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Our Goals in full

At the 2016 AGM it was decided to action the following:

1. Online Community.

posted 26 Jun 2016, 01:42 by BailisDowns Community   [ updated 26 Feb 2017, 00:13 ]

'The aim for developing and improving our online presence is to avoid the need for paper door-to-door flyers and know that we are communicating with our Residents'. 

2017 Plan

We have proposed 2 significant changes about our Facebook Page.

1. Johnstown Page

All residents are encourage to join Navan South Communities Unite which we envisage as the Main Facebook Page and information notice board for Johnstown. 


It already hosts most posts common to all estates and has nearly 1,000 followers already. What happens in one estate affects all of Johnstown so it makes sense to have one Page for the wider community whilst individual areas like Bailis Downs host their own local information and feed into it.

2. Bailis Downs Page

Throughout 2016 we significantly increased Facebook Follower numbers but individual personal privacy settings hides the identity of the vast majority. 

With 142 Households and potentially 280 adults we don't know if we have the attention of 75% or only 10%. of our residents. Not knowing this essential information defeats the objectives of having the page as a communication tool.

When we post an article Facebook reports to administrators on how many people the posting reaches. Occasionally it reports 100's of people and once or twice it has stated 3,500 people reached. When this happens we definitely know that it's gone beyond our residents but it's not a popularity contest and the reported results become meaningless. 

The Drastic Proposal.

Delete the current page and start again but as a Membership Group where the page functions exactly the same as it does now but with subtle differences:

The Advantages

  • Personal privacy still operates where we see only basic member information.
  • Every member can be identified by name.
  • It will allow us to identify missing households.
  • It shows viewing numbers by members and not a meaningless page ‘reach’.
  • If we chose to have an ‘Open’ group it allows Non Members to see the posts without joining.
  • Enables group chat between members without needing to ‘Friend’ each other.
  • Enables quick member surveys with instant results viewed by everyone.


  • We start again from zero followers and new members request to join.
  • Cannot embed page within our website for non-Facebook users to view.

Action Plan: 

These changes are only proposed and if they do gain approval to change it will be done over a period of time to allow it to be a smooth transition. We don't wish to lose our audience.


2. Estate Taken In Charge

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:25 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 26 Feb 2017, 00:13 by BailisDowns Community ]

'Built in the late 90’s our estate should have been taken in charge by the Council several years ago'.

What does it mean to have the "Estate Taken In Charge"?

Essentially nothing much will change except that all the services outside our homes will fall under the full responsibility of Meath County Council. This includes the roads, pavements, trees, drains, lighting etc.

Once ’Taken in Charge’ by the Council we will no longer be able to carryout anything other than grass cutting and basic planting without Council Permission. 

For further details view Meath County Council Policy

What it does NOT include.

Maintenance of all the open green spaces will remain our responsibility and we will always have to fund cutting the grass.

When will it happen?

We discovered our Estate hadn't been Taken In Charge in 2015 and submitted the application in Nov 2015 after gaining signatures from 90 of 142 households. 

The process is made more difficult since both the developer and main contractor ceased their business' several years ago. 

The process with the Council has been on going for over a year now and ultimately due to be completed soon.

Latest Updates

Email Update from Meath County Council on 23/02/2017 

"I have checked on the status of Bailis Downs.  Irish Water responded on 26.1.2017 to the information forwarded in December 2016 and they require a site resolution plan for this development .

Meath County Council are awaiting a meeting to discuss this resolution plan with Irish Water".

3. Community Magazine

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:24 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 12 Jun 2017, 09:26 ]

'Create a newsletter to improve our Sense of Community'.

Two editions were created by Robin Marshall in 2016 to provide another medium in which to engage with residents and build Community Spirit.

Written By Residents, For Residents and About Residents it has involved over 50 individuals. With a target audience of 142 households the viewing figures speak for themselves.

April edition received 112 readers via a downloadable file. The second October edition received 346 readers (to date) and designed for online viewing using a smartphone.

The Bailis Times Magazine has engaged with more resident readers than either the Bailis Downs Facebook Page or the Bailis Downs Website. 

Residents Association articles generally attracted between 30 to 50% of readers.

The planned development into a Community Magazine for the wider Johnstown area is now taking place and will further engage and involve our Bailis Downs residents.

All local editions have been removed to make way for the www.JohnstownTimes.com

4. Annual Contributions

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:23 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 28 Feb 2017, 22:23 by BailisDowns Community ]

The community needs your financial support in order to maintain the estate and our home environment.

