“Positive in words but not in marks” was how town clerk John Walsh described this year’s Athlone Tidy Towns adjudication report, which saw the town gain just one point over the previous year’s score, despite a more encouraging report.
Nevertheless he said the report’s recommendations must be followed in areas where the town fell down, such as under the wildlife and amenities, roads and back areas, and litter headings.
Cllr Aengus O’Rourke said he didn’t believe the report was a fair reflection on the town or on the council’s outdoor staff.
Meanwhile Cllr Paul Hogan said the comments in the report were in marked contrast to the recent IBAL (Irish Businesses Against Litter ) report, which ascribed an overall ‘littered’ status to Athlone.
“There has been a general improvement and it is a major contradiction of the IBAL report. The overall impression was ‘excellent’,” he pointed out.
Director of services Barry Kehoe added that the green route strategy, which is currently being compiled and will include new cycle routes throughout the town, will also serve to address some of the issues in the Tidy Towns report.
Councillors also united in praising the work being carried out by council staff and the Tidy Towns committee under chairman John Butler.