“KILDARE will be serious contenders to win the overall title at the Tidy Towns Awards in the next few years.”
Those are the words of Kildare County Council director of environment and water services Joe Boland, who was speaking after a recent networking meeting organised by the council. The event brought Tidy Towns group committee members from across the county together under one roof on Thursday 25 January at the council offices in Naas to hear analysis of how towns and villages across the county performed in the 2017 Tidy Towns competition. The event was also attended by recently-appointed Kildare Tidy Towns ambassador Johnny Doyle.
The event was also an opportunity for Tidy Towns committee members to meet, network and exchange information and ideas according to Mr Boland.
“The event is held about three times a year and it also gives members of Tidy Towns groups an opportunity to socialise informally with others and talk about Tidy Towns issues and to see what initiatives were put in place which led to other towns and villages gaining points. On the night, we had a presentation on best practice and an analysis of our performance as a county in 2017 from Tidy Towns adjudicator Christy Boylan. He gave an overview of best practice and not-so-good practices of our Tidy Towns groups and it was an opportunity for group members to address questions to him.”
The event and other similar events which have been held in the past give encouragement to Tidy Towns members, according to Mr Boland.
“These events give an impetus to committee members and an encouragement to them to keep going and it brings a sense of excitement and energy to the whole Tidy Towns movement within the county because it brings people together as a community. At each event, we focus on one particular area and at our next one, which is on Thursday 22 March, we will have KCC environmental awareness officer Dara Wyer, who will speak on the subject of managing waste and promoting efficient use of resources – which is good for the community and will also help improve Tidy Towns competition results. Aoife McGrath from the local authorities waterways office will also talk about how waterways can be kept tidy and how waterways can be used to maximise the points a town or village is awarded.”
In conclusion, Mr Boland said: “We are doing very well in the competition and we now have ten medals, whereas a number of years ago we only had one or two. Straffan is not too far off the points achieved by the overall winner this year and I feel that we are at a place now where Kildare will be serious contenders to win the overall title at the Tidy Towns Awards in the next few years. And that is good for the environment, community cohesion and us as a local authority as well.”