Ballinamore's Canal Bank Walk praised by adjudicator

Ballinamore's Canal Bank Walk praised by adjudicator

Tidy Towns Adjudicator's Report for Ballinamore.

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:

Ballinamore is welcome to the National TidyTowns Competition 2017. Your core group of ten members has increased in number, is well organised and can call on assistance from an additional number of volunteers when required. The photographs accompanying your submission were of great assistance to the adjudicator and added to the enjoyment of the visit. You have also been successful in achieving co-operation and assistance from other interested groups and agencies in the promotion and development of your town and the list submitted makes impressive reading. Your communication with your schools and the promotion of your Junior TidyTowns is admirable and results are encouraging. Your committee has used a wide variety of media outlets to promote your campaign and you are to be commended on the development of your own website.

Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:

The view from the Bridge area along Main Street, up to the elevated High Street, looks very well with a large number of well-presented shopfronts and commercial premises. There is visually, however, a multiplicity of plastic signs in this location. Perhaps you should consider an audit of these with a view to their reduction and replacement with more visually pleasing signage. Presentations at Scollan’s, Shortt’s Heritage Bar, Tabhairne an Bainc, Poitigéir and Library were greatly admired, containing excellent signage with good quality colour schemes adorned with window boxes and hanging baskets in some cases. The area surrounding the John McGahern memorial, incorporating the former station building, retains a fine character. However, the railway signal could be freshened up here. Opposite, an attractive terrace of street houses, retaining a fine scale, was admired. This area looked very well with well-manicured grass areas. The Tesco centre is brightly painted in white but some enlivening is needed to the window areas of yet unused units at the entrance. Opposite, the open space area looked a little unkempt.

The Primary Care Centre at the Line has an excellent contemporary design on well-presented grounds. The visual impact of the car park area was reduced by some well-considered planting and the threshold gardens to the individual units, with good quality bi-lingual signage, looked very well. Opposite, screen planting at the Hardware Centre boundary would have a complimentary effect.

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:

Work continues on perennial planting and recent efforts on the embankment were noted. Your school involvement in this agenda should prove to have good educational value in the long term. The presentation of the forecourt at Naomh Padraig sets a very good standard containing, as it does, colourful shrubbery on well-maintained grounds.

The Locaboat marina now looks very well and the shrubbery dispersed along the entrance avenue was well maintained. The reception and service building had brightly painted, cream coloured walls, with a dark red colour to the various elements such as doors, windows and fascia boards. The Waterways Ireland facility at the Golf Links Road had an excellent presentation with a number of visitors reading the many interesting information boards located here. Elsewhere incidental planted open spaces were admired, particularly near the Bridge. The John Joe McGirl monument is a nice point of interest. Well done on the painting of the railways here. The imaginative Tourist Trail signs are nicely designed, prominently located, clean, and fresh and look very well.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:

The Canal Bank Walk is a great amenity of your location and this interesting trail contains a wide variety of wildlife habitats. It is good to note that you liaise well with various groups to further develop this agenda including your schools, Men’s Shed and Waterways Ireland, in addition to advice and talks from experts Mary Colwell and Neil Foulkes. Well done on seeking professional advice to ensure a sustainable future. The wildlife boards at Scoil Bhríd Naofa and Scoil Naoimh Padraig are a credit to those involved.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:

It is very encouraging to read of your participation in the Annual Spring Clean and your involvement with your neighbouring parish of Authawitley. Your programme is expanding, under this heading, to include the Men’s Shed and your schools, with professional advice from the Leitrim County Council Heritage Officer. Nowadays, many households are finding that they are learning about composting, recycling, waste minimisation and water harvesting from the younger generation. Your map outlined a large number of projects and all were visited, including the clean Bring Bank at Railway Road.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:

The recently held Cowboys and Heroes Festival created a busy atmosphere in the centre festooned with bunting and American flags hoisted at various locations. Participation in the Leitrim ‘Adopt a Road’ campaign has been very successful, particularly at the outer areas of Convent Road where grass margin cutting was on-going. Further in, a number of buildings including the old convent need a freshening up and this area could prove very attractive on arrival by just the introduction of colour. Last year’s adjudicator’s report indicated a number of issues that need improvement and these remain to be attended to. Your weekly litter picks ups involving your RSS and TUS workers, together with a number of volunteers, is obviously working well as inner town was substantially litter free.
There were small quantities of papers at the entrance to River View. The creeper planting to the retaining walls was noted here and, when mature, will help to soften the visual aspect of the courtyard. You have begun to expand this agenda to include the elimination of dog fouling and fly posting and we note your participation in the Leitrim Management Plan meetings?

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:

Annual competitions are a very good way to keep in contact with your various residential areas. The involvement of the Men’s Shed, and their assistance in creating planters from old pallets, is a very worthwhile community involvement. Work at the Willows Estate was noted and looks well. The inner town boasts a nice stock of buildings which retain their traditional architectural scale and character. Well done on finding a re-use for some older buildings, particularly the previously mentioned former bank now an attractively presented off-licence.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:

The Leitrim ‘Adopt a Road Scheme’ has worked really well in your town. A feature of your approach roads are the fine traditional stone walls enclosing the entrance roads with a mature hedgerow and woodland backdrop. The bilingual ‘Failte’ name signs, set over stone planters at various locations, create a welcoming atmosphere on arrival and look colourful. Last year’s adjudicator was clear on areas in need of attention.

Concluding Remarks:
The commitment of your volunteers and workers is to be seen throughout the town. This, combined with your structured approach, will ensure a sustainable future for your town.

                                                                       Max Mark            2016 Mark             2017 Mark

Community Involvement & Planning                      60                         46                          47

Built Environment and Streetscape                        50                         36                          37

Landscaping and Open Spaces                              50                         44                          45

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities                 50                        32                           33

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management       50                          24                          24

Tidiness and Litter Control                                    90                          51                          51

Residential Streets & Housing Areas                       50                         29                          29

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes                          50                           38                         38

Total Mark                                                          450                        300                        304

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