After several years of very low levels of support in 2016 the decision was taken to allow the grass to grow until 80% of households made a contribution to the fund. The intention was to show that it is in everyone's interest to have the greens cut and that it really does make a huge difference to our environment and every household is affected regardless of whether or not they actually set foot on the green spaces.

The support we received:
  • x125 Household Contributions 88% 
  • x105 gave Full contributions 74% 
  • x20  gave Part contributions 14%
  • x17  gave Nothing 12%
Unfortunately, it took 8 weeks after our first communication to raise the contributions and in this time the grass grew to over 4 foot requiring a specialist team and cost 2/3 of our funds to cut it. 

If we can achieve the same support before the grass grows over the height of a lawn mower blade we will be in a position to reduce future contribution.

Despite the 88% support in 2016 our year end balance from contributions was approx MINUS €60.

The 2017 Plan

  • €30 is set as the Community Fund Contribution
  • 80% of Households are requested to contribute in Full before the grass is cut.
  • A Door-2-Door information fortnight followed by Collections will commence in March.
  • 2017 Window Stickers will be issued to stop the circular argument of 'I'm not contributing because no one else is'.
  • All Grass verges will be cut, residents can lower them further if they choose.
  • All roadside kerbs will be weed sprayed.
  • Facebook target results chart will be published weekly.
  • If we achieve an excess fund then 2018 Contribution fund may be reduced. 


5. Clean Up

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:22 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 26 Feb 2017, 01:31 by BailisDowns Community ]

Together with Seasonal Clean Up events encourage a Monthly Tidy Up.

We are fortunate that because we have no real through traffic we only attract a small amount of litter. Most comes from being blown by the wind and shared between all the neighbouring Estates.

Johnstown Tidy Towns is making fortnightly litter collections and we urge residents to participate. The work they are doing is significantly reducing the litter throughout the area which is an extension of our home.

For those not using Facebook here's a direct News Feed from the Johnstown Tidy Towns page.

Spring and Autumn Clean Up Days will be advertised.

6. Neighbourhood Watch

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:20 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 28 Feb 2017, 22:04 by BailisDowns Community ]

Join our Scheme.

We now have an official Neighbourhood Watch scheme up and running together with our own unofficial Local Text Alert. Formal Text Alert will be operational in weeks to come. 

For any security scheme to be most effective we need 100% of the estate to join and participate in securing our home environment.

Essentially we have 3 aims for the schemes within our community:
  1. Be observant and report suspicious activity to the Police.
  2. Look out for the well being of your neighbours.
  3. Secure your property.

To join the scheme please use this Enrollment Form to apply to join Bailis Downs Neighbourhood Watch

The official website for Neighbourhood Watch provides more information.

What is Neighbourhood Watch?

Neighbourhood Watch is a crime prevention programme designed to encourage the community to cooperate with the local Gardai in reducing opportunities for crime. The underlying principal objective is to watch over each other and become good caring neighbours.

What's Involved?

  • Neighbours getting to know each other and working together with the local Gardai to reduce opportunities for crime.
  • Reporting suspicious activities to the Gardai. 
  • Looking out for older and vulnerable members of the community. 
  • Under no circumstances does it involve any form of patrolling of formation of vigilante groups.

7. Street Signage

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:19 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 1 Mar 2017, 02:09 by BailisDowns Community ]

Look into getting roadside signage .....but what is needed and where?

We can print almost anything on a street sign but the concern is always that it won’t be read by those who really need to read it. There are standard signs available but will they work and catch peoples attention. 

We are waiting for our Estate to be Taken In Charge by the council as we believe that they will provide some essential street signage and road markings as part of the process.

We will ask the Council for 'Clean up After your Dog' signs but we are limited on where to place these.

Neighbourhood Watch signs will be obtained but require planning permission so will take time.

Once the Council possess the estate we see what they achieve and what we can add.

8. Pride of Place 2017

posted 26 Jun 2016, 00:18 by Robin Marshall   [ updated 28 Feb 2017, 22:21 by BailisDowns Community ]

We intend to enhance the entrance area as our entry to 2017 Pride of Place competition and are seeking suggestions from all Residents.

The scheme requires more than simply installing a feature and further details of how you can help will be provided. Entries must be submitted by March 31st therefore we're in a hurry for suggestions.

We need ideas asap about what we could do, what to plant, should it be wide, raised, tall, sculptured, colourfull......?

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