When people hear ‘Tidy Towns’ they generally think hanging baskets and litter picking. This may be the case for the many villages around the country however when Tidy Towns work is carried out in a larger more urban environment this work is elaborated on tenfold. Many organisations, residents groups and individuals are responsible for the ongoing improvements carried out in these larger more populated areas. More often than not the main thrust of a Tidy Towns group in an urban setting is strategic planning with the many organisations involved. The work not only encompasses preserving the natural environment but also entails showing the built environment at its full potential too. Thurles Tidy Towns is a prime example of such work.
In the last census Thurles town had a population of over 8,000.
Thurles town is not only used by the people living within the Town boundaries but as it has many large supermarkets, banks and good transport links Thurles provides services, facilities and amenities for at least another 20,000 in the surrounding hinterland.
For a voluntary organisation like Thurles Tidy Towns this can pose many challenges. Who does what? Where do they do it? When do they do it and why? (Community focus? Business focus?legal obligation? statutory body/government service?)
Two very different types of work are carried out by the group. The first is more cerebral; liaising with the many groups involved, supporting residents groups, planning work programmes, coordinating materials, equipment and manpower and fundraising - to name but a few.
Then there is the more practical, physical work – weeding, planting and pruning flower beds, cleaning graffiti, cleaning signs, designing and painting murals, making and erecting signage, picking litter on back roads and tree planting.
Problems in a small town like Thurles are easy to point out and make the headlines all too often. Thurles town has many good points and by contributing just a few hours of time to Thurles Tidy Towns (or your local residents group) problems can be eradicated or at the very least be improved. There is some type of work for everyone and it can be very satisfying as you actively provide a solution to a problem or issue.
We are seeking new members to join us and lead Thurles into a more participative and active era. Thurles Tidy Towns will be holding their AGM on Tuesday 29th March @ 8pm in the Monks Pub on Mitchel St, Thurles where a new committee will be elected and development goals for the year will be set. All committee positions are open.