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Tidy Towns
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We are a voluntary group with a single objective: to keep our town and the surrounding area clean, tidy and a pleasant place to live. We try to achieve this is a number of ways:

1. Entering Ashbourne in the annual Tidy Towns Competition. This is a long established nationwide competition run annually during the summer months. Practically every village, town and community participates in various categories competing for valuable prizes. The competition is run by the Department of the Environment and is sponsored nationally by Super Valu.

2. Participating in the Anti Litter League. This is a County Meath-wide competition between villages, towns and housing estates in the County. It is organised and sponsored by Meath County Council who provide litter picking equipment and several prizes, many in cash, for the winning groups. All participants are invited each year to an awards ceremony. The competition is supervised by the County Council and takes place in Feb-March-April each year.

3. Participating in the Pride of Place Initiatives each year. This, again, is organised by Meath County Council and is made up of a number of different competitions designed to enhance villages, towns, neighbourhoods, country walks, etc. etc. Some of the categories include:

  • “The Royal Bloom” – to encourage the use of flowers to enhance our environment.
  • “Village Paint Scheme” – to visually upgrade village streets and shop fronts.
  • “Derelict Site Improvement Projects” – to reward groups who enhance the appearance of a disused site
  • “The Waterways Award” – to enhance the natural beauty of the waterways.
  • “The Harvest Walk” – to encourage and reward rurally based community groups in their efforts to improve a specific part of Their local area.
  • “Housing Estates Competition” – to encourage and support resident groups to enhance the visual appearance of their communities.

Meath County Council provides valuable monetary awards and trophies at an annual awards ceremony. They also provide guidelines on how to enter and participate in the various competitions, including workshops for the enthusiasts.

Ashbourne has been successful in winning several awards in various categories in recent years. Winning housing estates include Garden City and Crestwood, Milltown Estate and Brookville. Floral display recent winners include Ashbourne House Hotel and Jenny’s Boutique/Conway’s Pharmacy.

All of the above competitions are open to Residents, Associations, Tidy Towns Committees, Community Groups, etc. who wish to participate in any of the different appropriate categories.

4. Tidy Towns Committee also arranges for grass cutting and verge maintenance in common areas which don’t come under the various Resident bodies.

5. The Committee has a running five year plan, updated each year in April. This plan sets out the current, medium and longer term plans for improving our visual environment. The plan has inputs from various interested parties and is discussed with Meath County Council who provide assistance in its preparation. It also tries to set out responsibilities for achieving the individual objectives.

6. From time to time the Committee issues newsletters to the community detailing current events and to encourage businesses and community members to participate in campaigns. We also co-operate with the local schools in their awareness efforts.

7. Finally, our Committee regularly advises members of the community of their responsibilities and liabilities in the field of Litter Pollution. The Litter Pollution Act 1997 is “an Act to provide for the prevention and control of litter pollution and the prevention of the defacement of certain places and matters relating thereto.” The Act sets out the actions which are deemed offences and liable for severe financial penalties. Some offences are obvious, such as depositing litter on the public streets or open areas. Other offences, equally liable to heavy fines include placing household or domestic waste in bins which are provided in public areas by County Council for common litter such as sweet wrappers, drinks, bottles, etc. A growing practice of disposing of household waste in the public street bins is anti-social and defeats the intended purpose of such bins. The principle of “Polluter Pays” is fundamental to the Litter Pollution Act.

Membership

The Tidy Towns Committee continually seeks new members to participate in our activities. We act, mainly, as a co-ordinating body and thus welcome representatives from other bodies, such as Residents’ Associations, Estate Management Companies and others with a common interest. Individuals are also welcome to join our group and our meetings are open to the public.

We include here some contacts and references which might be useful:

  • County Litter Warden (to report serious cases of illegal dumping). Phone 1890 228466
  • Meath County Council Pride of Place/Litter League (for information regarding the several initiatives, applications forms, etc.). Phone 046 9097401
  • Litter Pollution Act (Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 are very relevant.)
  • Ashbourne Tidy Towns:
    • John Fanning, Chairman. Phone 087 2601956
    • Joe Jones, P.R.O. Phone 087 6688248
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