FERMOY DROPS 25 PLACES IN LITTER LEAGUE
Disappointment has been expressed this week with the news that Fermoy has dropped 25 places in the IBAL (Irish Businesses Against Litter) competition. The town can, however, boast to being ‘clean to European norms.
Many people were bitterly disappointed to find that Fermoy has dropped to the 27th place, among 60 towns and cities, as the results of the IBAL competition for 2009 were released early on Tuesday morning.
The town was deemed ‘moderately littered’ in seven areas: Mallow approach road, Cork approach road, Waterford approach road, library car park, Patrick Street, Sean O’Brien Park and Blackwater amenity walk.
One Fermoy resident, who did not wish to be named, expressed her dismay at the drop and pointed out the “lack of leadership of the current tidy towns committee” and how much dirtier the town has become lately.
“It’s very disappointing. We have gone from the top 3 to 27. It’s a shame. It’s a long way back up,” she said questioning the leadership of the new committee and what actions they were going to take to improve the image of the town.
“I would question the committee as to what they are going to do. Will they continue to keep it up? Will they come out and pick up litter? We had a great relationship with the old committee and John Murphy would always be out picking up litter,” the woman claimed.
As the new chairman of the tidy towns committee, Mayor Noel McCarthy was disappointed at the drop as well and commented, “We are anxious to get to the top of the league. We are going to get back. I will be hands on for this job and I am serious about it. We need more volunteers and I will be one of them. We now see the implications of the budget cuts. We need to come up with new ideas.
"Business people should take more responsibility outside their premises as well. I appreciate and praise the work that Cllr John Murphy did and I am looking forward to working with him and learning from his experience.”
Other councillors have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the current lack of tidiness in the town with Cllr Aileen Pyne reminiscing about the same time last year, when she was in Dublin for the awards ceremony, in which Fermoy came second.
“Hope we’ll be on top again this time next year. It is a team effort,” she said. Former town councillor and mayor, William Hughes stressed that he “would like to see a better effort made.”
He also wanted to compliment residents’ associations and the voluntary community workers for the great work they put in the past.
The former chairman of the Tidy Towns committee, Cllr John Murphy, highlighted the need for more “cooperation with the town executive and engineers to get a formula going. The goodwill and volunteers are there,” he told The Avondhu.
It’s not all bad though. Yes, the town slipped, but it is still clean to European norms and the top of the league is achievable given that Bray, the town that won this year’s award was last year listed as Ireland’s dirtiest town.
“Fermoy set a very high standard. It didn’t perform as well this year, but it is like keeping a house clean. There will be moments that it won’t be that clean. It is not a disaster. With a little determination Fermoy can get back to the top. Bray has seen a complete reversal. The council brought the change. They set up a litter task force a year ago and they involved the chamber of commerce. They decided to do a good job. I think Fermoy will make a big effort to do well in both Tidy Towns and the litter league.” Tom Cavanagh, chairman of IBAL, told The Avondhu.
Speaking to The Avondhu about the results Cllr Pa O’Driscoll said, “Firstly there is a positive message from the results. While Fermoy may have slipped back on the rankings compared to last year, overall the town was seen as clean by the judges of the IBAL awards.
“The second message coming from the results was that to progress back up the rankings is very achievable. The winners of the award, Bray, went from being a littered town to the cleanest in a very short period of time. Talking to people around the town there is acknowledgment that the public will have to play a greater role in keeping Fermoy litter free.
“The Tidy Towns committee is working well, and I know that they have short and long terms plans to improve the overall image of Fermoy. The town can regain its litter free status, once everyone is willing to put in an effort and change some attitudes.”
Friday 8th January 10:24am