How our County Coun­cil rates

Bray People - - Special Report -

WICK­LOW’S li­brary mem­ber­ship re­mains high and the county has a great record for the let­ting of coun­cil hous­ing stock, but the Gar­den County has the worst pri­vate wa­ter scheme qual­ity in the whole of Ire­land.

The Ser­vice In­di­ca­tors re­port, re­cently pre­sented to Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment, Her­itage and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, John Gorm­ley, shows how Wick­low County Coun­cil rated against the coun­try’s other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in 2007.

Some of the statis­tics also pro­vide in­ter­est­ing in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the be­hav­iour of the peo­ple of Wick­low, from their read­ing to their re­cy­cling habits.

Ser­vice in­di­ca­tors across a large num­ber of head­ings were in­tro­duced to the lo­cal au­thor­ity sys­tem in 2004 to mea­sure per­for­mance by the 34 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing City and County Coun­cils, across a range of ser­vices in a uni­form way.

‘While the in­di­ca­tors pro­vide mea­sure­ments across the breadth of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties’ ac­tiv­i­ties, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that not all ser­vices are easy to mea­sure and that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties also pro­vide a range of sup­ports that are not mea­sured by the se­lec­tion of in­di­ca­tors,’ said a spokesman for the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Man­age­ment Ser­vices Board, who com­piled the re­port.

ROADS

THE at­ten­tion paid to County Wick­low’s roads in 2007 com­pared well to some neigh­bour­ing coun­ties but was far ex­ceeded by plenty of oth­ers.

Last year 6.3 per cent of our roads were ‘dressed’ with sur­fac­ing last year, a to­tal of 554,754 square me­tres.

Just 5.7 per cent of Water­ford’s road sur­faces were at­tended to in 2007, while the fig- ure stands at 6 per cent in Kilkenny, only 2.9 per cent in Sligo and a slim 3.6 per cent in Gal­way.

How­ever, we can’t be­gin to pat our­selves on the back just yet. 10 per cent of Ca­van and Leitrim roads were dressed and a whop­ping

10.8 per cent in Mon­aghan.

HOUS­ING

AS re­gards the sta­tus of lo­cal au­thor­ity hous­ing stock, Wick­low has one of the high­est per­cent­age of dwellings let, with only a mea­gre 1.9 per cent of dwellings empty.

Only South Dublin County Coun­cil, Car­low County Coun­cil and Lim­er­ick County Coun­cil can lay claim to a bet­ter per­cent­age record.

Wick­low had an over­all hous­ing stock of 3,968 in 2007, 98.1 per cent of which were oc­cu­pied.

Of the dwellings that are va­cant, 9.6 per cent is be­cause of ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment schemes, while the re­main­ing dwellings are un­avail­able for let­ting mainly be­cause they were re­quired near the end of 2007 and weren’t ready for oc­cu­pancy by De­cem­ber 31 of that year.

WA­TER

WITH all the con­cern sur­round­ing drink­ing wa­ter at the mo­ment res­i­dents of Co. Wick­low will be glad to know the qual­ity of our pub­lic drink­ing wa­ter last year was high.

How­ever, those at­tached to pri­vate schemes will be hor­ri­fied to know that Wick­low had the worst wa­ter qual­ity in the whole coun­try.

The re­port found that 96.90 per cent THE peo­ple of Wick­low aren’t ex­actly de­prived when it comes to play­grounds, but nor are they spoilt for choice.

The County Coun­cil di­rectly pro­vided 0.11 chil­dren’s play­grounds per 1,000 peo­ple and while this might not seem like much, it’s still ex­ceeds the rates in many other coun­ties.

For in­stance Ca­van and Clare County Coun­cil’s only pro­vide 0.05 play­grounds per 1,000 peo­ple, Cork only 0.04, and Lim­er­ick County Coun­cil only 0.02.

Among our neigh­bours, Wex­ford pro­vided 0.17 play­grounds per 1,000 peo­ple, Kil­dare 0.05 and Car­low 0.12.

