Ballymote improves Tidy Town points, but work still to be done
Ballymote's mark in the Tidy Towns has increased by three points from last year.
Although the town fell down in the litter category, there were improvements in most other categories, with the adjudicator praising individual buildings such as the Coach House Hotel and the cinema.
In the Community involvement and planning category, the adjudicator noted the following: "There appear to be thriving new industries and the businesses lost during the recession seem to be replaced by others. Consider creating a Junior Tidy Towns - this has proved to be popular elsewhere, in some cases eventually taking over the work of their seniors to good effect."
Built environment and streetscape - While the central streets are still in need of improvement - some less well-kept structures unfortunately catch the eye more readily than the well-kept, and the overhead cables with the old-fashioned poles on most of the main thoroughfares remain an eyesore. It is the individual buildings that really do best, and there are the two handsome churches, the Ophardt factory, the reconditioned cinema, Spraoi, the Coach House Hotel and the two recent buildings which some may consider to be visual intrusions but are nonetheless very imaginative architecturally, the Garda Station and the Fire Station.
Landscaping and open spaces - how fortunate the people of Ballymote are with the extensive public park continuing north and south throughout the town.
With its mature and young trees, fruit trees, shrubberies and smart greens. As part of this sequence, the commemorative garden was admired, so were the adjoining and really beautiful gardens of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The well laid-out surroundings of Can Íosa and the garden at the equestrian sculpture were also admired. The cemetery is well kept.
Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities - It is favourably noted that you are working with www.naturelearn.com. The wild life component of the town benefits greatly from so much well-established tree planting and from neighbouring hedgerows.
Tidiness and Litter Control - Litter was seen in the verges of the back road, this is an area that badly needs attention from the owners of some of the properties and more especially from the local authority, there are some quite ramshackle structures and improved paving and surfacing are badly needed. There was long standing builders' debris at an unnamed estate off Keenaghan Road. A highly disreputable unfinished estate was seen off the Keash road.
Residential Streets and Housing Areas - As with other towns and villages, Ballymote derives its character from its traditional houses in the main streets. These were seen to be generally well presented, and some presented with real pride where renovations had taken place in the time honoured urban style on Teeling Street, O'Connell Street, Emmet Street and indeed elsewhere. In Keenaghan Crescent the home are well kept and the green was spic and span.
Approach roads, Streets & Lanes - The many approach roads to the town were of acceptable standard, that from Sligo exceptionally well surfaced and marked, with good signage. Very fine wooden fencing was seen on the Tubbercurry road. It was encouraging to see a new pavement near the cinema and it is hoped that the dsame attention can be given to the back road.