The Tidy Towns report was prepared and sent by a joint Sustainable Skibbereen and Tidy Towns Group.
Here is the 3 year plan which forms part of the application. If you have any comments, suggestions or want to help out please get in touch.
Skibbereen is a market town with a population of approximately 2000 people in the urban area. It serves a hinterland of about 10,000 within a ten mile radius.
It has a busy cattle mart, the NCT and driving licence centre for West Cork, 1gb Digital Hub (The Ludgate Centre) and is the gateway to the Mizen. So it’s a busy place.
Our committee has worked ceaselessly over the years, always trying to improve and upgrade the town and it hasn’t always been easy.
However, in 2018 Skibbereen faces enormous challenges, the lion’s share of which are infrastructural.
Briefly we are in the throes of a flood relief plan which will continue for the next one and a half to two years. Added to that we are awaiting the appointment of a County Council architect to implement a plan which has already been drawn up, but which so far we have not been given sight of. Our local council rep has also been replaced with an official with a wider brief who no longer has the time to meet with us or with the Chamber of Commerce so our ability to liaise and plan locally is restricted. FAS have had problems with recruitment which has reduced the number of FAS people working with us from 11 to 4. In view of the above, we have decided to aim our plans for this year and next, at establishing really good relationships with all our other business and community partners highlighting different projects that are within our grasp while we lobby and wait for the infrastructure to be sorted. In the longer term the flood relief work will leave the town in better shape, and we are working with those engineers to plan for the landscaping and greening of the areas affected.
We have a number of goals, which have a three year time span;
Targeting both primary and secondary schools to work with us on our projects, (planting, litter control, environmental awareness, sustainability)
Targets: presentations to 50 schools and groups by 2019. Collaboration on 10 projects by 2019
Increase our awareness of sustainability, across the community by establishing the Skibbereen Sustainable Seven, (seven things that any individual can do anywhere and to promote it nationally). The community school students have already suggested that it should be the home screen on every computer in the school.
Targets: 6 training sessions on Zero Waste and Sustainability and promotion of the Sustainable 7 across the town by 2019
Sustainable Skibbereen is a collaboration of local groups who have joined with the Tidy Towns committee, and will enable us to make use of their publicity to promote the work of TT – in particular their web site, events, projects and their growing social media presence.
Target: launch of SS website and social media summer 2018. Establish annual funding for SS for 2019 onwards.
Identify businesses who will work with us in establishing waste control programmes, etc. Super Valu and Drinagh CO OP have already made a start, and we will work with the other supermarkets and businesses over the coming months through the Skibbereen Chamber and SS waste management groups.
Target: 10 local businesses to work with us on waste management by 2020
Establish partnerships with statutory and voluntary bodies and identify tasks that can be worked on jointly to enhance the tow environment.
Targets: E.g. Apple Town, our goal is to plant 2020 apple trees by 2020, in all the schools, housing estates, and any available green areas. A sub committee of Incredible Edible and Herb Ville are working on a similar planting plan which has huge benefits for all the members of our community. The plans over two years include planting 20 herb boxes around the town, sponsored by local businesses and organisations and supported by herb growers and schools, with accompanying culinary and educational materials. Wildlife project aims to enlist the support of Heritage Centre, West Cork Birdwatch, Wildflower groups and whale watching groups by 2019.
Working with the Mens Shed to enable us to install bird boxes, flower boxes and other items which they have agreed to build.
Target: 50 new flower and bird boxes and beehives by 2020
Commissioning an expert group to make a survey of wildlife in the town and surrounding area which will give us a long term plan for conservation, sustainable development and education. Establishing the expert group and drafting an initial scoping plan are already underway and we are developing partnerships with schools, charities and others to work on the implementation of this project.
Target: Initial report by May 2019. Signage and literature by 2019. 5 projects launched for completion by 2020
Cooperating with the County Council engineer and community employment scheme to improve the approach roads, street furniture, signage, and painting. This is proving difficult due to all the ongoing works but we are hoping over the two to three years that this will improve.
Target: Work with Chamber of Commerce and other SS groups to establish regular liaison and co-working meetings with CC by 2019. Increase the no of FAS workers to 10 by 2019. Plan and develop a bird friendly observation garden in North Street overlooking the river for use by schools, in conjunction with flood engineers and CCC.
We are negotiating an annual grant through the County Council and other voluntary bodies to enable us to fulfil our plans, and have already started a tree planting programme, with Spearline Laboratories, with nine birch trees planted on the Mill Rd outside their new offices.
Target: 5 regular sponsors of TT and SS projects by 2020, with annual fundraising efforts to raise 5000 pa in total.
Working with Heritage Centre, in relation to historical information and the outline of a wildlife survey (7 above) with a view to establishing wildlife trails.
Target: 3 wildlife trails by 2020.
We are trying to identify opportunities where we can have an input, eg the upgrading of the children’s playground, and the planting of the roundabouts.
Target: 4 new collaborative projects on town maintenance by 2020
Make a photographic map of the town which would identify black spots, derelict buildings, before and after painting jobs, the use of flowers, and a winter planting plan. We have made a substantial start on this, and will be building it up during the summer.
Target: full dossier of photos by end 2018. Regular annual updates for 2019 and 2020.
Developing greater awareness and publicity for Tidy Towns projects through the Sustainable Skibbereen website, online marketing and social media presence.
Target: 20,000 annual hits to website and 1000 followers on FB and twitter by 2020.
Establish Skibbereen as a walking town.
Target: Build on and promote the 3 tidy towns walks and annual walking festival with wildlife walks, Friends of the Rock walks and riverside walks by 2020. Develop and promote walk to work and walk to school initiatives.
Developing long term partnerships with groups across the town who are affiliated to and offer support to Sustainable Skibbereen.
Target: 10 sub groups of SS permanently established by 2020 covering the full range of TT annual competition categories.
Increase Volunteer numbers.
Target: To triple the number of regular volunteers attending TT meet-ups, litter picking days and Sustainable Skibbereen working groups from 10 to 30 by 2020. To increase the wider number of volunteers working on other Sustainable Skibbereen projects from 25 to 75.
We hope that you will find this plan useful, and will help you understand our current limitations.
There is more detail in the actual application form, which should supplement the information you need.