Wednesday, 29th June 2011
Waterford City was nominated to the Best Kept Town competition that is held across north and south of Ireland. It faced stiff competition from Malahide, Co Dublin and Coleraine, Co Londonderry. The awards ceremony took place in Farmleigh House, Dublin on Tuesday 21st June.
Although Coleraine won in the Best Large Urban Centre category, Mayor Cllr Mary Roche remained positive about the competition. "I consider it to be a huge compliment to be nominated for this competition", she commented. "It is no mean feat for a city that is relatively new to the Tidy Towns competition to score well enough to be nominated for this Best Kept Towns competition. It highlights the importance that communities across Waterford City place on the appearance of their local area.
"All entrants were marked against strict adjudication criteria that included cleanliness, the outward appearance of buildings, the presentation of roads and public facilities and the natural environment. Unfortunately we faced stiff competition from our competitors Malahide and Coleraine. However it was a privilege to be nominated for this award. Likewise it’s great to see that the county of Waterford had a total of three towns at the awards; our neighbours from Co. Waterford were also nominated for awards in other categories. Stradbally was in the running in the Village category and Lismore won in the Small Town category. That’s a fantastic achievement for our county and something we can all be proud of."
Nichola Beresford, chairperson of Waterford City’s Tidy Towns Committee remarked "This nomination was a real boost for us. It comes at the perfect time, as we recently set up the Tidy Towns Committee and are slowly gaining momentum. This nomination gives us the boost that we need to make our mark on Tidy Towns and bring the competition to everyone’s attention. We have been steadily progressing over the last few years in the Tidy Towns competition and a nomination like this in the Best Kept Towns competition really helps us to see what can be achieved if we each do just one thing to keep our area clean and tidy.
"What’s more, its very encouraging to see that all the work being done about the city on a regular basis is paying off, whether that’s from local groups giving up an hour or two of their free time at the weekend, a business maintaining their premises or Waterford City Council working to keep the city clean. Projects such as the newly refurbished Bishop’s Palace and the glass walls along the river as part of the flood relief scheme have resulted in our city really looking its best lately. Some of the comments in the adjudicators’ report were very positive. The presentation of historic buildings in the city was described as being "better than average and very much added to the uniqueness of Waterford". The judges also commented on the standard and maintenance of open spaces within the city, saying that it "was always good with obvious attempts at medium scale tree planting – this is to be commended.
The judges described the problem of dog fouling as "most unsightly". While the combination of a recent awareness campaign run by the City Council and the installation of dog-bag dispensers in the city centre has improved dog fouling, we really need dog owners to come on board in order to solve this problem.
"We hope that by taking the judges comments on board, we will earn even more marks in this year’s Tidy Towns competition."
The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council initiated the Ireland’s Best Kept Towns competition in 1995 to help raise the profile of both the TidyTowns and Northern Ireland's "Best Kept" competitions, and so help to improve the standard of towns and villages across the island of Ireland. This competition is now an all Ireland venture between the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, the UK’s Department of the Environment and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
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