Castlebar Tidy Towns

Press Release 15th September 1999

Press Release December 1999

Tidy Towns Results

Tidy Towns Market Square Survey

Report on Castlebar Tidy Towns Public Meeting

Castlebar Tidy Towns Committee hosted a Public Meeting in Lough Lannagh Village on Monday night 6th.March. The meeting was well attended with Representatives from a large number of Residents' Associations and Urban Councillors. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss co-operative means of cleaning and enhancing Castlebar through harnessing the support of all groups within the community into carrying out cleanups in their own areas. It was hoped that groups would adopt specific litter blackspots as part of their own areas in this work. As most people present were already involved in Residents' Associations and were actively involved in cleanups in their own estates it would not be very easy to expand their cleanups into other areas outside their estates.

On behalf of the Urban Council Councillor Frank Durkan offered to ensure the Council looks after 3 of the blackspots-Market Square, Marsh House and walks, The Mall. Castlebar Tidy Towns are continuing to appeal to other community groups such as Clubs and Associations, Schools and Businesses to consider adopting the following areas for cleanups over the coming months and particularly in April when the committee launch their Springclean as part of An Taisce's National Springclean:

  • a.. The Stream road into Lough Lannagh at St Geralds College;
  • b.. Paths along Lough Lannagh;
  • c.. Car-Park at Lough Lannagh;
  • d.. Grave Yard;
  • e.. N5 bushes/trees from Moneen Roundabout through Traffic Lights at Newtown;
  • f.. Swimming Pool Rd;
  • g.. Barrack Bridge to Castle St Car-Park;
  • h.. Green area opposite Davitt College;
  • i.. Shrubbery along river walk beside Market Square car-park(at rear of Parish Church);
  • j.. Spur Rd into Dunnes Stores;
  • k.. Main St Archways(Humbert Mall, Bourkes/Intersport);
  • l.. The Mall;
  • m.. Post Office up to TF Hotel;
  • n.. Under new Bridge near Dunnes Stores;
  • o.. River from Marsh House to Footbridge at back of St Gerald's College;
  • p.. River from footbridge at church car park to arch-way at Lenehan's butchers;
  • q.. Town Park along river-both sides.

A very lively debate considered the best means of eliminating the apparent growing litter problem with the overwhelming verdict being that prosecutions were the best response to deterring offenders. Other ideas and comments expressed at the meeting were as follows:

  • a.. Strict enforcement of the litter law by local authorities and the gardai(the current law enables an on-the-spot fine of A350 to be imposed or a maximum of A31500 if brought to court for disposing litter in a public place);

  • b.. Carry out extensive radio and press advertising campaign highlighting litter as an offence and the fines;

  • c.. There is a need for the local authorities to take much more responsibility for cleaning up blackspots and ensuring strict enforcement of the litter law. The attendance felt that the Urban Council in particular was not carrying out it's duties and obligations as evidenced by the scale and number of the litter blackspots which were highlighted at the meeting;

  • d.. Parents should be held responsible for the actions of their children with regard to litter offences;

  • e.. A wall should be erected from the Barrack Bridge into the Castle St car-park to replace a chainlink fence which is a serious litter blackspot;

  • f.. ESB poles need to be repainted;

  • g.. A derelict post at the entrance to Mayo General Hospital needs to be removed;

  • h.. Sponsorship would be forthcoming for young persons to pick up litter;

  • i.. The Council should give notice to property owners/occupiers along streets which are to be swept by the new street cleaner to ensure their cars are removed.

The Committee undertook to continue to work towards the attainment of these proposals expressed by the attendance. An appeal was made by the Tidy Towns to those present to help out on the Monday evening clean-ups during April as part of the National Springclean and later during the summer months. Much more support was needed on these regular clean-ups. Gary Smith, Mayo Litter Warden spoke about his responsibilities in the county which included prosecutions for litter and illegal dumping. The scale of this litter was increasing and currently 100 fines were pending. He asked for people to report to him any areas of illegal dumps as he would endeavour to identify and prosecute the offenders. Gary also quoted the litter law in regard to litter outside businesses which states that a business is responsible for litter for 100 metres each side of the property. It is also illegal to sweep litter from the footpath and dispose of it on the road. Such litter offences as with all forms of litter carry an on-the-spot fine of 50 or up to 1500 in court. Liam Durkan, Chairman of the Tidy Towns Committee outlined the many ways in which residents associations, schools, clubs/associations, businesses and others could organise cleanups in their own areas-these included:

  • 1. Adopt an area-this could be a housing estate, an area in your own locality or one of the many litter blackspots as above;

  • 2. Specific jobs that can be done:
    a.. Clean-up including a sponsored clean-ups by children;
    b.. Paint murals on derelict buildings in your adopted area;
    c.. Maintain green areas-cut grass, plant shrubs/flower tubs; arrange hanging baskets on poles, walls,etc;
    d.. Develop picnic areas-plant trees, make picnic tables/benches, landscaping, etc;
    e.. Develop wildlife areas - identify flora and fauna;
    f.. Install litter signage and bins;
    g.. Conduct surveys in your area to identify issues that need to be addressed.

  • 3. Communicate with local authorities(UDC/MCC) to gain their co-operation in carrying out works in your area;

  • 4. Communicate with Tidy Towns Committee-the ways in which the Committee can help to support your programme/plans can include:
    a.. liaise on your behalf with local authorities;
    b.. advise us your clean-up schedules and members of committee will support with gloves, bags and manpower;
    c.. give us before and after photographs as this will be important in our owns annual awards and may also be included in our submission to the National competition.

  • 5. Register with an Taisce National Springclean.

    Forms were available at the meeting and all present took them to register. All who register will receive a free kit of useful information(bags, bibs, promotional posters, etc) to help organise and clean-up and spread the anti-litter message.

    The Chairman requested all groups intending to adopt an area to provide the Committee with a programme of action to include:

    • a.. Specific area to be maintained;
    • b.. What you plan to do;
    • c.. Schedule for this activity;
    • d.. Before and After photographs;
    • e.. Specific supports you need from Tidy Towns.

The meeting concluded with an overview of the Tidy Town's Programme 2000 Awareness and Litter Control and progress to-date in its implementation was outlined. Details of this will be published at a later date. Liam Durkan again appealed to people to do their best to adopt litter blackspots and asked that everybody would be vigilant in reporting litter offenders to the local authorities or the committee. He said the tidy towns adjudicators awarded Castlebar only 20 out of a possible 40 marks which left tremendous room for improvement. However, if the suggestions and plans proposed at the meeting could be implemented significant improvement could be expected which would also result in additional marks in the competition. This could only be accomplished through the co-operative efforts of local authorities, local community groups, club/associations, schools, businesses and the general public. The committee wished all parties well in their clean-ups and thanked all for their valuable contributions to making Castlebar a clean, green and environmentally friendly town.

Tidy Towns Committee: Joe Butler, Mary Fahey Tighe, Michael Mullahy, Chris Butler, Ger Deere, Tony Tighe, Liz Kelly, Ronan Ward, Liam Durkan.

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