2015 proved to be another year of progress for Sligo Tidy Towns as the majority of the 23 committees around the country received improved marks from last year.
Coolaney was marked as Sligo’s tidiest town. The adjudicator deemed their entry “outstanding”.
The judge added “You have approached your work in recent years carefully and carried it out with great attention to detail. You’ll go far.”
Riverstown and Ballintogher, who were both commended for their work, were also the recipients of €800 and €500 respectively after finishing second and third.
Below is a report for some of the areas who entered this year’s competition.
237 marks (up 7). County placing joint 18th
Aclare, now in its third year in the competition, is being recognised as an area making encouraging progress.
The South Sligo village has enjoyed a significant improvement this year, seeing an increase in marks awarded in four categories, including Tidiness and Litter Control which particularly stood out on the day of marking.
The adjudicator asked “Do you have regular litter-patrols? You must, as car-borne litter alone would have a much bigger footprint than that seen on the day.”
Despite being among their increased marks, Aclare have been told they must do more with regards to Sustainable Waste and Resource Management, with the adjuticator suggesting that Aclare Tidy Towns take on more projects themselves.
The adjudicator concluded by remarking that Aclare produced a great, detailed report and that they are “definitely” heading in the right direction.
292 marks (up 7) County placing 3rd
Ballintogher has been named as of three County winners in Sligo for 2015.
The adjudicator was particularly impressed with the seed collection and propagation which seen the area rack up an impressive 39 points out of a possible 50 for Landscaping and Open Spaces.
They were also commended for the planting of beech trees.
“Tree-planting is by far the most significant long-term impact you can have on a village and your actions are to be applauded,” the judge said.
The playground was also described as “really gorgeous”, with the landscape planting recieving particular praise. This comes following last year’s criticism that ground was strewn with gravel and other debris.
Overall the adjudicator enjoyed the visit to Ballintogher and was very impressed with their work.
257 marks (up 3) County placing 13th
The Ballisodare committee was the subject of great praise for their contributions to the environment.
In the adjucation report, it is stated that “You have a healthy number of committee members but you are well-supported when it comes to clean-up and other events. You’ve got a goodly number of supporting organisations too, from the County Council and LEADER to scouts and beavers. Going for over twenty years you can be sure that Ballisodare Tidy Towns group has made a great contribution to the environment here.”
They were also praised for engaging with the national school, but they were asked if adults can also become more involved in different projects to improve their marking for the Sustainable Waste and Resource Management category.
In conclusion, the committee was told “As things turn around and places pick up, your work will continue to be of great importance to your built and natural environment.”
237 marks (up 8) County placing joint 18th
The adjudication report has outlined the potential for much progress to be made in Ballygawley.
The report states that “You’ve only been in the competition for four years now but the progress is tangible. Well done on the production of a 3-Year Plan. This will help. As you get the hang of this, your planning and execution will continue to improve. It’s good to read how you feel the competition has helped the community.”
They were praised for the general upkeep of the area, such as painting, weeding and sweeping and the neat appearance of the buildings of local businesses.
Overall the adjudicator is very impressed with the progress being made to date.
256 marks (up 4) County placing 12th
The Ballymote Tidy Towns Committee are not giving themselves enough credit in their entry forms.
This is the opinion of the judge who believes they are not highlighting the full extent of their work.
“In a nutshell, you are not doing yourselves justice as it is clear that you are doing more work than you are telling us about. A suggestion: get a non-Tidy Towns person to complete it as a dry-run. Tell him/her all about your year’s work and then get them to put it in written form in a succinct way. It’s worth a go as (again) we feel that you are not getting all the credit that you deserve. For now, though, thanks for all the hard work,” the report states.
The adjudicator was pleased with the work carried out at a number of premises in the area including the Art Deco, Corran College and the Fire Station, but felt more work was required around Scoil Muire gan Smal.
The adjudicator praised their hard work and recommended that they concentrate on their efforts in relation to Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities for the coming year.
211 marks (not entered 2014) County placing 23rd
Bellaghy made their first appearance in the competition for the first time in five years.
The Tidy Towns committee were praised for their work in painting murals and tackling empty and derelict building fronts and acknowledged that it is early days for the committee in this centre with a lot of work still to come.
Bellaghy was also commended for its litter control, but must do more to promote anti-litter awareness and organise more group efforts such as the annual Spring Clean. Better weed control was also advised.
“You have much to do, there’s no doubt but you’ve done the hardest part by getting organised and back into the competition. The adjudicator suggests that you seek some guidance from the local authority. Perhaps take part in some of the Tidy Towns events and, above all, keep up the good work. Be realistic with what you take on and don’t over-stretch yourselves too soon,” the adjudicator’s report concluded.
224 points (not entered 2014) County placing 21st
Carraroe returned to the competition after almost three decades, their last appearance coming in 1987.
Despite their absence, the committee has been very busy and their Crafernoon initiative was never seen before by the adjudicator who visited the area.
With a lot of positive work being done on buildings, both derelict and in use, it has been suggested that the next important step for the the Tidy Towns Committee is to work with a Green School.
Being relatively new to Tidy Towns again, they were also advised to seek expert assistance for their work in Wildlife, Habitat and Natural Amenities bearing in mind it is one of the most difficult categories.
It was noted that Carraroe has made a flying start to litter control, carrying out extensive and high profile anti-litter and fly-tipping actions, as well as setting up the See Something, Say Something campaign.
Overall the adjudicator stated that there is a lot to do for Carraroe but they have proven that they are up to the task.
For the full round up from each Sligo entrant, pick up a copy of this week’s Sligo Weekender newspaper – In shops now!