Athlone’s Tidy Towns committee needs greater buy-in from the business community if it is to keep the town looking its best.
There is currently just one business person on the 20-member Tidy Towns committee, Athlone Town Council heard during a presentation at their March meeting.
“It’s not our fault. We’ve tried to engage several times,” former councillor and Tidy Towns member John Butler told elected members.
It’s a stark contrast to the Westport model, where business people are highly engaged in sweeping streets and keeping the town neat on Sunday mornings. In Westport there is a roster of around 200 volunteers.
The committee aims to have Athlone cleaner than European norms for IBAL reporting purposes and wants to stay ahead of neighbour Mullingar in the Tidy Towns points race.
Cllr Alan Shaw, who is on the committee said the volunteers are passionate about the work they do, and he said this is half the battle in achieving their targets.
Some issues, like derelict buildings are outside the control of the committee.