Over €20,000 in additional funding was provided by Longford Municipal District to the local Tidy Towns committee and last week’s meeting heard that the money was used this time round to remove gum litter from the streets of Longford town.
The meeting also heard that physical improvements were made to a number of buildings at Bridge Street where colourful facades have been erected on shop fronts.
Michael Keenan of Longford Tidy Towns then told the meeting that it was the simple things that were costing the town and its environs valuable points in competitions like the national tidy towns competition.
“It is in the area of general tidiness where Longford is struggling,” he added.
Mr Keenan then pointed to a number of areas where green algae, weeds and general poor maintenance at the entrance to buildings had become an eyesore.
“Even the older litter bins have become unpleasant to look at,” Mr Keenan continued, before pointing out that they needed to be replaced.
“Overhead cables have become visual litter and there has been a proliferation of sandwich boards in Longford town.
“When we had the town council we did not have those sandwich boards out on the streets and while it is a problem all over the town now, it is still something that we can control.”
Mr Keenan said that sandwich boards were referred to as ‘street blockers’ and became obstacles to those who were disabled and visually impaired.
“It is these types of matters that we need to deal with,” he continued.
Meanwhile, John McKeon, Finance Director with Longford Co Council told the meeting that there had been in fact, an additional €20,000 given to the local tidy towns from the municipal budget this year, a feat, he added that everyone involved with the district was proud to be part of.
He also paid tribute to the “enthusiasm” of the people involved in, and with, the local committee.
“I would suggest that we put a plan together and hold quarterly meetings where we can evaluate the plans that are in place,” Mr McKeon continued.
“There is a litter warden in place here in Longford town but there are issues that have been brought up here today that we need to address also.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) said that when Longford Town Council was in existence, there were no sandwich boards to be seen on the streets of Longford.
“We had bye-laws in place that made sandwich boards illegal,” she fumed, before pointing out that it was time to get onto the local superintendent who could deal with the matter effectively.
“Longford is a fine town, but litter it and we will fine you.”
Joining in on the discussion, former Cathaoirleach, Cllr Padraig Loughrey (FF) added, “Tidy Towns is about more than litter and there is no doubt that this municipal district has shown its support of the local Tidy Towns; I would expect this support to continue”.