Funding needed in poor areas of north Kilkenny

Calls: Councillor says areas of deprivation in the north must be considered in scheme

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

Parts of Castlecomer are considered disadvantaged or very disadvantaged with some areas given scores well below the national average

North Kilkenny areas must be included in Community Enhancement Scheme due to high levels of deprivation in the region, councillors have warned.

At last month’s meeting of Castlecomer Municipal District, Cllr Maurice Shortall highlighted that there were several areas of deprivation in the MD and they “have to be taken into consideration” in the CES.

According to the latest National Deprivation Index, published last year, large parts of Castlecomer are considered disadvantaged or very disadvantaged with some areas given scores of -20.21.

The “national average” is set at 0, with scores ranging from -40 for the most disadvantaged to +40 for the most affluent.

Under the CES grants will be provided towards capital projects to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas and the closing date for CES applications in July 13.

Parts of Ballyragget are classed as “disadvantaged” with scores of -13.99. Meanwhile in Freshford, parts of it are considered disadvantaged as well with some places getting a score of -10.20.

In Urlingford there are places that are “very disadvantaged” with ratings of around -24.

Senior executive officer at the local authority, Michael Delahunty, told the meeting quite a lot of places were highlighted as areas of deprivation and that the Council would have to have its own “internal discussions” on how to proceed with those and it would “depend on budgets”.

The Council was praised for the Health Check meetings it has held around the county in towns and villages and its efforts in trying to secure funding through the Town and Village Renewal scheme, Rural Regeneration and Outdoor Grants.

Director of Services, Mary Mulholland, told members that the health checks do result “in a level of expectation” in the towns and villages. “We are punching above our weight in terms of funding drawn down.

“However, we’ll also need match funding to deliver on expectations,” she said.

Ms Mulholland that this would be subject to “budgetary considerations”.

Cllr Shortall added: “If we’re to be serious, there has to be follow through.”