Clare County Council has vowed to step-up efforts to improve the appearance of Shannon, after members of the local Tidy Towns voiced their anger over the issue.
Concerns have arisen over the quality of grass cutting and other aspects of the maintenance of public areas, which committee members insist are letting down their ongoing efforts to ehance the town.
After the Tidy Towns committee issued a strongly-worded letter seeking support from Clare’s Oireachtas members and local politicians, the local authority has agreed to address the matter.
Shannon Tidy Towns has been working to boost the area for close to four decades.
In the past it’s been funded directly by Shannon Development, but members feel that since the town was taken over by Clare County Council their efforts are being undermined by overgrown green areas and a lack of overall maintenance.
Frustration has boiled over in recent days with the group writing to Clare’s TDs and senator asking them to raise the matter at the highest levels within the local authority.
Siobhán Mulderrig says locals feel abandoned.
In a statement responding to local concerns Clare County Council have pointed to contributions of over €7,000 to the refurbishment of bus shelters in the town this year; and to contributions to flower bed replanting as evidence of their ‘long history of financial support’ to Shannon Tidy Towns.
The authority notes that maintenance of green spaces is no longer done in-house and is contracted on the open market.
It acknowledges that issues have arisen this year with the ‘timing of cuts, quality of cuts and missed areas’ and says it will work wiht the contractor to resolve the issue.
In the meantime, the council says it welcomes reports from the public ‘where a deficiency of cuts arises’.
That’s a situation that Noel Mulderrig, Treasurer of Shannon Tidy Towns says locals will be watching closely to ensure Shannon reaches its potential.
**Statement from Clare County Council:
Clare County Council values the efforts which the residents active in public improvement works have made down through the years and are a proud supporter of the Shannon Tidy towns committee, having allocated €7,100 towards the refurbishment of bus shelters in the town in 2019 and supporting the replanting of flower beds in 2018 to the value of €900 amongst a long history of financial support. Project such as these enhance and generate pride in the local area. The Shannon Municipal district team meet members of the Shannon Tidy towns group on a regular basis throughout each year to discuss matters arising. The Shannon Municipal District was allocated €191,000 for the maintenance of green spaces in the district for 2019. This funding is spent on grass cutting and tree surgery. These services are no longer delivered in-house and are tendered on the open market using best practice public procurement. It is accepted that issues have arisen on the 2019 grass cutting contract in relation to the timing of cuts, quality of cuts and missed areas. A certain amount of these issues can be attributed to a lack of familiarisation of contractor’s staff with the area. Where this is not the case we continue to work with the contractor to correct these and we welcome reports by the public where a deficiency of cut arises. These will be investigated and resolved.
Shannon Municipal District has two outdoor work crews. Their duties cross the full gamut of works required in the public realm from road maintenance and improvement, drainage maintenance, sign replacement, footpath repair etc. They can be seen every day working at locations across the district which includes Shannon town, Newmarket on Fergus, Sixmilebridge, Bunratty, Cratloe, Meelick, Ardnacrusha and Althlunkard. In recent years, Shannon town has benefitted from investment in public infrastructure in Shannon town at locations such as the new pedestrian crossing at St. Aidans School, the enhancement of the “Slí na Mara” roadway, the new path and traffic calming at Bothar Na Rinne, the refurbishment of the Shannon Embankment walks and the soon to be completed Shannon Town Park. Through these and other projects, Clare County Council has demonstrated a commitment to the improvement of the public realm in Shannon and will continue to work with the tidy towns committee and other public groupings to enhance the Shannon Municipal District.