The intention is to create a calendar of events and to manage the spaces to provide an amenity space for music, dance, art and crafts etc.
Kilkenny Borough Council is also willing to consider expressions of interest for the provision of catering facilities in these areas, which, if acceptable would be subject to planning, licence, and any health and safety or other regulation
Paving projects completed in 2009 were:
- Garden Roe Phase 2
- James St Footpaths Phase 2
- Green St
- Canal Square
- The Parade
Re-alignment works were undertaken in:
- Green Street
- Mulhalls Corner
Re-Surfacing works are completed in:
- Lord Edward Street (From Borough Boundary to Butts Cross)
- Circular Road (From Callan Road to Robertshill)
- New St /Gaol Rd Junction
- Fr Albert Place
- Walkin St Estate
- Granges Road
In all projects full cognisance is taken of disability issues with best practice methods being used. Dishing of footpaths and provision of tactile paving is included as standard and consideration is given to providing handrails and replacing sub-standard railings if necessary. In addition consideration is given to locating street furniture in favourable positions with lighting erected on buildings which reduces the need for public lighting columns.
2009 saw the adoption of the Council's Mobility Management Plan which contains a range of measures to improve accessibility and promote alternative methods of transport in the City and Environs. To that end bicycle parking was provided at the Parade, Canal Square and John's Green and Kilkenny County Council County Council commenced an extensive programme of dedicated bicycle lanes and capacity improvements on Kilkenny Ring Road and all the major radial routes leading towards the City Centre.
Kilkenny Local Authorities also made a bid to the Smarter Travel Competition, which is being administered by the Department of Transport. The genesis of the bid was our Mobility Management Plan and Kilkenny were successful in reaching the Second Stage out of approx. 40 entries. The Second Stage bid is due for submission by 30th April, 2010 and will contain a range of measures to improve mobility for all citizens, reduce congestion and emissions and promote economic activity .
FOOTPATH RESTORATION / REPAIR
Works were completed at James Street, Green Street and Greenshill with further improvement works completed at Fr. Albert Place and Walkin Street Estates. Kilkenny Borough Council will continue to provide further pedestrian crossing points, dropped kerbs and tactile paving where necessary.
New pedestrian crossing points were provided on O'Loughlin Road (close to the Dublin Road and Hebron Road junctions).
It is proposed to continue with a similar level of activity in 2010 following the preparation of the 2009-2011 Roads Programme which will be brought before the Council, following receipt of the allocations for Non National Road Grants for 2010.
PARKS AND OPEN SPACES
Kilkenny Borough Councils Annual Parks and Open Spaces Programme ensures that Kilkenny consistently scores highly in the National Tidy Towns Competition. (seventh place overall and Gold Medal status was achieved in 2009). The Borough Council Nursery at Evans Lane, Kilkenny is the base from which the Head Gardener directs her staff to enhance the view of Kilkenny for visitors and citizens.
Kilkenny Borough Council provides a refuse service, including both a dry re-cyclable and domestic refuse kerbside collection. Collections are on alternate weeks. In addition Kilkenny Borough Council provide a year round street and road cleaning service. Activities commence at 5.00 a.m daily with extra attention paid to special events and the main tourist route. Finally a street litter bin collection service is operated 6 days per week. Bins are emptied as required with those located on the busier areas collected twice daily.
Number of planning applications received in 2009: 79
Number of applications determined: 87
Granted: 80 (92% of applications)
Refused: 7 (8% of applications)
KILKENNY CITY CENTRE LOCAL AREA PLAN
Following the adoption in 2005 of the Kilkenny City Centre Local Area Plan, a full programme of implementation measures was considered in 2006. The principal aims of the plan are:-
This Local Area Plan seeks to provide an integrated strategy for the future sustainable development of Kilkenny City Centre in order to ensure its continued vitality and viability, and to strike a balance between preserving its architectural and archaeological heritage and facilitating modern living and enhancing the quality of life for its existing and future residents.
In order to deliver this strategy, the Local Area Plan has a number of principle aims:
- Propose traffic management objectives to improve existing vehicular and pedestrian linkages within the City Centre.
- Propose a framework for existing and future car parking requirements.
- Prepare urban design frameworks and land use strategies for key sites.
- Access the core retail area and propose strategies for its future development.
- Develop a general directional vehicular and pedestrian signage strategy.
- Propose a network of quality open spaces.
In conjunction with the Kilkenny City and Environs Development Plan 2002 the Kilkenny City Centre Local Area Plan will be the main instrument to guide and control development in the area and thus has major implications on the future growth and development of the City Centre.
KILKENNY CITY AND ENVIRONS DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2008 - 2014
The Kilkenny City and Environs Development Plan 2008 to 2014 was adopted on 16th June, 2008. Kilkenny Borough Council is the Planning Authority for the administrative area within the Borough Boundary. Kilkenny County Council is the planning authority for the Environs area outside the borough boundary.
