The councillors from the Ardee Municipal District committee have welcomed the new amenity grants for housing estate maintenance and local Tidy Towns groups.
We revealed last week that housing estates in Ardee are to benefit to the tune of €4,550 from Louth County Council’s amenity grant scheme, whilst local Tidy Towns committees will also receive €6,650 in 2017.
The scheme is available annually to residents associations, Tidy Towns groups and community groups looking to undertake small scale amenity projects in their area. For residents associations, this often includes green cutting and tree and shrubbery maintenance as well as providing for cleaning and maintenance tools.
The grants are distributed after an application process which is open to all groups and as of this year are based on the size of estates, housing numbers and the size of their communal areas.
Welcoming the new funding distribution model, Colm Markey said is was a much better alternative to the imbalance of years gone by. “There was a previous imbalance in funding and this is a massive improvement in the situation. It’s good to see the progress on it,” he said.
Sliabh Breagh and Rockfield have received €750 each this year while Cherrybrook and Ferdia Park each receive €550 towards ongoing work. De La Salle/Mulladrillen, Cappocksgate and Campbell’s Park/Dawson’s Demesne all receive €400 each and Rathgory has been granted €350. Cloghan Bridge and Riverbank each get €200.
In total, associations and groups in the Ardee Municipal District area – including areas such as Dunleer, Castlebellingham, Kilsaran, Collon, Louth Village and Clogherhead – have received €32,800 in amenity grants in 2017.
Close to home, the Reaghstown Tenants Association receive €200 while Tidy Towns groups have also been granted money – to the tune of €6,650. Ardee Tidy Towns and Tallanstown Tidy Towns groups got €2,800 and €2,000 respectively. The Reaghstown and Stabannon Tidy Town initiatives received €1,000 and €850.
“I’m delighted to see that we have a full template for the county and also housing estates will be up and others will be down but it’s a fair system now,” Sin Fein councillor Tom Cunningham added. “I’d like to see a template we can look at for the Tidy Towns and the community groups. It would make everything fairer.
Councillor Jim Tenanty asked the council if – in relation to the application process – they could use plans already in their possession to determine funding allocations rather than asking residents to pay for a photographer or drone.
Joe McGuinness told him that the council try to simplify the process for residents. “They don’t have to be professional or drone taken,” he said whilst also saying photographs were preferential as it demonstrates that the work is done by having before and after photographs.
“I do welcome the amounts,” Tenanty said. “It’s a fair way and it’s fair especially for hard working estates that put a lot into it. Maybe if these grants become known, maybe it will entice other estates to keep their areas.”