THE “hard working and committed” Tidy Towns group were commended in Abbeyleix for their pride in their area and high standard of presentation in this year’s Tidy Towns competition.
The group was commended for encouraging people to help out with specific projects in the town as well as involving local businesses. It was also noted that the group has established good working relationships with Laois Partnership, Laois County Council and the community employment scheme.
The adjudicators, who gave the town a high score of 297 this year, also mentioned that the committee were disappointed with last year’s results and they were praised by judges for their “positive and proactive response to this disappointment”.
The Judges stated that retaining a high mark each year can be a significant achievement in itself.
The buildings in Abbeyleix were classed as one of the highlights of the town with its “planned and orderly layout” and were described as “simply spectacular”. The Market Square was a favourite of judges who praised many of the businesses for their presentation. Businesses mentioned included Donaghue and Company, the Post Office, Mooneys, McDonalds, Bergins, The Leix Bar and The Rest Bar.
Other premises that stood out for judges included McEvoys, the Credit Union, Leinster House, Queens, Prestons and Epworth House. A number of features in the town were noted including the ornate lamp stands, the cast iron bollards, the uniform wooden planters and semimature trees.
The Tidy Towns group achieved a high standard in their landscaping projects for the year, and judges highlighted a number of aspects including colourful half barrels, a number of planted beds, the public park and attractive window boxes. Abbeyleix also scored well in the wildlife section with projects such as butterfly monitoring and a hop it frog survey mentioned, as well as involving school children from the area in these projects. Abbeyleix Bog was also a highlight.
Generally the standard of litter control was very good in the town with a couple of pockets of litter noticed in the flower beds of the Heritage centre and adjacent to the playground. The standard of tidyness in the town is high, but a number of areas were noted for the committee for next year such as completing a signage audit and compiling a list of improvements suggested.
Residential areas scored very well with judges noting a large number of well kept housing estates in the town. Judges noted the town’s progress in the competition but suggested that more could be done to improve approach roads, as well as encouraging the group to send in their tidy town plan each year.