Kingscourt plans to operate a motorised sweeping service to keep the town clean by the start of the new year, writes Thomas Lyons. Community representatives have banded together as a matter of civic pride to take action to address the overall vista of their town.
Members of the Development Association are in negotiations to purchase a road sweeper that can be hand operated in a bid to address problems with litter.
The initiative was highlighted in the course of the Bailieborough Cootehill Municipal District meeting held in Cootehill courthouse. Director of Services Joe McLoughlin had told members that, year on year, allocations saw a deficit of €78m in council funding since 2009.
This reduction in support has seen a reciprocal contraction in the services the local authority has available. Road sweeping services to towns across Cavan have been reduced as a results of the cutbacks.
Cllr Clifford Kelly (FF) said that Kingscourt Community Development Association decided to take action to keep their town tidy: “We decided we would look at purchasing our own town sweeper,” he told the Celt. “The Development Association contacted a firm in Dublin. We are looking at one with low hours on it. It will cost around €17,500, part of that will be paid with a grant from the municipal district, the rest through fundraising.”
The decision to take the responsibility on was made easier thanks to some willing helpers: “We have a man qualified to operate that machine working on one of our schemes. The Development Association will be taking out the necessary insurance to facilitate the operation of the machine.”
The local Fianna Fáil representative hopes that things will move swiftly: “By the end of January, everything going well, we will have a machine and people in place who will start at 5:00am and keep the town tidy. It will bring together the Tidy Towns people and the Development Association to work hand in hand to make sure Kingscourt is clean and tidy. We hope this will help us move up in the ranking in the Tidy Towns competition.” Cllr Kelly says that he would not be surprised if other towns follow the lead of Kingscourt: “I hope other towns follow suit. I recently attended a meeting with the Cootehill Chamber of Commerce. I outlined the initiative that we are embarking on and they were warmly disposed to the idea themselves. Whether they pursue it is up to them, we have decided that we are going to do something for ourselves.”