Wednesday 16 October 2019

Hard work pays off for Tidy Towns groups

David Looby

New Ross Tidy Towns impressed judges of the national competition during their visit to the town during the summer, achieving 304 points in category E, making an increase of nine points on last year's results.

In the Streetscapes & Public Spaces section improvements to the grounds at Mount Carmel, undergrounding of power lines and footpath improvements at the Irishtown junction and John Street, additional signage for New Ross Heritage Trail, promotion of the shop front improvement scheme and the improvement of a number of landmark riverside properties were all noted. The planting undertaken at the River God near the marina was commended, as was the Scouts and Tidy Towns pollinator project at Pearse Park where the scouts grew the plants from seed.

Graffiti saw some points deducted in the Tidiness and Litter Control section. Judges added that the major issue here was the intrusiveness of poles and overhead wirescape.

In the Approach Roads section, the committee were alerted to the 'Welcome to New Ross' sign which, they said, needs to be updated and suggested a three to five year plan as being useful when priorities and objectives with an emphasis on making the most of the town's significant heritage assets, river-front and natural features.

Foulksmills scored 315 points in Category A, an increase of ten points on the 2018 figure. Described as a uniquely beautiful village in the Streetscapes and public spaces section, the repainting of private homes and businesses, the installation of new park benches, the maintenance of the old mill by the owners of the mill, the resurfacing of footpaths in the park repair of picnic tables and the installation of a public free library in the park was all praised. The adjudicator visited the village on the day of the Duck Race and was in a flap about how great the event was.

In the Green spaces and landscaping category the judge praised the range of works that have been undertaken by the committee this year including the replanting of flowers and shrubs in the village and park, the planting of trees in the village, the planting of wild flowers to encourage bees and butterflies, the establishment of a herb garden in the park and the general maintenance works. They note the Horetown/Foulksmills sign is somewhat faded and needs to be renewed, while praising daily litter picks in the Tidiness and Litter Control section.

Wellingtonbridge was awarded 257 points, up four on its 2018 tally. It scored high on tidiness litter control (47/60). Judges recommended the development of a greenway the old rail line and praised the way estates in the village were presented.

Inistioge Tidy Towns received 340, up eight points on the 2018 score. Judges said they were amazed at the groups' 56 years of Tidy Towns involvement. 'By far and away the most important project for effort involved in the last 12 months was the huge work and consequent success in the Entente Florale competition,' judges said.

One of the only negatives concerned the surface and road markings on the New Ross road which, they said, would benefit from an upgrade.

The well planted bank at the signage on the New Ross side of the bridge was admired.

St Mullins received 319, up seven on its 2018 score.

It scored high on Community: Your Planning & Involvement (52/60) and Tidiness & Litter Control (312/319). 'We felt a deep sense of place and pride during our visit to St. Mullins. Your approach and organisation is impressive. Tidy Towns is the driving force that draws all residents, groups and businesses together for the continuing improvement of your village. Your committee and residents obviously have a strong pride in your lovely village - you continue to work hard to show it at its best and to make it more sustainable year on year,' the judges said.

Duncormick village had one of the biggest increases in points across the county from 310 points last year to 323 this year, scoring high on Tidiness and Litter Control (68/90) and in the Green Spaces & Landscaping category (46/60).

The visiting Tidy Towns judge said: 'Duncormick is a unique village which is intrinsically beautiful, with a wonderful built and natural heritage. Ongoing and planned improvement works, carefully planned and executed, will make a great impact on the overall presentation of the village. There is no doubt that Duncormick has great potential to progress well in the competition, because of the quality of the village streetscape and it's existing natural features, coupled with the obviously strong interest in the local community.'

New Ross Standard