ALTHOUGH SWORDS has slipped from second place to 13th in the list of towns nationwide that are winning the war against litter, the town has still been given a clean bill of health and been marked out as a town that is cleaner than the European norm.
The continued high performance of the town is a credit to Swords Tidy Towns and the council who have worked together to improve the cleanliness of the county capital since it turned in a poor result in the same IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter) survey, a few years ago. On this occasion the survey ranked Swords 13th out 42 towns and cities that were surveyed, down from second last year but the chair of the local Tidy Towns committee said that the slip down the table this year was largely due to two private sites in the town that came in for criticism. Chairperson of Swords Tidy Towns, Des Becton, said that the two sites at the Lord Mayor's Car Park and the car park at Mainscourt Electrical and GWD Property Consultants, opposite Eddie Rockets's were problem sites for litter and needed to be addressed, by legal means if necessary. It was unforunate too that adjudicators had visited the town before a major clean-up of one of these sites was undertaken by the Tidy Towns committee. But overall, this was another great result for Swords, the four approach roads into the town all got top marks and the Main Street, Thornleigh Educate Together NS and Broadmeadows residential area were also singled out for praise. The report gave an A grade to the approach to the town from Malahide and Watery Lane which IBAL said was a ' busy road passing through a mix of residential and commercial properties'. It added: ' The paving and grass on paving was neatly cut - the overall impression was of a clean and well maintained route.' The same A grade was given to the approach from the Dublin Road from Cloghran Roundabout to Pinnock Hill Roundabout and from the R108 from the airport which IBAL said was 'very well maintained and clear of litter'. An A grade also went to the Ashbourne approach road to Swords which the survey found to have 'no litter problems despite some maintenance work taking place'. Residents of the Broadmeadows area can take a bow for what IBAL said was an 'excellent site - the grassy area was adorned with trees and paving was clear of litter'. The prized A grade was also given to Thornleigh Educate Together National School, Forster Way and Mall Shopping Centre and Swords Main Street about which IBAL said: 'Attractive street lamps enhanced the main street. The street was clear of litter and very well maintained.' But two C grades for the two private car parks dragged the town's score down and in both cases, IBAL were critical that at both car parks, 'the biggest concern appears to be clamping' rather than maintaining the sites' appearance.