SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: New Edgeworthstown library will be a boost to the town

Tidy Towns adjudicator says some large sections of footpaths in Edgeworthstown were a little hazardous

Alan Walsh


Alan Walsh


SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: New Edgeworthstown library will be a boost to the town

SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: New Edgeworthstown library will be a boost to the town

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

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:
Edgeworthstown is very welcome to the 2017 SuperValu Tidy Towns competition.
Thank you for the comprehensive application form and the accompanying supportive appendices. One small crib is that the adjudicator found it hard to read the handwriting under the different categories as it had to be fitted into small sections in the application form. An online version would have allowed more scope to insert as much information as deemed necessary.
At this point the adjudicator would like to point out that it would neigh impossible to comment on all the information supplied as the final report of 3 pages under 8 categories couldn’t accommodate such detail. Feel assured that the adjudication was done in a fair and objective manner in tandem with the official guidelines.
The map supplied was excellent as it outlined the projects and places of interest and it was most helpful to the adjudicator who would not have been familiar with Edgeworthstown.
The executive committee of 3 is perfect in that it allows for good control of various work projects that you are involved in. The number of volunteers that you have on board is quite impressive and also you have very good support from the local community. Edgeworthstown was under a bit of transformation during adjudication and there was much disruption due to cable laying but the adjudicator took this into account.
The methods of communication are varied combining the tried and trusted with the new forms of social media – well done on getting the mix right. You have an impressive list of agency involvement and also it’s good to report that you have a strong interaction with the local schools.
Thank you for your positive endorsement of the competition and what it has meant to the town in the eight years that  you have been involved. For additional input in this category an additional mark has been awarded and this incremental improvement is seen in other categories as well.

Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
The adjudicator got to the majority of projects listed on your map under this category a few were missed out but to cover all it needed good stamina as Edgeworthstown is quite a large urban area. All the projects visited were noted but all cannot be commented upon suffice to say that the adjudicator was impressed with level of involvement and influence that you as a Tidy Towns Committee has in the overall development of the Town and its surrounds.
The following is a summary of comments that the adjudicator made on his walkabout. It was good to see that a long established business premises was getting the full paint treatment on the day in question John J Brady’s Hotel Edgeworth was being painted in bright red and black and as it takes up quite a lot of space, this new image will add to the aesthetic look of Main Street, Quinns Bar beside it look as if it had been recently painted as well. Simple solutions often make the greatest impact and newly painted premises always stand out.
The Ulster Bank Building is one of the finest of that particular era that the adjudicator has observed down the years. The Fairgreen is a very impressive community amenity, it had a different role in times gone by, and the fitness stations were top class. This was a place of leisure and exercise and one of the best kept that I have come across. St Mary’s National School which is of contemporary design and relatively new was also admired and as one would  expect all safety and parking requirements were top class.
The nearby cemetery was presented well and all the green areas were cut back in a tidy manner.
The development on Pound Street that houses a number of including nice cafe that serves a good cappuccino is  very much in keeping with the original streetscape of the town. Pity that more of this type of development didn’t take place in other towns. One notes that there are plans for the new library which will no doubt replace the existing one in Church Street this development should add greatly to the town infrastructure.
St Mary’s Catholic Church is a fine ecclesiastical structure with well kept grounds and across the road Our Lady’s Manor Nursing Home has extensive grounds that are well presented. The standard of road surfaces was a little mixed and the same good be said of the footpaths. New sections of footpath were noted but there are far too many defective sections in different areas of the town.
The adjudicator was most impressed with the chronicled history exhibition in information board form of  Edgeworthstown and the famous people associated with it. It is ideal for the hoarding that camouflages the area where the new Civic Centre will be built and hopefully that this exhibition will find a suitable home within the new centre when it is completed.
The Goldsmith Inn was another commercial property that was presented well on the day as was Rawles Butchers. Both public buildings the Garda Station and Fire Station were well maintained as should be the case with all public buildings. St John’s Church and grounds were well worth the visit and it had a nice wall plaque that outlined its history since the 1800s and of course it would be very remiss if s positive comment was not made about the beautiful old stone building that is St John’s C of  I National School.
Overall the standard was quite good considering that the town was disrupted by infrastructural work. As with other similar sized towns Edgeworthstown is not without its derelict or unoccupied properties but the Committee is well informed on the matter.

