Jun 1, 2014

Top 20 Towns in Ireland - according to Retail Excellence

The results of a survey organised by "Retail Excellence" - ended up with this list of the top 20 towns and cities in Ireland. The survey was based on answers to questiona about things such as facilities, shops, restaurants,

Westport  County Mayo   score 85.61%
Killarney  - Kerry 84.58%
Swords  - Dublin 83.92%
Ashbourne  - Meath 82.28%
Dungarvan - Waterford 80.40%
Carrickmacross  - Monaghan 80.10%
Clonakilty  - Cork 79.31%
Malahide  - Dublin 78.07%
Skerries  - Dublin 78.06%
Listowel  - Kerry 77.55%
Kilkenny City  - Kilkenny 76.54%
Castleknock -  Dublin 76.50%
Tramore  - Waterford 75.06%
Galway City  - Galway 75.02%
Tullamore  - Offaly 74.48%
Wexford  - Wexford 74.04%
Ratoath -  Meath 73.99%
Carrick on Shannon. -  Leitrim 73.00%
Cobh  - Cork 71.80%
Kinsale  - Cork 71.45%

The top 2 towns - Westport and Killarney are major tourist destinations.  The survey results may be biased because many of the respondents will be involved in the tourist business  and are probably more likely to give positive results

The key questions in the survey were :

1. Is there an abundant number of car parking spaces available?
2 Is car parking competitively priced?
3 Has the town/city a unique and attractive streetscape?
4 Is this town/city well presented and maintained?
5 Has this town/city a large number of quality retail stores to choose from?
6 Has this town/city a large number of quality restaurants & pubs to choose from?
7 Is there a lot to do and see in this town/city?
8 Do you feel safe and secure when you visit this town/city?
9 Is this town/city family friendly?
10 Is this town/city my first choice destination for shopping?
11 Is this town/city my first choice destination for dining & entertainment?
12 Are there many events and promotions being run in this town/city?
13 Does this town/city have a unique and positive image?

The bottom 10  towns in the survey were
Limerick City(91st)
Tipperary (100th)

Charges for Water in Ireland

From October 2014 all households in Ireland will be charged for water. The average charge is supposed to be €240 a year - but the charges could range from €0.00 to €700 a year.
Eventually - the plan is - that most homes will have water meters and charges will be based on usage.
There will be a certain amount of water that will be "free" - this is expected to be the first 7500 litres each quarter (30000 litres a year) per household.
Meters will not be installed in all homes that are due to have them until 2016. Some homes will never have meters installed. Unmetered homes will still have to pay for water  - but the charge will be "assessed" based on average/estimated  usage for similar households.

Water charges will be made up of a charge for water used and wastewater processed (sewage).
Many rural homes are not connected to the mains sewage - and therefore will not be charged for their wastewater . We expect the water bills to be about 55% for wastewater and 45% for water usage.

If a home has it's own well or private water supply - they will not be charged for water supply. 

There are some estimates of how much the water charges will be here.

Currently the expenditure on domestic water services in Ireland is covered by government (From taxation).
The 34 local authorites were responsible for water services -  but now a new semi-state body called Irish Water has taken on responsibility and they will be issuing the bills.

First water bills are due in Jan 2015 - with charges for Oct Nov and Dec 2014 .