THE enthusiastic Millstreet Tidy Town Association dwelled into an analysis of its 2012 submission that earned a rewarding four mark increase and a bronze medal in the national competition jumping from 291 to 295 marks.
The positive reaction from the Tidy Towns adjudicator together with a number of exciting developments in the pipeline augurs well for the future.
Millstreet's endeavours won a National Bronze Medal for centres of a population from 2,500 to 5,000), runners up and highly commended in Cork North behind Coolagown, and winning the Category D section for North Cork.
The feedback from the adjudicator gives a dedicated Millstreet Tidy Towns Association the impetus to continue with a series of projects to enhance the town's image.
An active committee of 21 members gathers good support from all sectors of the community. It is vital to have good working relationships with Cork Co Co, FÁS, Coillte and IRD Duhallow. Well done to the schools and local business community for support and using local newspapers, parish newsletter and website to relay message. It is great that a three-year plan but consider expanding on it and keep actions as specific
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT:
The secondary school looks well although the concrete fence in front could be painted, a hedgerow planted along the back mesh fence and remove disused pole at the junction near the school. The Green Glens arena is presented favourably although the Station Rd entrance would benefit from gate painting and landscaping. Scoil Mhuire School is neatly presented and the window boxes add a splash of colour as ia Coleman's shop/petrol station and the public car park up the hill behind the Credit Union is maintained to a high standard. The old fire station on the Macroom Rd is well maintained but two disused poles here should be removed. The AIB is a fine building., the church and grounds/railings looked well and the lovely school entrance next door was admired it its colour flower boxes and murals. The grotto on the Clara Rd and nearby 'Cilín' cross are lovely with the Council buildings and adjacent car park well maintained with good tourist information and public toilets provided. The GAA Clubhouse and dressing rooms were presented to a high standard, as was the playground. The high mesh fencing near the town park entrance could be repaired. The Centra shop is very well maintained. The entrance to the pitch and putt course was neat and colourful. Traditional shop fronts adorn the town (some with lovely signage e.g. Healy's, Corcoran's, Cronins, O' Byrnes). Unfortunately many of the original sash windows have been lost but those at Padraic McCarthy's House and Craft Butchers were admired. Many premises looked well including Corkery's pub, Wallis Arms, R Barretts, Aidain McCaul's, Nibbles, Murphy's Furniture, An Siopa Deas, Pat & Ann's salon. The SuperValu Building and car park was maintained to a high standard.
There is a lovely landscaped area just past the back entrance to the school as is the attractive flowerbed at the junction of this road and the main road. The new fire station looks well. The nearby Civic Amenity Site is very impressive with its fine stone wall and excellent landscaping. The hanging baskets concentrated around the Square highlight this area as a focal point of the town and are well placed. The picnic area near the entrance to Mt. Leader won favour, consider painting the small entrance gate . Work on the new flowerbed was noted at the Council car park. The GAA grounds is the best seen to date and is beautifully integrated into the Town Park with its excellent walks/facilities/landscaping to be enjoyed by all. The water feature opposite the church was admired. The colourful flower tubs throughout the town blend in well.
WILDLIFE & NATURAL AMENITIES
Well done to all those involved in the creation and signposting of lovely walks, in particular the Clara loop walk. The entrance to this walk is well marked. It is great to hear of the success of the walking festival.
Further in towards town, the planting, information panel and seating at wildlife area at the Finnow river are well maintained. Have you considered running any guided nature walks in conjunction with local expert or Birdwatch Ireland? Are any of the schools working on their biodiversity green flag? If they are, they would be carrying out surveys and consider working together on a project.
Well done on your litter picks and rotas, also to the transition year students for helping out. There was minimal litter evident on the day as people take pride.
Well done on contacts with the school and for the future, mention the status of each of your schools in terms of the green flag programme. The first green flag theme is on the reduction of waste and litter. Keep in mind that the main aim of this category is about more than recycling, it's about reducing amount of waste created.
There is a disused pole around near the soccer field on station Rd. These and other such poles should be used or removed as they give an untidy appearance. A surprisingly high number of hanging basket brackets are erected on many properties along the main street. These are considered clutter if not being used and should be removed. . If you have derelict houses with boarded up windows, consider painting in the 'windows' for next year as it makes it more aesthetically pleasing. The
clean signs and fingerposts were noted.
All residential areas were presented to a high standard and generally free of litter. Woodland Drive and Drishane View were neatly presented, however the roadside fence at the latter should be treated. Tanyard Wood Estate is finished off very well with excellent open areas, signage and landscaping. Could the poles at the entrance be removed? Murphy's Terrace is well presented, although a disused pole at the main road should be removed. There is a nice row of bungalows further out this road. There is a row of charming old cottages along the Macroom Rd despite a few being unoccupied or work in progress. The estate beside the wildlife area on Clara Rd is neatly presented.. Drishane Castle has a fine entrance on the Mallow Rd approach. Do these areas have residents committees now? It is important to have strong links between these committees, maybe a representative from each area could be invited onto the committee.
ROADS, STREETS & BACK AREAS
The approach roads are very good, in particular the Mallow Rd with its wide verges, large beds and picnic area. The Station Rd has a lovely leafy approach and good extensive footpath. The approach would be improved if the Soccer Club wall were painted. The industrial estate was surprisingly neat and tidy, credit to all the businesses. There are attractive street name plaques throughout the town in both English and Irish and very good signposting. The Eurovision Wall was admired, as were the historic plaques on buildings in the town. The vibrant fisherman mural at the Community Gym brightens up this area. The lane in front of the public car park was very impressive.
A town of great character and beautiful surroundings, there is an air of energy and enthusiasm for TidyTowns about the place. Well done on getting the wider community involved where all the residents have serious pride in where they live.You are tackling projects in a planned and structured manner.