Mon­aghan County Coun­cil was by far and away the best, di­rectly pro­vid­ing 0.50 play­grounds per 1,000 peo­ple.

LI­BRARIES

WITH a strong lit­er­ary tra­di­tion, it should be no sur­prise that we have one of the high­est rates of li­brary mem­ber­ships in the coun­try.

Close to a quar­ter of Wick­low’s pop­u­la­tion (23.1 per cent) are reg­is­tered mem­bers of li­braries, which is only bet­tered by a hand­ful of coun­ties, in­clud­ing Dublin City Coun­cil (35.2 per cent) and Fin­gal County Coun­cil (35.4).

The low­est rates of mem­ber­ship were in Coun­ties Louth (10.7 per cent), Laois (11.1 per cent) and Done­gal (11.2 per cent). A highly re­spectable av­er­age of 3.58 books were is­sued per head of pop­u­la­tion in Wick­low last year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, with other items is­sued ac­count­ing for 0.25 per

cent. of drink­ing wa­ter anal­y­sis re­sults from pub­lic schemes were in com­pli­ance with statu­tory re­quire­ments last year, one of the high­est per­cent­ages in the coun­try.

But it would seem Wick­low’s record has been let down by pri­vate schemes, as the fig­ure plum­mets to 85.87 per cent.

That close to 15 per cent of wa­ter in pri­vate schemes failed to meet the statu­tory re­quire­ment for wa­ter qual­ity doesn’t bode well and puts Wick­low firmly at the bot­tom of that ta­ble.

Sec­ond last on the list is Water­ford at 87.25 per cent, Mayo at 88.98 per cent and Cork at 89.07 per cent.

PLAY­GROUNDS

ART

WHEN it comes to Art, it seems Wick­low County Coun­cil could do bat­ter.

The re­port shows that Wick­low County Coun­cil re­ceived 62 Arts Grants in 2007, a rel­a­tively av­er­age fig­ure. For in­stance Wex­ford County Coun­cil re­ceived more at 110. The Gar­den County’s grants worked out at ¤802 per 1,000 peo­ple, com­pared to Wex­ford and ¤ 4,707, Gal­way City Coun­cil and ¤6,339 and Water­ford City Coun­cil with ¤5,128.

PLAN­NING

IN Plan­ning in­di­vid­ual hous­ing ap­pli­cants faired well with just over 700 ap­pli­cants hav­ing a de­ci­sion made by Wick­low County Coun­cil whereas its neigh­bour Dun Laoghaire Rath­down made just 389 de­ci­sions.

Again the num­ber of applications de­cided upon within eights weeks were higher in Wick­low with 301 applications de­cided upon.

When it came to hous­ing de­vel­op­ments the num­ber of de­ci­sions made by Wick­low County coun­cil weren’t as high.

A fig­ure of 161 hous­ing de­vel­op­ments were de­cided on by Wick­low County Coun­cil but just a short drive away in Dun laoghaire Rath­down some 203 de­ci­sions were made.

In Wick­low 93 of the de­ci­sions were made within eight weeks whereas in Dun Laoghaire Rath­down 143 applications were de­cided on within that time.

The num­ber of applications not re­quir­ing an En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact re­port was high yet the num­bers were higher in neigh­bour­ing county coun­cils.

Some 1,449 applications that were de­cided on did not re­quire an En­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment with only 15 ap­pli­cants need­ing one.

In Dun laoghaire Rath­down and Wex­ford the fig­ures not re­quir­ing an as­sess­ment were over 2,000 with 2,188 in Dun laoghaire not need­ing an as­sess­ment and in Wex­ford the fig­ure was 2,019.

RENTS

LAND­LORDS in Wick­low were do­ing very well last year as they col­lected the high­est per­cent­age of rev­enue from rent.

In Wick­low 97.1 per cent of the amount due at the year end was col­lected with just 89 per cent be­ing col­lected in Dun Laoghaire Rath­down.

