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 2010 was as follows:
Councillor Martin Brett (FG)
Councillor David Fitzgerald (FG)
Councillor Andrew McGuinness (FF)
Councillor Joe Malone (FF)
Councillor John Coonan (FF)
Councillor Joe Reidy (FF)
Councillor Betty Manning (FG)
Councillor Paul Cuddihy (FG)
Councillor Marie Fitzpatrick (LAB)
Councillor Sean O hArgain (LAB)
Councillor Kathleen Funchion (SF)
28 Whitescastle, Knocktopher, Co. Kilkenny
Councillor Malcolm Noonan (GREEN PARTY)
- 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 2010 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 The Sovereign and Council of Twelve have since been replaced by a Mayor, and Councillors.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.
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.
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.
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 2010 were:
- Kieran Street - Phase 2
- James St - Phase 3
- Upper New Street
- James Green - Phase 1
Re-alignment works were undertaken in:
- Upper New Street
- Michael Street
- Newpark Drive
Re-Surfacing works are completed in:
- Cootes Lane
- John St upper
- Maudlin Street - Phase 1
- Bateman Quay
- Butts Green
- Barrack Street
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.
The Council continued the implementation 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 John's Quay and Kieran St. Kilkenny County Council County Council continued their programme of dedicated bicycle lanes and capacity improvements on Kilkenny Ring Road and all the major radial routes leading towards the City Centre.
Dediucated Bus Set down points were provided at a number of locations throughout the City. Some of the works is temporary properly designed and constructed areas were provided in Bateman Quay and the Market Yard . Works will continue in 2011 and it is hoped to provide a number of bus-shelters at various locations.
Kilkenny Local Authorities were successful in their Stage 1 bid under Smarter Travel Competition, which is being administered by the Department of Transport. The Second Stage bid was submitted on 30th April, 2010 and contains a range of measures to improve mobility for all citizens, reduce congestion and emissions and promote economic activity. Results of the competition are not yet to hand.
FOOTPATH RESTORATION / REPAIR
Works were completed at James Street, Greenshill , New Rd. and Upper New St. 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 Michael St. and Upper New St.
It is proposed to continue with a similar level of activity in 2011 together with major improvements to the streetscape in John Street.
PARKS AND OPEN SPACES
Kilkenny Borough Council's Annual Parks and Open Spaces Programme ensures that Kilkenny consistently scores highly in the National Tidy Towns Competition with Gold Medal status achieved in 2010 where Kilkenny was awarded Ireland's Tidiest Large Urban Centre. 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. An extensive programme of grass cutting commences in March until October annually covering all green spaces within the City. Two playgrounds are maintained by Kilkenny Borough Council, one at the Fr. McGrath Centre, The Butts, and the second at Assumption Place, O'Loughlin Road.
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 provides 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. A street litter bin collection service is operated 6 days per week. Over 90 litter Bins are emptied as required with those located on the busier areas collected twice daily. An annual programme is in place to replace old bins with the specified litter bin which restricts the depositing of unwanted waste in the street litter bins. In addition a street and footpath washing programme was introduced in 2010, with High Street the pilot scheme and during the summer months the lanes off High Street were washed regularly.
Number of planning applications received in 2010: 77
Number of applications determined: 60
Granted: 53 (88% of applications)
Refused: 7 (12% 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).
STREETSCAPE PAINT SCHEME
Kilkenny Borough Council announced a 'Streetscape Paint Scheme' for the first time in 2010. A fund of €10,000 was allocated to assist with the cost of painting the front façade of buildings within a zone in Kilkenny City which included High Street, Irishtown, John Street, Parliament Street, Patrick Street Lower, Rose Inn Street, St. Kieran's Street and Watergate. There was a considerable uptake on the scheme, details of which as follows:
- Number of Applications: 29
- Number of Approved Applicants: 25
- Number who availed of the Scheme: 17
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. Work continued on one important heritage project in 2010.
The main project currently underway by Kilkenny Borough Council is on the historic City Walls. This work is partly grant aided by the Irish Walled Town Network Fund in 2007 - 2010 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.
The work on Talbot's Tower has been over a number of Phases with the main Phase of works for 2010 involving:
- The Archaeological assessment of roof overburden.
- Removal of the clay roof, repaired roof flags and gutters and re-covered the roof of parapet.
- Completed the structural stabilisation of the north east section of the parapet and the north east section of the Tower Wall.
- The provision of a engineered foundation to carry the staircase.
- Repointed of the remaining sections of the Tower.
- St. Mary's Church and Graveyard, St. Mary's Lane, Kilkenny
St. Mary's Complex was purchased by Kilkenny Borough Council in January, 2010, 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.