Kilkenny is known as the medieval capital of Ireland and is characterised by beautifully restored old buildings and winding slipways. It is an ancient city with a vibrant outlook. It retains a unique character and has become one of Ireland's most cherished urban environments.
This Development Plan continues the tradition of previous Development Plans in seeking to balance the needs for redevelopment, expansion and growth in the environs with strong policies for the conservation and protection of the natural and built environment while ensuring a quality life for its inhabitants. It is the main public statement of planning policies for the development of Kilkenny City & Environs as seen by both local authorities. It seeks to provide a vision and direction for the City & Environs to continue to evolve, and to give the statutory context for guiding development, in the interests of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
This Development Plan is prepared jointly by Kilkenny Borough Council and Kilkenny County Council and continues the tradition of planning the City and Environs as a single entity. The Plan is accompanied by an Environmental Report prepared in accordance with the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations 2004 (SI No. 435 of 2004) and the Planning & Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment)
Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 436 of 2004).
Work continued on two important heritage projects in 2006:
The Kilkenny City Walls Heritage Conservation Plan
On behalf of Kilkenny Borough Council, Dúchas (now the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government) and An Taisce, Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by the Heritage Council to produce a Conservation Plan for the City Walls of Kilkenny. The walls are of great importance both locally and nationally, but their deteriorating condition and the recent partial loss of surviving lengths have been causes of concern.
It is anticipated that the Conservation Plan will be of use for:
- Improving local understanding of the walls and their significance.
- Promotion of the recognition and protection of the walls.
- Encouragement of management schemes for effective maintenance
- Guidance for repairs and conservation.
- Protection of the setting from adjacent developments
- Improving access to the walls.
This Conservation Plan consolidates the extensive documentation relating to the City Walls found in local records, historical mapping and national documents. The data can now be disseminated in a manageable form, from which the policies for protection and preservation can be developed.
Two main projects are currently underway by Kilkenny Borough Council on the historic City Walls. This work is partly grant aided by the Irish Walled Town Network Fund in 2007, 2008 & 2009 and also by Kilkenny Borough Council.
The Works on the City Walls are being guided and developed by the Kilkenny City Walls Steering Committee.
(i) Talbot's Tower & Adjoining City Walls
Talbot's Tower (also known as Talbot's Castle) is the only surviving complete defensive tower of Kilkenny City Walls. It is located at the angle of Ormonde Road and Lower New Street, and forms the south-western corner of the city wall circuit. It is thought to date to the late 13th or early 14th century. The tower is identified as the most important surviving part of the city walls, in the Kilkenny City Walls Conservation Plan, 2005. It is part of a Recorded Monument (Kilkenny City), it recognised as being of National Importance in the Kilkenny Architectural Heritage Study 1997, and is listed as a Protected Structure in the Kilkenny City & Environs Development Plan 2002.
Kilkenny City Walls Conservation Plan, 2005 provides the framework for the conservation and management of Talbot's Tower.
(ii) Adjoining City Wall on Abbey Street
The walls of Abbey Street form some of the most impressive survivals from the old Kilkenny City Walls and the adjoining Black Freren Gate is the only surviving gate/access remaining on the High town Circuit into the old city. An extensive programme of works commenced in 2007 and is on-going and programmed for 2008.
- St. Mary's Church and Graveyard, St. Mary's Lane, Kilkenny
Significant progress on the purchase of the St. Mary's Complex was made in December 2009, with agreement in principle that the properties would be acquired by Kilkenny Borough Council, with substantial funding being contributed by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and The Heritage Council. This will provide for the implementation of the St. Mary's Conservation Plan.
The Conservation Plan for St. Mary's Church and Graveyard, Co. Kilkenny is the result of a number of years' work and co-operation between the Trustees of St. Mary's, Kilkenny Borough Council, The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, An Taisce, The Kilkenny Archaeological Society, The Garda Síochána, University College Maynooth, Kilkenny Security and the Heritage Council, all of which are delighted to see this Plan brought into the public domain.
The stimulus for this Plan arose from the concern of the people of Kilkenny to ensure the long-term survival of St. Mary's Graveyard and the unique burial monuments it contains. The significance of the Graveyard, as the Plan reveals, is due to its central position and its potential to be an amenity for the whole city as well as the presence of the monuments of many notable historic personages of Kilkenny.
The Plan should be viewed in the context of national heritage legislation and policy, both in its recommendations and process used in its drafting, with consensus as the cornerstone. Government policy, as expressed in the National Heritage Plan, emphasises the role of heritage conservation in maintaining the quality of life and the need to encourage local communities to become involved in heritage protection. This Conservation Plan provides a framework within which government policy can be realised.