Hous­ing Rent ar­rears were also high in Wick­low with 69.8 per cent of ar­rears be­ing more than 12 weeks old.

In Wex­ford ar­rears were less at 60.5 per cent.

Hous­ing Loans col­lected at the year end were also high in Wick­low with 93 per cent but not as high in Wex­ford with 103 per cent of hous­ing loans be­ing col­lected.

Hous­ing Loan ar­rears were also high in Wick­low with 85 per cent of loans in ar­rears be­ing more than three months old.

WASTE

The to­tal of 389 cases sub­ject to com­plaints were in­ves­ti­gated by Wick­low County coun­cil, the same num­ber that was in­ves­ti­gated by Wex­ford County Coun­cil.

In Wick­low there was a slightly higher num­ber of en­force­ment pro­ce­dures taken through warn­ing let­ters in Wick­low at 590 with Wex­ford tak­ing 472 pro­ce­dures.

There was more than 50 per cent less pros­e­cu­tions were made by Wick­low County Coun­cil than that of Wex­ford with 29 pros­e­cu­tions be­ing car­ried out in Wick­low and 66 be taken in Wex­ford.

The per­cent­age of house­hold wasted col­lected and sent for re­cy­cling in Wick­low is only 14 per­cent, just slightly ahead of Car­low, which is the worst in the coun­try at 8.3 per cent.

This places Wick­low as one of the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties right at the bot­tom of the ta­ble when it came to re­cy­cling in 2007.

Wick­low County Coun­cil con­stituents have seg­re­gated waste col­lec­tion through pri­vate op­er­a­tors. Top of the re­cy­cling ta­ble in Ire­land are Long­ford County Coun­cil, who re­cy­cle 56 per cent of the house­hold waste, while Water­ford City (49 per cent) and County (47 per cent) Coun­cils also have im­pres­sive track records.

In Wick­low, how­ever, 86 per cent of house­hold waste goes to a land­fill - with a mas­sive 26,198 tones of waste hav­ing dis­posed of in this way last year. Only 4,262 tones were re­cy­cled.

While most coun­ties re­cy­cle be­tween 20 and 30 per cent of house­hold waste, the re­cy­cling fa­cil­i­ties in Wick­low ap­pear to be among the least plen­ti­ful in the coun­try ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

BRI­GADE

It took an av­er­age of 6.1 min­utes to mo­bilise fire brigades in part­time sta­tions in Wick­low last year, the re­port has re­vealed. This was one of the slow­est times na­tion­wide, with Of­faly com­ing in at the bot­tom of the ta­ble at 7.6 min­utes.

Of­faly was the only county where the mo­bil­i­sa­tion time was more than seven min­utes. Wick­low was one of five other coun­ties where it took be­tween six and seven min­utes for the part-time crew to get to­gether: Wex­ford (6.4), West­meath (6.3), South Tip­per­ary (6.2), and Dublin (6.1).

The fastest part-time fire bri­gade mo­bil­i­sa­tion times were in Sligo (4.2) and Water­ford (4.3). The av­er­age mo­bil­i­sa­tion time across the sta­tions was 5.2 min­utes.

Wick­low County Coun­cil’s fire brigades reached al­most half of all scenes (42.4 per cent) within ten min­utes. They reached ap­prox­i­mately the same amount be­tween ten and 20 min­utes (46 per cent). In 11.6 per cent of cases it took more than 20 min­utes for a crew to reach the scene.

In this year’s re­port a num­ber of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties high­lighted sig­nif­i­cant is­sues re­lated to at­ten­dance times, in­clud­ing the ru­ral na­ture of parts of the county and there­fore in­creased trans­port times, as well as an in­crease in traf­fic vol­umes in ur­ban ar­eas.

RIGHT: Only 1.9% of hous­ing is va­cant.

ABOVE: Kids not de­prived of play­grounds, but not spoilt for choice ei­ther. TOP: County Wick­low roads com­pare well with neigh­bours.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.