More and more people have been stopping us in the street recently to complain that Draycott-in-the-Moors is starting to look a lot shabbier than it used to – an increase in litter, a lack of tidying and general lack of TLC are starting to make the place look more down at heel.
Of course, we are nowhere near as bad as some places one could name (!), but there does seem to be an issue.
So – is it true? And, if it is, what is to blame? Is Draycott Parish Council at fault?
A few of us set out last week to take a walk round the village, and recorded our observations.
If you take a look at the gallery of photos below, you’ll see a few of the matters we spotted. (The gallery is an ‘automatic’ slideshow, so give it a sec, and you will see the nine photos appear one by one).
The problem of growing shabbiness has been growing all this year – the parish council was discussing litter as far back as February, and the problem seems to be getting worse. It shouldn’t be, as the parish council gets a grant from Staffordshire County Council to ensure that ‘litter-picking’ takes place.
The parish council is also supposed to employ a ‘lengthsman’ to do the small jobs around the district, but, even offering £12 an hour, it just doesn’t seem to be getting these jobs done.
Somebody seems to be slipping up on the job.
Of course, not even half the issues we observed in the photos are actually the direct responsibility of the parish council – but it would be good to see some leadership from them in getting these matters sorted.
If you feel the same, you need to contact the parish council and tell them!
The Moorlands district council seems to be so concerned about tidy-up issues in this area, it has even posted leaflets this month to each local household, warning residents that dog-fouling is now considered a problem for this area – and warning about fines for those who don’t observe the law of dog-mess clean-up.
For us, the ugliest items were the planters. No one seems to be attending to them, so they are decaying and full of weeds (with some honourable exceptions – the one in Brookside is really well looked-after and attractive).
As for the advertising boards on the junction, that is an odd one. Some councillors on the parish defend them (as being helpful to small businesses) – but, whatever, one can’t legally just pick them up and put them in a skip (believe it or not!).
… And the way forward
Though the parish council needs to take the lead on this issue, perhaps we too, each in our own individual way, need to take pride in our environment too. Wiping down a muddy road-sign, cleaning up mud from a pavement, or taking a brush to the cob-webs in the telephone-box doesn’t need any special permission from anybody. We don’t have to wait for some council-worker to come along and do it for us!
The Cresswell Community Group did do community tidy-ups for a while, but they haven’t done any for a while. Perhaps if more people volunteered to join them in tidy-ups then there would be some more.
Over to you…
Have you seen any shabby parts (or actions) in the locality that should be highlighted?
What do you think should be done? And who do you think should do it?
Please leave a comment if ou have thoughts – either in the box below, or on the Draycott Facebook page if you prefer…
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page. (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address. You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).