“INDISCRIMINATE and calculated dumping” on Ennis’ approach roads has been criticised in the wake of the county capital’s recent success in the Tidy Towns competition.
Councillor Brian Meaney has complimented the hard work that has gone into Ennis’ continual high achievement in the national competition, with the town winning the title of Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre for a fourth time this year, among other awards. However, at a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council, he hit out at those who dump litter on roads leading to the town.
“We do have a problem with the approach roads in Ennis. You can see indiscriminate and calculated dumping, people are bringing their household rubbish with them and dumping them on grass margins and over walls. This is a problem we have to address,” he said.
Councillor Frankie Neylon also highlighted that people are coming into town and disposing of household rubbish. “Over the last few years, we have had huge improvements, but there are still people coming into town with their little plastic bags of cans or whatever and they are planted around different areas of the town. It has declined by about 90% in recent years, but I would appeal to the remaining 10% not to do it,” he said.
He welcomed the recent approval by Clare County Council of draft bylaws where householders, with some exceptions, will be required to avail of a regular waste collection service where the household is within 200m of a collection route serviced by an authorised waste collector.
Meanwhile, the council is set to look for a meeting with the operators of the bus and railway station to discuss litter in the vicinity. In the adjudication for the Tidy Towns competition, it was noted that five bags of rubbish were seen at the perimeter of the station. The car park was criticised for its “weed infected and overgrown” flowerbeds and the barrier was found to be in need of painting. The adjudicators also found that verges at the entrance to the station “could be maintained to a higher standard”.
Councillor Peter Considine urged that the station be contacted to discuss the findings of the Tidy Towns judges, who marked Ennis just one point behind the overall national winner.
“This is important when the Tidy Towns goes into such detail and we are so close to success, we should try and do something,” he said while also complimenting the work of the Tidy Towns Committee. Town clerk Leonard Cleary told councillors the local authority would seek to arrange a meeting with the operators of the bus and train station.
The meeting also saw councillors criticise the recent IBAL litter league survey which saw Ennis’ ranking drop 15 places in the wake of the Tidy Towns performance.
Councillor Michael Guilfoyle posed the question, “I wonder who is marking the IBAL and who is marking the Tidy Towns? We have success in the Tidy Towns but not in the IBAL.” He added it was great to see the hard work of the local committee and the staff of the council being recognised through the Tidy Towns competition.
Councillor Mary Coote Ryan pointed out that the town’s success “didn’t just happen by chance, one group didn’t make it happen. It’s about community spirit and partnership. People working together can achieve an awful lot. It’s amazing the goodwill the committee got from everybody.” She added the town is now focused on the adjudication in October of the Fáilte Ireland National Tourism Awards following the town’s nomination as a finalist as part of the national Tidy Towns awards. “It would be a fantastic achievement if we were successful in that too,” she said.
Councillor Mary Howard commented she was happy to see Ennis not do well in the IBAL league. “As far as I am concerned, the worse report we have with IBAL, anytime it slates us, the better we do in the Tidy Towns.”
She remarked on the “remarkable” community spirit and the work of the local committee, complemented by Ennis Town Council staff. Councillor Tommy Brennan said the committee and local authority staff have “achieved a great deal”. Councillor Johnny Flynn stated that in terms of the county’s size and its performance in the Tidy Towns competition, Clare is “probably Ireland’s tidiest county”.
Councillor Brian Meaney informed the councillors that the IBAL litter league is carried out under the auspices of An Taisce. He suggested that An Taisce be contacted to seek clarification on the methods used by adjudicators.
Town manager Ger Dollard offered his congratulations to everybody involved in the Tidy Towns competition describing it as a “superb performance”.
Mr Cleary added, “Ennis’ award successes could not have been accomplished without the support of community groups, schools, resident associations, businesses and State agencies, in partnership with Ennis Town Council. In particular, I wish to commend the Ennis Town Council staff working on street cleaning, gardening, environment, litter and technical and administration inputs to the Ennis Tidy Towns effort.
“This competition provides members of the local community with the opportunity to showcase their pride in their respective towns and villages. The year-round work that has been put in by the Ennis Tidy Towns committee and wider community has reaped benefits. It is evident from Ennis’ outstanding success in this year’s competition that the spirit of volunteerism and pride of place is very much alive in the county capital.”
As well as Ennis being named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre in the 54th annual competition, Ennis also retained the county award for the 14th successive year. The town also received its 12th gold medal and was named overall winner of the Gum Litter Task Force National Award.