20 Jan 2022

All hands on deck as Tidy towns judges make their way to Longford

Picture: Shelley Corcoran

3rd Year Meán Scoil Mhuire Students, Longford Tidy Towns committee members, Gary Brady, Eamon Ledwith, Geraldine Quinn, Joan Kiernan, Willie Quinn and outgoing Cathaoirleach Luie McEntire

Longford town has just a few weeks left to get ready for the big exam, the National Tidy Towns competition.

The judges will arrive any time from mid June to end of August and we will be judged under eight different categories. It’s a big exam. They will look everywhere, even at roofs of houses and upstairs windows and in alleyways and car parks.

They will take note of all the work we have done too and improvements made, and we will get credit for all the good work done, so for the next few weeks we will need all shoulders to the wheel and all hands on deck. They look at the approach roads ,sports club grounds, shopping centres, parks, bridges , waterways, apartment blocks and housing estates. Nothing can be hidden.

Also read: Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: Longford displayed heart, passion and work ethic

Our volunteers and Tus workers and County Council workers have been busy getting litter picked and getting the areas in the vicinity of the many roundabouts looking clean, weed free, neat and tidy. First impressions of any town are really important. Volunteers are out two evenings each week. Could you spare an hour or two to help them? Age does not matter!

Now the town itself and the immediate surrounds need attention over the next few weeks.

A request:
We are requesting schools, sports clubs, businesses of all kinds, churches, private home owners, apartment blocks, just everyone, to make an extra effort to present their own premises in as clean and in as an attractive way, as they possibly can, over the next few weeks.

Every little helps and when we all help we will all be winners. Longford Tidy Towns committee are particularly asking owners of unused properties to try and present them clean and attractively for the summer and of course for our many visitors , as well as for the judges.

Derelict properties cause us to loose marks each year, because they are eye sores. Trees growing out of chimneys and broken gutters along the main streets do not impress the judges, they just cause Longford to lose marks in this very exciting competition !

Things you can do to help Longford be a winner this year -
* If you are planting up window boxes or hanging baskets, try and choose pollinator friendly varieties. A list is available from Tidy Towns. When setting flowers, try and set perennials
* When you have chewed your gum, wrap it and put it in your pocket or in a bin. Chewing gum is continuing to be a menace on our streets and very costly to get rid of
* When you take your dog for a walk, take his biodegradable poop-bag along and then take the bag and its contents to the nearest bin or take it home with you. Nobody likes to step on your dog’s pooh.
*If you take your dog for a walk along the canal walkway, do not encourage him to swim in the water as there are newly hatched ducklings swimming there at present.
* Cigarette butts on our streets are still a problem. Someone has to pick them up, so why throw them there ?
* Do your house gutters need repairing? Could you remove the tree that is growing up there?
* Could you sweep outside your own premises and maybe the next one each day?
* Could you help to keep the alleyway beside you business clean and tidy?
* Take your wrappers, cans, plastic bags, bottles, cigarette boxes etc home or place them in the nearest bin.
* When it comes to getting a town ready for the National Tidy Towns competition, nobody can do everything but everyone can do something.

Some reasons you might like to volunteer with your local Tidy Towns: To make a difference, to feel needed, to get to know your neighbourhood and your neighbours, to gain or improve skills, to do some civic duty, to relieve boredom, as a therapy, to do something different from one’s job, for fun, for religious reasons, to be with people who are different, to keep busy, to do one’s share, to give something back, for recognition, to get a better balance in life and of course best of all, for exercise and fresh air. For to be part of the winning team! And there are many more reasons.

For more information or to volunteer, contact John at 086 834 6559 or Ann at 086 896 2546.

Also read: 'People are crying out for more houses' - 100 houses planned for Ballymahon

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