Bray named as cleanest town
Bray, Co Wicklow, has emerged as the "Cleanest town in Ireland" in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) 2009 survey of 60 towns and cities.
Bray pipped Cavan as the overall winner of the league for 2009. Both were among a record number of towns (39 towns) to be classed as "litter-free". The winning town was presented with a special plaque from Dr Tom Cavanagh, Chairman of IBAL.
The news was welcomed by John Nolan, president of Bray Chamber, who attributed the rapid turnaround of the town - last year Bray was named along with Tullamore Co Offaly and Cobh Co Cork as Ireland's most seriously littered towns - to community effort.
In its report on Bray, An Taisce, who conduct the litter surveys, commented: "Bray has done exceptionally well - the overall presentation of the Main Street speaks volumes - clearly big efforts are being made to encourage people to 'Shop Local' and a very attractive environment has been provided. Paving / bins / planting etc. were all in excellent condition
and the area was spotless. The Promenade was immaculate - it wasn't just clear of litter but in impeccable condition."
Speaking to local authority representatives at a ceremony in Dublin this morning, Dr Cavanagh of IBAL said cutbacks in budgets should not mean a reversal of the progress made on litter. New cleaning technologies and effective enforcement could yield tremendous benefit at minimum cost, he said.
"In particular we need to rid ourselves of the idea that 'enforcement' is about fining an individual for dropping a sweet wrapper. It's more about taking local businesses and other organisations to task for not keeping the areas outside their premises free of litter - areas such as car parks and pavements. If local authorities aren't comfortable with this, maybe privatisation should be considered."
He congratulated the local authorities for helping transform our environment in the space of just seven short years. "Our tourist and food sectors in particular owe a debt of gratitude to those involved in making 39 of the towns 'litter-free'."
The cathaoirleach of Bray Town Council, Cllr John Ryan, welcomed the news of Bray's achievement.
“This means a lot to Bray, particularly as we are going through a rebranding process. . . . The community came together after our poor showing last year (53 rd out of 55) and agreed to pull out all the stops, and it seems to have worked," he said.
"Everyone worked together and we instituted a zero tolerance approach to litter, graffiti and weeds in the town while we also put pressure on property owners to clean up derelict sites and buildings."
The IBAL Anti Litter League is the largest litter survey conducted in Ireland, with all areas of over 6,000 population covered over the year, ensuring that the areas covered, have an overall population of close to two million people. Sites are graded by An Taisce according to international standards.
IBAL Anti Litter League Final Results 2009
"Clean to European Norms"
18 Dún Laoghaire
40 Waterford City
49 New Ross
50 Cork City
51 Dublin City
60 Limerick City