independent

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Balbriggan ecstatic as ten points gained

JOHN MANNING

Published 18/09/2012 | 16:48

Balbriggan Tidy Towns volunteers at one of their planting days during the year.

THE BALBRIGGAN Tidy Towns team was absolutely ecstatic to learn the town had gained ten more points in this year's National Tidy Towns competition.

Each and every point is very difficult to achieve and this year Balbriggan achieved 251 points. As this represented a significant rise in points. Balbriggan was awarded an Endeavour award which brings a prize of €500 for use in next year's Tidy Towns campaign. Joe Troy, the team chairperson, immediately contacted all the volunteers to thank them for the efforts throughout the year. He said: 'It is the work that we do in the freezing depths of winter that pays off during the summer and makes Balbriggan into a town of which we can be so proud.' Despite the great result, the Tidy Towns committee continues to be frustrated that Fingal County Council still refuses to place any permanent bins on the Balbriggan beach area. The committee said: 'After three years of pleading the Tidy Towns team continue to be ignored by Fingal council. This lack of cooperation means the Balbriggan beach area always looks neglected compared to the Skerries beach that has 37 permanent bins.' In the adjudication report on Balbriggan, Tidy Towns judges recommended that a three-year plan be developed for the town to take it to the next level in the competition. St George's Square, the Bracken Court Hotel and the town centre were all praised in the report as being 'very attractive' by the judges who also noted that the St George's Church looked 'superb'. The town park and the Dublin Road roundabout were also singled out for praise by the judges as well as the Garda Station and Molly's Cafe. And with a look to the future, work being done by the Tidy Towns committee now will improve the town over the next few years, the judges said. Their report says: ' The town has great potential for wildlife and natural amenities. The Bracken River is a natural habitat for wildlife. ' The mature trees in this area and the additional hedging that you have sewn for this year will all add more shelter and provide food for wildlife, not to mention the seaside in the natural habitat it provides.' With a town the size of Balbriggan, litter can be a problem and the judges gave some tips on how to tackle this awkward issue. The report said: 'In a town of this size, with a large population, litter can be a problem. The development of an education strategy, as you have outlined in the schools, residents and youth groups is a step in the right direction. ' This will help create a greater level of litter awareness and help in combatting litter. Regular clean ups and engaging with the local authority on litter black spot areas to eradicate old litter accumulated in grass verges in a step in the right direction.' The judges also warned about a problem with graffiti in the town, saying: 'Graffiti is showing its head also which is another matter that needs to be addressed.' Green initiatives taken by the Tidy Towns committee were praised by the judges who also said that the approach roads to the town were in generally good condition.

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