THE findings of the IBAL littler league that class Portlaoise as moderately littered and ranked 39th of 42 areas surveyed have been rubbished by a Laois County Council official.
John O’ Donoghue, Senior Engineer Environment & Roads, said the Council “are very disappointed that Portlaoise Town did not receive litter free status.”
He outlined that it was two privately owned sites - one on Station Road and one adjacent to Bruach na hAbhainn housing estate - that were classified as Grade D by IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter) which ‘prevented Portlaoise from obtaining litter free status’.
Mr O’Donoghue highlighted, “Laois County Council have already resolved one of the sites identified and continue to pursue the issues on the other site through our Derelict Sites Act 1990.”
Six of the ten areas inspected in Portlaoise were classified as Grade A which is the top grade. These sites included: Town Bypass (M7) from Abbeyleix Roundabout to Exit 16; Old Dublin Road – Approach; Portlaoise Railway Station; Main Street; Rossvale – Residential and Dunnes Stores (Mountmellick Road).
A further two sites were classified as Grade B - minor incidents of littering - (Ridge Road – Approach & N80 Approach from Mountmellick).
The An Taisce report used to compare towns said there was ‘an improvovement at Portlaoise and it should strive to be Clean to European Norms the next time’.
It added, “With six out of the ten sites surveyed getting the top litter grade Portlaoise was set up to score well but unfortunately this wasn’t the case as there were two Grade D sites. They have both suffered long-term neglect and abuse – sites don’t get to this state over night.”
With Portlaoise picking up 289 points in the Tidy Towns competition and a silver medal, Mr O’Donoghue said Laois County Council wished to acknowledge ‘the great work done by the Tidy Towns committee and all the volunteers and the Council who continue to strive for litter free status in 2012 and beyond’.