Litter Control/Tidiness

Summary of projects undertaken for this year 2012 / 2013

 

  • Volunteerism

 

These links to contacts in turn have volunteers working with them during arranged clean-ups and litter picks. The estimate of total volunteers assisting with Athlone Tidy Towns this year is 400 + people. The Committee plan to continue building long-term links with residents associations, businesses, community & education representatives and members of the general public. A joint working group has been set up between Athlone Tidy Towns and Athlone Chamber of Commerce.

In May 2013 we completed a major clean up of the canal at Battery Heights and the Big Meadow with the full support of the three Angling Clubs based in the town.

The organisation of these teams of volunteers is based on a zoned approach within the town area, with members of the Tidy Towns Committee responsible for monitoring the clean up and to liaise with the sub-resident groups in their respective zones. This also acts as a feedback mechanism to report on blackspots of litter or untidiness to the committee for appropriate action by either the Tidy Towns Workers or the Athlone Town Council. This year we introduced a formal notification process with the buy in from the Town Council.

Already this year our Spring Clear up has worked well and the following areas have been totally cleaned up of litter

  •             Mc Cormack Park
  •             Woodville
  •             Battery Heights (Canal Area)
  •             Garrycastle and surrounds
  •             Ashdale/Woodland Grove
  •             Abbey Road (Back Lane)
  •             Coolevin
  •             Willow Park
  •              Sarsfield Square
  •             Cornamagh/Garnafailagh ( see paper cutting)
  •              Valleycourt

 

In addition we have a group of individuals who elect not to come on to our committee but work in their community to keep their area tidy and presentable.

The Athlone Town Council has given great encouragement and support to the Tidy Towns Committee. So much so, that the Council have made funding available to the Tidy Towns Committee to engage four full-time workers for the period March to September 2013, dedicated to litter control on the approach roads and town centre and to progress the Tidy Towns agenda as regards the overall appearance, landscaping and tidiness.

  • Schools Litter Audit

 

New Initiative : commenced September 2012

All 15 School principals gave permission to Tidy Towns to conduct an annual litter audit in their schools.

Tidy Towns litter audit team consisted of the following

* Schools Liaison Officer

* Sub Group Leader for Litter Control

* Athlone Town Council’s Litter Warden

* Tidy Towns committee member

Working in pairs schools were audited on 11 different categories of waste.( see attached form) and schools received  feedback on what had been found.

Four trophies) were presented  to the Schools on our awards night.

(see attached)

  • Support from other Agencies

 

Probation Services carry out a clean up in preselected areas each week and their litter is collected by either the Town Council or our workers when they are in operation.

The National Learning Network Training agency collect litter near their Training Centre at Belhavel regularly.

Tidiness

Summary of projects undertaken for this year –2012/2013

The Athlone Tidy Towns and the Athlone Town Council are following an agenda which was recommended by The Donaldson Report commissioned in 2011. For your convenience, I have appended an update of the action points that are currently in need of attention. Many of the original 238 recommendations have been implemented ( “low hanging fruit”). What is left now is the more difficult areas that need attention.

We are confronted by issues such as indifferent proprietors, premises in NAMA or areas that have been neglected for years and need major rehabilitation. The condition for hoardings is giving us great concern and despite our approach to the owners of the properties we are getting very little success but we will keep trying.

Our budget is under serious constraint and we continue to priorities our actions on our ability to see them through.

We now have a dedicated member of our committee, who oversees this important aspect of our Operational Programme. The direct approach has worked for us and will continue to operate this way. Many of the action points are also referenced in the minutes of meetings attached and the monthly reports prepared for the various meetings of our committee.

We will continue to work with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Schools, two Parishes and Sports organizations in a partnership arrangement to continue to make Athlone an attractive location to visit and live in.

  • Model for success

 

We have designed a model for the renewal of the town. In it we will match any funding raised from Street Traders to see an overall improvement in their streetscape. Our initial step in this regard is Pearse Street and this experiment should be completed at the time of your adjudication. If successful it is planned to roll it out to other streets in a consultative and co-operative manner.

  • River frontage action plan

 

Athlone is fortunate to have easy access to the river Shannon. In the centre of town, both sides of the river attract great interest from our visitors whether they are hiring boats, fishing or just visiting the town, so we see this as great amenity.  With this in mind, we set out last year to upgrade the river promenade, docks and strand by power washing the paving and railings. In addition, we painted all the seats and generally cleaned up this important area of the town. This month, we are putting new design of hanging baskets on the bridge, which will give the centre of town a welcoming feeling.

  • Reports on actions

 

Ongoing remedial action is being carried out by our committee and our workers and described on our monthly reports under headings such as:-

Spraying for weeds

Painting

Power Washing

Grass cutting

Collection of litter

Litter black spots removal

Etc

It is evident in earlier parts of the submission that we carry out a serious amount of power washing around the town to remove dirt, moss and graffiti. We find that it generates goodwill with our general public and encourages a greater buy in to our plans.

 

  • Grass cutting rota

 

There is a rota for grass cutting that is well in place and observed.  In conjunction with this all areas are picked for litter.

  • Dog fouling

 

Dog fouling is a major issue and we have erected signs in certain areas where it is very prevalent and also distributed brochures in April 2013, which were supplied and designed by Westmeath County Council.

  • Advertising signage/Billboards

 

This is becoming a serious issue and has been raised with the Town Council at several meetings. There is a view that in these hard times it can be difficult to inhibit advertising where retailers are struggling to survive. Therefore each case is considered in that light. However, there has been notices given to advertisers for the removal of signage where it appears out of place and interfering with the general appearance of the town.

  • Directional signage

 

We are working with the Town Council to correct/adjust directional signage and upgrade them where necessary.  In this regard we have had some success but still have a long way to go.

  • IBAL Reports for 2012

 

We were very pleased with the results of the IBAL reports for 2012 and this reflects the focus from ourselves and the Town Council to address litter and black spots. We have moved slightly up the ranking order on both reports.

 

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