Draycott – starting to look shabby?

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?

Observation walk

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).

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Problems

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.

Dirty Totmonslow sign

Dirty Totmonslow sign

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!

Main issues

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).

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8 responses to “Draycott – starting to look shabby?

  1. Well, there is a good reason that the parish council can’t get a lengthsmand to do any tidying-up in the village. For the last few yaers councillors have tried to recruit their mates to do the job, and their mates have let them down. No surprise.
    Why doesn’t the council ADVERTISE the job properly like other councils do? I wonder.
    Fed up of excuses

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  2. Sorry, Blythe Cricket Club… I think you are doing a brilliant job and are an asset to the village … BUT (and this is just a personal opinion) the advertising boards you’ve placed along Cresswell Lane are such an eye-sore. Perhaps if the fence had been painted first it may have been an improvement.
    Can anything be done? More than willing to help if I can.
    (Is planning permission needed also?)
    JLeach2

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  3. Let us do our bit

    From the Chair of Draycott Parish Council
    Whilst agreeing with the view that there is evidence of an impression of shabbiness about our parish, I would make the following comments:-
    The responsibility for litter removal, sign cleaning, removal of plant growth from pavements and from around signs lies with the County Highways Department not the Parish Council. The Council has raised these issues with Highways.
    The Parish Council has secured the services of a litter-picker who has worked extremely hard to improve the appearance of the Parish and is much appreciated.
    The Parish Council is in the process of enlisting the services of a lengthsman to take on tasks such as the repair of the bus shelter by the Draycott Arms.

    I also feel that the Parishioners could take some responsibility in this matter.
    Some of the litter deposited in our Parish is our litter; could I encourage us all to take care to dispose of this appropriately?
    Also, could I ask parishioners to give of their time to clear some litter themselves from the area around their property, giving the litter picker more time to deal with the more remote areas?
    As I remove quite a lot of litter away from the area around my home on Cheadle Road, I also realise that a significant proportion is from local takeaway food outlets, and is dropped from cars, probably not by local residents.
    With regard to road signage, it would be hugely appreciated if local people could spare some time to clean signs close to their homes. I regularly clean road-bollards by our house, obviously for road safety, but also to improve the appearance of our village.
    Please do not blame the Parish Council for this situation – and the Highways Department are probably not as well funded as they would like, leading to a service that is unsatisfactory for us all.
    Please let us all do our bit to improve the appearance of our Parish.
    Roger Holdcroft, Chair Parish Council

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  4. Dirty telephone box

    Because the Draycott phone-box is so disgusting, most people assume it is not working any more. In fact, it is – though you can only use a card, not cash. Yes, I will take a little brush with me next time I pass it (and overalls)
    Spiderman

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  5. Nothing has been done

    The issues with the road signs are the responsibility of Staffordshire Highways.
    Cresswell Community Speedwatch have tried to get new signs from the police but not had any luck as yet.
    I look after the planters in Cresswell and Alan and Di keep the ones watered by the bus shelter. If people in Cresswell have spare plants in the summer they give them to us and we put them in the planters.
    It needs someone from Draycott Straight to set up a community group like the one that we have in Cresswell.
    I have volunteered to clean up and paint the telephone box in Draycott but Councillor Clarke stated at the last Parish Council Meeting that the people she has spoken to in Draycott don’t want it doing.
    We have asked for the bus shelter in Cresswell to have a new roof on it; this again is the responsibility of Staffordshire Highways, but nothing has been done.
    We also have no sign of the grit bin for Ice Busters. We have the volunteers in Cresswell but no grit to do the job!!!!
    I believe that the roof on the bus shelter in Draycott by the pub is due to be re-tiled in the future.
    Parish Councillor Jacquie Leach

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  6. Re: leaflet from SMDC allegedly delivered to each household. Never seen one in Uttoxeter Road [Draycott Straight]
    Anon

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  7. Some solutions...

    Message from Parish Clerk…..
    A litter picker is employed by the parish council for 2.5 hours per week and has been for some considerable time…. Email us if you see ‘black-spots’ for litter.
    I too think, and had been going to propose, an adopt-a-roadsign policy although, as you point out, signs are actually under the Highways remit not Parish Council. The main fault does lie with Staffordshire Highways department as, despite faults and queries being logged with them, NOTHING actually seems to happen…..the business A-boards at the corner of Uttoxeter Road & Cresswell Road being a very good case in point (I have been chasing that particular problem since the beginning of 2015!!)
    And what about overgrown hedges? – Draycott Old Road and Cresswell Old Lane being good cases to consider! It’s all under Highways!

    The problem about Staffordshire Moorlands and dog-poo is not helped when the dog poo bin on Church Lane has been removed; and I haven’t succeeded yet in getting it replaced from Staffordshire Moorlands Council.

    ‘Lengthsman’ – need to find someone who will be willing to add our small jobs to their existing self-employed business. Any offers? Kindly email the Clerk – draycottparishcouncil@aol.co.uk

    Rant over for the moment!!!
    Kate Bradshaw – Parish Clerk

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