The local Tidy Towns committee has received the adjudicators report from this Summers judging and the good news is that the Town has improved in all eight areas. The committee would like to put on record, their thanks to everyone who has provided help and support to improve the Town’s appearance including the volunteer litter pickers who turn up every Tuesday evening for an hour. Special thanks are also due to local Council worker Mr. Mickey Flynn who keeps the streets and surrounding areas from litter and weeds all year round. Mickey will be sorely missed when he retires at the end of the year.   The committee are always looking for more help and support so perhaps your New Year resolution could be to give an hour a week to help to help keep Ballybay clean and tidy and a place to be proud off.

The report firstly looked at COMMUNITY and noted that there was an active committee with 24 members and help from various resident groups. The highlighted the involvement of young people, stating, “We are delighted to see they are involved in litter picking, seed sowing and promoting wildlife habitats”. They also noted that it was “Pleasing to see that the committee take advice of the judges on board”.

In relation to STREETSCAPE AND PUBLIC PLACE the judges complimented property owners for getting involved with the Town and Village Enhancement Scheme. They had numerous positive comments to make including, “Stookies Bar on Main Street looked tremendously well. Smyths, Bills, Ballybay Pharmacy, Credit Union, Bluebells and Carragher’s looked smart”. They also “Admired the bench and beautiful planters at the entrance to Loch Mor Avenue”.

GREEN SPACES AND LANDSCAPING also received many complimentary comments. These included, “We have noted and admired the landscaping in Riverside Lane”, “The award winning playground is a splendid amenity” and “The planting beds all look good and provide a welcoming feature for visitors to the town”.

NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY also received positive comments. The judges complimented the community garden and the partnership with the Mens Shed. The judges finished off this section saying, “We love all the planting around the town with lovely burst of colour throughout”.

The committee approach to harvesting water and composting helped to improve the score in the SUSTAINABILITY section. The judges also liked the information panels about the Dromore River and said, “they are great ways of raising awareness about our waterways”.

Under TIDINESS AND LITTER CONTROL it was noted that there was very little litter on the day of adjudication. They applauded the ‘Best Kept Premises’ initiative and thanked Gerry Mc Elroy for his sponsorship. On the downside they noted rubbish and bags at the recycling area and suggested the possibility of CCTV as a solution to this issue.

RESIDENTIAL STREETS AND HOUSING AREA received very positive comments such as “many houses and estates were beautifully presented” and “we commend the homeowners for their efforts”.

The judges were very complimentary in relation to the APPROCAH ROADS, STREETS AND LANES saying that, “The commitment of the CE Workers is to be commended”.

In the CONCLUDNG REMARKS the judges said, “It was a pleasure to visit and in this 6th year you have progressed well and are beginning to see results on the ground”.