Tidy Towns seminars have taken place throughout the county recently to assist local groups to climb the ladder of Tidy Town success, and Kilkenny local authorities say they are delighted to support the strong Tidy Towns movement that pulses through over 20 communities in the county.
While Kilkenny City and Inistioge feature in the national rankings annually, other towns and villages in the county are hot on their heels.
Two national adjudicators visited the county this spring to help guide groups through the competition. Ecologist Billy Flynn visited Bennettsbridge in February as the village is re-entering the competition in 2012, and in recent weeks Pat Nolan took to the streets of Goresbridge, Johnstown and Fiddown to meet groups and walk around their locality to discuss potential projects, common pitfalls and the wider benefits of participating in the competition.
Kilkenny County Council Chairman Paul Cuddihy attended the Goresbridge event and presented the Tidy Towns groups with two native Irish trees. Goresbridge has been entering the competition for the past two years and won the Endeavour Award in 2011 for their 10% mark improvement on the previous year.
“Tidy Towns is an experience that people enjoy, not only for the sense of accomplishment in getting things done, but also the friendships that are made along the way,” he said. “The partnerships forged within the community and with other organisations like the local authority, Fás and Kilkenny Leader Partnership are invaluable to the county.”
Kilkenny City has set its sights on the national overall prize this year after winning the Tidiest Urban Area award for the past two years. The city was only two points shy of the national winner last year and this year with its strengthened partnership within the community, local group Keep Kilkenny Beautiful hopes to close the gap and bring home the national title, which was last won by Kilkenny in 1985.