A COMMUNITY has been given a new sense of pride thanks to the efforts of residents and volunteers.

And the changes in Chirk over the last few years have even helped put a stop to the menace of graffiti.

These are some of the views expressed by  residents in the latest report published by Tidy Towns Wales.

During the last five years the town has been through some major changes and the community has come together to clean up the area.

Volunteers have been involved in replanting at the Chirk Millennium Garden site, developing a wildlife garden near the local library and buying things like plants, bulbs and hanging baskets in a bid to tidy up the streets.

The project was helped by a grant from Tidy Towns Wales, which included funding from both Wrexham Council and Keep Wales Tidy.

Chirk was also runner up in the Wales in Bloom competition and has also made the final of Great Britain in Bloom contest.

A report by Tidy Towns has now been published which contains the views of the local community.

One of the contributors to the report said: “I have to say Tidy Towns funding has made such a difference.

“Chirk is now one of the few towns in Wales that has no graffiti. There hasn’t been any here for three years.

“The first year (before Tidy Towns) when work began, people were just like ‘oh, the council is doing something’.

“The second year volunteers were asking residents and businesses ‘to tidy up their area’.

“Now people are taking it on themselves to keep their areas tidy. They see us cutting hedges and they cut their own.

“You have to put this down to the work that has been done over the past three years, including the work funded by Tidy Towns.”

The report added: “There is so much pride in the area now.

“The feeling is that we should be trying to increase the pride people have in their town rather than the number of volunteers because it’s how people act day to day which will determine if the town is kept clean.”

Chirk Community Forum was established in 2006 and works to bind together all existing community groups so they can work together to make the environment and area a pleasant and clean place to live.

Chirk councillor Terry Evans said: “I think we have put a lot of effort into it in the last four or five years.

“Now we are seeing benefits to the town like it’s a lot sharper, cleaner and there has been a lot of effort by everybody – including businesses and the community.
“It is cleaner, there are more flowers and just a lack of litter.

“We have support from many voluntary groups including the church and the railway group and it all falls under the umbrella of the Chirk Community Forum.”

Fellow Chirk councillor Ian Roberts added: “We had a plan to put pride back into the area and it looks and feels very different to five or six years ago. I’m very proud of Chirk and the amount of work which has been put in.”

The winners of the Great Britain in Bloom competition are expected to be announced in August.