Carrick-on-Shannon could be “a serious contender” according to this year’s report

Carrick-on-Shannon scored an improved total of 303 marks and was duly awarded a Gold Medal for its efforts.

Carrick-on-Shannon scored an improved total of 303 marks and was duly awarded a Gold Medal for its efforts.

A hard-working team of volunteers are responsible for the beautiful condition of the County Town and their efforts were commended inthe Adjudicator’s Report.

“As a person who has frequented your town on numerous occasions it was a delight to read your entry submission and visit your town with an ‘adjudicator’s hat’ on. Carrick-on-Shannon is a bustling and vibrant town particularly in the summer months, and your workload required to maintain the town to the standard you do is acknowledged,” the Adjudicator stated.

Max. Mark Mark awarded

Overall Development Approach 50 48

The Built Environment 50 43

Landscaping 50 45

Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 28

Litter Control 50 32

Tidiness 30 15

Waste Minimisation 20 17

Residential Areas 40 28

Roads, Streets and Back Areas 50 38

General Impression 10 9

General Impression

Last year the second round adjudicator was frustrated with your application form and commented on the duplication of material. We are pleased to report to you that this year your submission was easy to follow albeit with some duplication of material but this adjudicator thought this was acceptable as work programmes interconnect with various categories in this competition. This adjudicator feels that once your plans in relation to the wirescape in Bridge Street and replacement pavements on the Main Street and Bridge Street come to fruition, coupled with your ongoing improvements from your TidyTowns plan, you could be a serious contender. We always welcome a visit to Carrick and we hope you continue to do well in this competition.

Second round adjudication

Carrick on Shannon seems to get better, year by year and although it had been some time since the adjudicator had visited the town, it was great to see that improvements are continually being made. The range of features of interest and interesting things to see is amazing. A key attraction of the town is the River Shannon and the work undertaken by the Committee and others to take advantage of this wonderful amenity is highly commended. The adjudicator spent a very enjoyable half-hour stroll along the river path gazing at the many sites and the interesting information signs detailing the wildlife that could be seen. The Riverside Park (on the Roscommon side), which was reached by the wonderful cantilevered walkway, is another highlight with its excellent landscaping scheme, which comprises a wide range of species and colourful flowering plants and its high-quality contemporary finishes of stainless steel, timber and natural stone all combine to provide an amenity of the highest quality.

Indeed, the landscaping projects on view during the second round adjudication were lovely and it is clear that the tidy towns committee has taken on board the comments made in 2011 in relation to the lack of colour as almost all landscaping schemes observed provided bursts of lovely summer colours. The landscaping at the entrance road roundabouts (at the Attifinlay roundabout, Shannon roundabout and the roundabout at the Marley Shopping Centre (and Lidl) were all successful in enhancing the appearance of the town on key approach roads.

The landscaping in the boat and the planted tubs was admired and it is considered that the timber tiered planters may not be necessary in every location in which they are used – particularly if they are placed beside a large permanent planted bed. Attractive landscaping was also observed at the entrance to the council offices and in the adjacent river side car park. The rose beds on the perimeter of the car park in front of the tourist office were also admired, but one wonders if using a single plant type is advisable, particularly given its inability to provide for year-round colour.

The buildings in Carrick on Shannon are a wonderful attraction of the town and the adjudicator was delighted to experience the historical trail. The adjudicator was also struck by the number of the historic buildings that have been refurbished to a very high standard and that have been returned to productive use. Examples include the county council offices, the old courthouse and the Victoria Hall, which accommodates a restaurant.

The adjudicator also particularly liked the post office, the clock monument, the terrace of Georgian dwellings between the old courthouse and the post office on Georges Terrace and the workhouse while the complex of buildings which accommodates the Carrick family resource centre which sits side-by-side with the moderndevelopment of the Courtyard Kitchen and Montagues was also admired.

The issue of signage has been raised repeatedly by adjudicators in the past and it is agreed that it is an area where it can be difficult to strike a balance. Clearly, shops require representation but it is also obvious that excessive amounts of protruding and pavement signage can be self-defeating and only serve to provide clutter and confusion. We applaud your efforts so far to deal with this issue and your attempts to bring about a policy change by Leitrim County Council and we would strongly support the approach that less signage is better than more signage. It is also considered that hanging baskets can give rise to the same problem.

It was observed that a number of the properties with protruding signage and pavement signage (and there were quite a few!) also have hanging baskets and this worsens the problem of clutter on the streetscape.

There is a valid concern that excessive levels of clutter can screen and mask high quality buildings and streetscapes and this in the view of the adjudicator, detracts from the appearance of the town and it takes away from the hard work that has gone into the maintenance of many commercial properties.

The second round adjudicators visit was a very enjoyable experience and we look forward to seeing further improvements and more exciting projects in Carrick-on-Shannon in 2013.