A litter free Athlone within three to five years, ensuring the town is the best possible urban area in which to live, work and recreate is the ultimate goal of a unified steering group, comprising the Municipal District, Athlone Business Champions initiative and the Tidy Towns committee.
This was the clear message outlined by entrepreneur, Mr. Tim McCarthy, The McCarthy Consultancy, during his address to elected representative members at the Municipal District.
“There must be a clear and unified litter free objective for the town of Athlone and we must come together as a business community to ensure we achieve this goal,” Mr. McCarthy emphasised.
This welcome initiative sees the town divided into eight zones with local business champions within the relevant areas appointed to ensure the litter free programme is progressing accordingly.
“No doubt, achieving litter free status within our town will take time, but there has to be unity of purpose amongst the steering group and the wider community. Ultimately, Athlone is not a clean town at present and I would also encourage the local public to become advocates for a litter free urban area.
“It is early days for the process, but we must sustain this initiative now. Within three to five years there is no reason why Athlone can not receive due recognition on a national level for its intended litter free status,” Mr. McCarthy commented.
Echoing similar sentiments, Business Champion, Mr. Alastair Grey, Burgess, was also present at the meeting and noted that schools should be involved in the litter free process.
In unison, the initiative was warmly received by Municipal District members, Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, noted the “marvellous initiative” which would have his full support, detailing that the project would require monetary support as it progressed.
Noting that all the relevant stakeholders should lend their assistance to the initiative, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke stated that there were “struggles in the past to create the optimum energy levels regarding how our town should be presented”.
“We have all in Athlone bar the seaside and we must ensure that this initiative maintains. I am proud to be part of the steering group and as a Business Champion I am in regular contact with my colleagues on the west side regarding town clenliness,” Cllr. O’Rourke remarked.
Regarding the financing of the initiative, Mr. McCarthy stated that he and his colleagues were hopeful that a similar budgetary figure allocated to the Tidy Towns committee (€20,000 ), would be welcome but he was “keeping his eyes open” in this regard as the programme proceeded.
“Our Municipal District have a large role to play in support of this initiative. We have members of the business community looking after each zone, but ultimately, the Municipal District must take ownership of the town in its entirety,” Mr. McCarthy concluded.