Tidy Towns results 2013: record 282 points for Ardclough, 11th in county Kildare

Marks 282/400
Position in county 11th
– up from 14th last year (Straffan top for 7th successive year with 306, Kill second with 299, Rathangan 296, Naas 295, Broadford 291, Ballymore Eustace 290, Maynooth 289, Newbridge 288, Calverstown & Johnstown 283 each)

Overall Development Approach 38/50 (up from 37)
The Built Environment 36/50 (up from 35)
Landscaping 36/50 (up from 35)
Wildlife and Natural Amenities 37/50 (up from 35)
Litter Control 28/50 (up from 27)
Sustainable Waste And Resource Management 10/20 (up from 8)
Tidiness 21/30 (up from 20)
Residential Areas 34/40 (up from 33)
Roads, Streets and Back Areas 35/50 (up from 34)
General Impression 7/10 (no change)

Scores have increased EVERY YEAR since Ardclough first entered in 1998
Maximum 300 points under old marking system: 1998: 150 (50pc). 1999: 154 (51pc), 2000: 164 (53pc), 2001: 175 (58pc), 2002: 181 (60pc), 2003: 183 (61p)c, 2004: 185 (62pc), 2005: 188 63pc).
Maximum 400 points under new marking system: 2007: 219 (54pc), 2008: 238 (59.5pc), 2009: 248 (62pc), 2010: 252 (63pc), 2011: 259 (65pc), 2012: 271 (69pc), 2013: 282 (70.5pc).

Overall Development Approach 38/50 (up from 37):
Ardclough is welcomed to the 2013 Tidy Towns Competition. Well done on your application and comprehensive amount of information summited, outlining activities carried out during the last year by your group. It is good to see a new school been completed and more importantly that the old school will be a useful centre for the community.
The Community Council are very active in all areas in the village, they engage well with all organisations in the area. They have a good cross section of the community involved in all projects undertaken thus making it easier to have a strong working committee. It is noted that your plan for the area is in its last year and the Tidy Towns will look forward to the next three to five year plan. Your support from the County Council and other agencies is very beneficial in the continuous development of the area. The newsletters produced twice yearly are a good way of informing the community and work done and work to be carried out. Your website is also a good form of communication.

The Built Environment 36/50 (up from 35):
The Church is maintained to a very high standard with well cared for lawns and landscaping. The shop close by is another very important part of the village. The new School is a welcomed modern building and the old school during the next year will take on a whole new life of various activities for the community. The time the committee spent on the needs assessment has identified the most important resources that the community require. The GAA facility another very important part of the village is well presented. The old buildings on the canal banks restoration were noted and brings life to this lovely amenity area. The old cottage was also noted.

Landscaping 36/50 (up from 35):
The landscaping in the village as stated earlier is of a high standard. The church grounds and the area around the triangle were admired. The use of all year round planting is encouraged and the seasonal flowers at the signs bring that extra splash of colour to the village.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities 37/50 (up from 35):
The committee are to be complimented on the on-going work in this category. The many projects undertaken in this category are an important source of information and a great means of educating the community. The Information Board at the triangle is an example of this. The Canal is a natural amenity both for wildlife and amenity for walkers. The nature trail along the canal when it is finally ready for promotion will be welcomed. It is hoped that the council assists you to complete this project. You mention you had a visit from a flock of curlews during the past year, having read an article in the paper recently that the sound of the curlew does not indicate a  good summer, hopefully this is not true.
this category are an important source of information and a great means of educating the community. The Information Board at the triangle is an example of this. The Canal is a natural amenity both for wildlife and amenity for walkers. The nature trail along the canal when it is finally ready for promotion will be welcomed. It is hoped that the council assists you to complete this project. You mention you had a visit from a flock of curlews during the past year, having read an article in the paper recently that the sound of the curlew does not indicate a good summer, hopefully this is not true.

Litter Control 28/50 (up from 27):
The management plan of eradicating litter from the village is welcomed. Your spring clean-up is a good way to start the campaign and regular litter picks thereafter. Always involve the school in these clean ups as they are the future and learning at an early age will remain, with them for life. The village was almost litter free on adjudication day.

Sustainable Waste And Resource Management 10/20 (up from 8):
This category has caused problems for entrants in the past not understanding fully what waste minimisation was about. The information enclosed with this year’s Tidy Towns application will provide assistance to groups in becoming more aware of ways of reducing waste and conserving energy. Your household waste survey has produced some interesting facts on how to minimise the amount of waste produced and this survey was a good way of acquiring this important information. The advice you give on the disposal of mineral oil is also another good way of reusing what would otherwise be damaging if not correctly disposed of.
Do continue the good work you are doing in this category and continue to add to the list of findings from your survey. You are educating the community on how best to reduce waste, conserve energy and reducing costs thus saving the community money. Well done to all concerned on your work in this category.

Tidiness 21/30 (up from 20):
On entering the village there was a great feeling of tidiness. Signage generally was good. Some signs needed cleaning or painting. The planting at the County Council yard was noted.

Residential Areas 34/40 (up from 33):
The residences in the village were all very well presented and landscaped. Wheatfield housing estate and Lishandra Manor were both superbly landscaped. Lishandra landscaping as was suggested in last year’s report has really added to the overall landscaping of the village. All other private houses in the village were well presented and blended into the streetscape that combines new and old which adds to the attractiveness of the village.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas 35/50 (up from 34):
The entrance roads to the village are all well presented. The triangle makes a lovely approach to the village. This area is like a village park, the information board to the visitor is very informative. Hedges and verges are all neat and tidy. The new School road looks impressive. The ramps in the village need resurfacing.

General Impression 7/10 (no change)
The village was a pleasure to visit and adjudicate. Thank you for your participation in the competition and wishing you continued success.

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