Ballacolla’s big effort paying off

BALLACOLLA has been praised for an impressive performance in the Tidy Towns competition with the adjudicator saying he’d no doubt they will continue to go from strength to strength in 2013.

BALLACOLLA has been praised for an impressive performance in the Tidy Towns competition with the adjudicator saying he’d no doubt they will continue to go from strength to strength in 2013.

Ballacolla increased their overall marks by five, increasing from 293 in 2011 to 298 this year, and on adjudication day, June 8, it was ‘clear that significant efforts have been made to improve the level of tidiness in Ballacolla’.

The committee was praised for their signage pole maintenance. “Signage poles were spotless and there is no doubt that this is due to regular washing and the stern approach of the committee to preventing posters being mounted.”

The adjudicator was ‘heartened’ to see the improvements made each year by the 14-person committee, who’ve developed strong links with FAS, Laois County Council and the Heritage Council. The committee have been encouraged to build upon their links with the local school if possible.

“An excellent way of doing this is to identify some joint projects with the school and to include them in your three year Tidy Towns action plan. There are many categories such as landscaping, wildlife and litter where the input of the school could be invaluable.”

The adjudicator who was visiting Ballacolla for the first time extended congratulations to the committee on their new sculpture ‘which looked very well’ and he ‘admired the pump which provides an original feature for Ballacolla’.

In regard to the built environment it was suggested that some improvements were still possible. “The challenges with derelict houses were experienced at first-hand and it is heartening to see that you have begun the process of addressing this problem as it was observed that the houses are boarded up, painted and planters added. This certainly improves their appearance.

“You’re encouraged to continue to liaise with Laois County Council and perhaps agree which derelict sites should be prioritised in your three-year action plan.”

It was clear during adjudication that ‘considerable attention’ was given to landscaping with numerous examples ‘admired’ particularly on the Durrow approach road.

The adjudicator was ‘quite impressed’ with the wildlife park. “This is an excellent resource as it is extensive and easily accessible on foot from the village and the local school. It is also encouraging to see that the wildlife area is performing an interpretative function as well as a habitat function for wildlife.”

Litter control was very good ‘with most areas appearing litter free’ and the local committee were commended on their participation in the Laois Clean-up Week and and the anti-litter initiatives undertaken in partnership with the school.”

In terms of waste minimisation the committee were urged to focus on actions that reduce the production of waste in the community.

The adjudicator observed that a high standard was achieved in the presentation of individial properties and gardens in Ballacolla. “It is clear that the residents take great pride in the appearance of their village as the vast majority of dwellings are carefully maintained.”

A high standard of presentation has been achieved on each of the approach roads into Ballacolla, with the standard of road surfacing and markings also being commended.