Firstly we must Congratulate David Leahy, and the transition year students of Coláiste Phobal for winning the Can it Award in the Tidy Towns Competition this year. Congratulations also to Rose Crofton, who collected and segregated the cans (from her litter picks) and took the initiative to approach Coláiste Phobal to work on a project to have them entered for the Can it award. David Leahy was most receptive and willing to undertake the task, and we are now delighted that Roscrea with his help and expertise has another award to its credit. Hopefully we will see many more awards coming to Roscrea through the Tidy Towns competition in the future. This project can be seen displayed on the wall of the toilets near the Bring Bank across from the Tesco roundabout or at the rear of the Garda Station. Well done to students and teachers on this accolade on behalf of the College, and the town.
Unfortunately the result for Roscrea town this year was not as encouraging, and did not reflect the hard work that was put in by so many volunteers from Spring and throughout the Summer months in the hope that the town would have qualified for a second judging. Its time now to sit down, study the report, look at what is achievable for the current Tidy Towns year, and have all projects completed in time for judging next year.
This year the town was judged the 19th June, which was a lovely sunny day, in a week that four of our most committed volunteers had taken a break. This proves we should have the homework done, the rosters in place, and many more people out and about to do the necessary tidying and cleaning in their absence so the town is not depending on the few.
Four marks was a very poor result for the work put in by so many, which brings Roscrea to 281 being 90 % of the Overall mark of 312 this year. In the Spring our goal was to reach the top 10% and the town’s rating is now there, however, much more needs to be done to bring it up to the 95% mark, which will be the objective for next year.
Having set out to increase the mark under Wildlife and Natural Amenities, Tidiness, Litter Control, and Roads, Streets and Back Areas, the Adjudicator on the day managed to give us one mark under each category, adding four to the total. Most disappointing.
While he was complimentary of many areas of the town, and all the monuments, stone walls, river, planting, landscaping etc. anyone of us could have written the report, so I’m not sure if he was very impressed or put any value on the work done ; When Adjudicators see the town as it is for many years, with no visual impact it looks the same to them each year, and we must now set about to redress this and create a much greater impression both in the town and on the approach roads. Its time now for THE WOW FACTOR so they get a FEEL GOOD FEELING, and take that away with them. However, that WOW FACTOR must start from the Approach Roads into town. Much more colour all over the town is needed for this. The Derelict Buildings all over the town do not help either, so a much more co-ordinated approach is now required. Would R.C.D.C. now take on the challenge to set up the Resident’s and Street Associations as already stated so that all Residents take PRIDE in their areas, and have work done, shrub beds maintained, stakes removed from trees, more flowers etc. before the Tidy Towns Application is submitted in early May next year ?
The Tidy Towns Volunteers plus the 5,000 population must now come together with a shared vision to support the Enhancement Plan being prepared, work on new initiatives, do more forward planning, work with all other Organisations in town, and bring Roscrea up to the standard of towns like Westport with a population of 5,000 also, and who are only one mark behind Abbeyshrule the Overall Winner this year. There’s a long way to go to the top.