SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: Dromard committee have been very proactive in tackling contentious issues

Dromard Tidy Towns litter plan is paying dividends

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: Dromard committee have been very proactive in tackling contentious issues

SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: Dromard committee have been very proactive in tackling contentious issues

Here's what the SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017 adjudicators had to say about Dromard and above are the marks Dromard received.


Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:
Dromard which comprises of the villages of Legga and Moyne is very welcome to the 2017 Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition.
Thank you for the comprehensively completed application form plus the ancillary support material that included maps of the village with work items identified clearly, bio diversity material and present action plan which is due to be revised in 2018.
The addition of your response list to last year’s report recommendations was noted and will form the basis for this year’s report in conjunction with the actual application. At this juncture the adjudicator will not be in a position to comment on all the input in a 3 page report that has 8 sections. Feel assured that the adjudication was done in a fair and objective manner and in tandem with the guidelines of the competition.
The seven committee members have been busy in the last year in implementing new additional works. The level of interaction with the local authority and other agencies is impressive and has benefited the area in practical terms.
It is good to report that Dromard has now got a Men’s Shed branch that will be supportive of your efforts in providing a complement of skills that will help you with various projects. The community has rallied round when needed by volunteering for specific project, this kind of support is invaluable and you are lucky in this respect.
The CE schemes have been bedrocks for many Tidy Towns Committees around the country as quite an amount of work would never have been done only for them.
Methods of communication are varied and made up the modern social media options down to the best form of all – word of mouth. Being involved with the local schools both primary and second level is central to ensuring the youth of the parish are aware of the benefits that Tidy Towns brings to local communities.
Thank you for your endorsement of the competition and what it has meant to your community in terms of profile and feedback from previous tidy towns reports. The website mentioned in last year’s report was viewed and has the requisite information.

Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
Both villages that constitute Dromard are slightly off the R198 and as was stated in last year’s report it’s not your conventional village with a core consisting of some retail premises, public house and Church or maybe two depending on the composition of different denominations.
On the south Legga has a few buildings and premises that are well presented, these include the Legga Medical Centre, Dromard GAA Club Grounds and Corrigan’s Shop. Both Legga Church on the Carrigallen Road and the graveyard further up were in good condition. It is quite unusual to have two churches of the one denomination within such short distance from each other. It also amazes this adjudicator that these churches of a particular era dominate the landscape not matter how small a village or town is.
Further up the R198 there are two fine educational establishments: St Patricks NS an impressive building which encompasses the old Ceard Scoil, is in a great location and has ample parking facilities. One admired the nice double timber fencing.
Moyne Community School is a very large new purposes type building with well maintained green areas, again ample parking and playing fields.Well done to those entrusted with their upkeep.
The Latin School which has a long history of education in the area spanning from 1897 to 1974 and now is still a community resource serving as a community hall. This is an unusual style of building and one that one doesn’t associate with a rural area, it has been well refurbished but the immediate surrounds are a little weedy. The car park area is also weedy and the low boundary wall surrounding it could do with painting in the same light grey colour as the building itself.
Not wanting to be ultra critical of Longford County Council but the design, colour and texture of many of the village information notice boards lends itself to fading and looking a little grotty over time.This is not a criticism of the committee but maybe others have remarked on this previously.
Moyne Church and Graveyard was in good condition overall.Some headstones near the shop end of the church were in need of cleaning. Moyne Cross Stores was in acceptable condition but the surrounding area was a little untidy and in need of some hard landscaping.
The Grotto further down nearer to Legga was well presented but would do with a little tidy up around the immediate surrounds.
Two derelict properties were noted from last year and both seemed to have not changed. As a matter of interest some your input under this category falls into other categories such as landscaping and wildlife and this can be a bit confusing for an adjudicator. You are wished well with your plan for the village pump; retain its present surround feature in some form as it is from a different era.
Overall the standard was good and as a committee you have been very proactive in tackling or trying to solve a few local contentious issues.


Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
A lot of work that has been done over the last year has been of a remedial nature on foot of comments made in last year’s report.There is a lot of room for improvement and further enhancement in this category and it’s important that you maximise your potential even more in the years ahead.
One does not want to be the devil’s advocate here but despite the good work that has been done by the committee and as outlined in the submission there are still a number of key areas in Moyne particularly that need prompt attention.
For instance the picnic table at the Latin School Green could be enhanced with additional planting arrangements either by way of tubs/boxes or a permanent feature. Similarly the area near the church grounds and the shrub bed! just adjacent to Moyne Stores could benefit from low planting shrubs and boundary wall being exposed and painted. There are a few other areas that would benefit from a little upgrading as well.
The adjudicator appreciates that it is not easy to address all parts of what in effect are two separate villages. Maybe it might be in the interest of the committee to get independent objective landscaping advice and see how feasible it would be to implement some of the suggestions for next year’s competition.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
The main objective in this category is to create an awareness of the wildlife habitats that are you have in your area and to promote the message of wildlife conservation and its importance to the environment. What you have done in the last year indicates an understanding of what is needed in the category.
Organising a bio diversity talk by a member of Irish Peatland Conservation Council was an excellent idea and coinciding it with a talk on swifts by expert Larry Mitchell was a bonus. Having the school children involved at the early stages of the survey will ensure that they get proper guidance on how to conduct further wildlife surveys in the future.
Well done on providing information on Japanese Knotweed which is causing great concern around the country as this is one of the most destructive of invasive plants listed. The bird boxes high up on the designated trees were noted on the walkabout.
Overall the standard was very good and merits an increase in marks.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
There are plenty marks to be gained in this category and as a committee you should be in a position to influence change.The main objective of the revised category is to prevent the production of unnecessary waste at source and to use methods that have been recommended to realise this objective. You have responded well to the suggestions and comments offered in last year’s adjudication report.
The eleven action items in your submission fall into what is required under this category and well done on organising these. The following are a few websites that may also help you in further idea generation www.localprevention.ie www.greenhomes.ie and www.sustainableprocessing.ie
You should also make ongoing contact with the County Environmental Officer for updates on any seminars that may be in the offing. The circular economy is something of an alternative approach to waste reduction and it would be worthwhile to get some information via a number of relevant websites.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
The area that you have to cover is quite scattered and elongated and is probably as hard to patrol as many urban areas.The litter plan that you have put in place since last year seems to have paid dividends as on the day in question there was very little litter evident in the main core areas.
It is possible that some litter was thrown from cars between the two villages on the R198 but it was not easy for the adjudicator to examine fully because of road traffic. Your word is your bond and the fact that you have stated that so many bags of litter have been collected at intervals suggests that this stretch of road has been well monitored.The Bring Centre was clean and tidy and free from loose rubbish bags.
The confusion in relation to signs at the junction referred to in last year’s report still prevails and it will need some dialogue with the local engineer to see how this situation can be improved upon. There a few untidy areas that need attending to and these were referred to in the landscaping section. Again it will need a proactive approach by a designated member of the Committee to Longford County Council to address these issues and see if the suggestion can be acted upon.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
The Sli Corglass housing development was much in the news some years back as it was a negative legacy of the period euphemistically referred to as the Celtic Tiger. If the adjudicator can recall correctly one locally known Longford native made a suggestion, which will not be  repeated here, that threatened the existence of the then estate.
Now things have very much improved and changed for the better and it is good to see that you have a representative from Sli Corglas on your committee. This is a nice development that will eventually become vibrant in time if unoccupied houses can be freed up for willing and caring occupants.
The rest of the housing stock of both villages is made up of private residences many of which are presented to a very high standard. And as was the case last year it would not be fair to pick one out of the lot.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
The entrances into both villages especially Moyne can be a convoluted for a first time visitor and takes a little while to figure out. That said all entrances were presented with the intention of creating good first impressions. The approach into Moyne from Arva is good with nice raised bed of stones with shrubbery in the form of Moyne. Further in at the Carrigallen Junction there is a nice blue and white name sign near the village pump.
The Margaret from New Orleans finger post sign is down too low on the pole here and should be a brown heritage sign in its own right. The road that skirts by Legga Village from Drumlish was also well presented on the day as verges had been cut in accordance with good practice.
Road surfaces were very good overall except for a very short stretch on the Carrigallen road. Overall the standard was very good and merits an increase in marks.

Concluding Remarks:
It was a first time visit to the Dromard area of Longford for this adjudicator although one was aware of the existence of Moyne Community School. You are wished well in the competition in the years ahead.

You may also be interested in reading:

SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017 - Granard must voice concerns with Longford County Council regarding non fulfillment of regeneration commitment