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
The areas mentioned under landscaping and open spaces mentioned in your submission were visited by the adjudicator. The green area around the memorial to the fallen had been just mowed and it looked very well on what was a relatively fine day.Many fine stand alone planting boxes populated with the traditional annuals and perennials were admired around the town.
The adjudicator felt that the shrub at the Longford, Dublin and Athlone signpost was a little overcrowded and would need attention at the end of the summer season, in the interim it needs to be weeded. The revamped spot around Bracklin Road has revitalised that area greatly and makes for better viewing. The work that you do in maintaining the various roundabouts was viewed by the adjudicator and this is the type of ongoing maintenance contributes so much to achieving good standards in this category. Hopefully the work that you will undertake with the GAA Club in replacing the wall will be done prior to next year. Overall the standard was quite good and merits an additional mark.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
You have quite a lot of input on various projects that you are involved in this category, some of the content was hard to make out but the adjudicator had enough to go on to make an informed judgment. The main objective of this category is to create awareness of the natural wildlife habitats that exist in your catchment. Some are obvious and some are not but the important thing that you as committee has to do is to maximise the promotion of wildlife and habitats that are local to you.
Well done on your first input that of consulting your local ecologist and environmentalist for some professional direction on the various elements of biodiversity. The plan submitted with the application was done in May 2016. Has this consultation with the ecologist led to changes or additions to this plan as it was not quite clear in the application? There are a number of initiatives that are in the pipeline such as the proposed bat walk and the completion of the survey being undertaken in the Walled Garden in the Manor. Make sure that these are included in next year’s application.
It’s very important that local school children are involved in future projects and it was good to note that the school children of a specific class age were taken on a field trip with the local ecologist. Well done also on your linking with Birdwatch Ireland that resulted in the placing of bird boxes in Our Lady’s Manor. Swifts have been mentioned in a number of applications from Longford and the local expert Larry Mitchell seems to be in big demand.
Overall the standard was good with potential for additional projects to be put in place for next year.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
This is a category that has taxed quite a few centres over the last few years and understanding the concept and ethos behind the changed heading took a little time. Edgeworthstown Tidy Towns has got a good understanding of what is needed in the category and the initiatives that you listed such as the reduction of hanging baskets and the schools competition on “zero waste” fit the criteria. Ongoing consultation with your local county environmental officer is a also very positive as it give you access to up to date information and ideas for future projects under the category heading.
The following websites are more than useful for project ideas and  Also the Tidy Towns Handbook has a very informative section on Sustainable Waste & Natural Amenities. In addition it may be worthwhile to do some research on the circular economy and what it might offer in terms of contribution to the need to reduce the production of possible waste at source.
We are constantly being made aware,and we better take heed, that landfill options are becoming lesser each day.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
There was quite a lot of input in this category also and once again it was quite hard to read the writing as it got smaller to fit the space allocated. Well done on your annual spring clean as these are the type of collective approaches that helps to make places like Edgeworthstown better places to reside in.
The follow on weekly litter picks help to reduce the amount of litter that may have otherwise accumulated. The official litter picks and organised footpath sweeps on Sunday also help to stop the build-up of litter that would result if they were not in place.The Breakfast Fundraiser was an excellent idea and obviously a great success.
The adjudicator did his own assessment of the tidiness and litter situation and was in an overall context pleased. There were a number of fairly old and impressive houses that had fallen into a state of disrepair and in a few cases advanced dereliction. Some examples of unnecessary clutter were visible especially at a few premises on the Main Street. The traders association might be in a position to preach the gospel of “clutter free” shop frontages that will leave footpaths for pedestrians to walk freely on.
Some large sections of footpaths were a little hazardous but these are probably earmarked for attention in due course. Street Signs were excellent and clean to boot.


Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
The adjudicator is rather taken aback that Tidy Towns Committee have taken on the management of over 20 acres grassland throughout 9 housing estates. Question: What role does Longford County Council play in the maintenance of these and does it provide you with some funding resources? Would it not be worthwhile to encourage representatives of these estates to take on the role of looking after them and try and raise funding from within their own respective areas?
The Best Kept Premises Award is a very good idea but the adjudicator was not that impressed with the winner as this year it had barrels out in front of one of front windows. The town has quite a number of housing estates some on its outskirts.The adjudicator was impressed with both Devine Crescent and St Patricks Terrace two of the more established housing developments in the core of the town.They had some very nice individual homesteads and gardens with a selection of annuals and perennials.
Mostrim Oaks is a rather large development double detached house with large communal green area near the GAA Grounds. The standard of presentation here was good and full credit to residents for keeping premises up to standard. Auburn Park and Cloverwell area two adjacent large estates with large communal green areas, the standard of presentation was mixed with some boundary walls badly in need of painting. Bracklin Park is another large estate with a sprawling communal green area that is rather bare and in need of some additional tree planting and shrub beds.
One can see now after visiting a cross section of developments on the outskirts of the town how the 20 acres of grassed areas would build up.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
Entrances into the town were on the whole very good and the bye pass sections were particularly good. The work you have done on these roundabouts in maintaining grass verges on N4 by pass and other roundabouts is exemplary. The Dublin Road Roundabout is very tidy with no obstructive planting. The Ballymahon Roundabout has a nice low maintenance and low shrub planting arrangement in the middle which is very well maintained.
The N55 entrance from Granard has good road surface and extended footpath out to the 50km sign, the junction at the Castlepollard Road can be a bit deceptive as traffic emerges from the R395. That same Castlepollard Road was well maintained and the road surface was good with verges cut back in accordance with good practice. The main sections of the N4 in both directions were as should be in top condition.
Overall the standard was very good and you are to be commended once again for the work that you undertake in maintaining the roundabout network on the outskirts of the town.

Concluding Remarks:
It was good to visit Edgeworthstown ( Mostrim) after a good number of years and see some very positive changes. The proposed  new Municipal Centre will be a big bonus to the town both infrastructurally and economically when it comes to fruition. You are wished well in the future years ahead.

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