Infrastructure problems take over

It’s amazing to think that about half of every Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council meeting is taken up with complaints about failures in the local infrastructure – from potholes to accident-damage to overgrown hedges blocking pavements.
Things seem to take ages to get fixed too … though … sometimes a nice surprise comes along – as it did earlier this month!

Complaints

Some readers will know of the main issues already, as they come up over and over again – because little, it seems, is being done or can be done about them.

The ‘dropped kerb’ on Stuart Avenue is a case in point.  Wheelchair users point out that it is not flush to the road, being two inches high, and can stop them dead if they try to get over it.  The complaint was formally registered nearly two years ago, and (we are told) is down to be paid for by the ‘Local Members Fund’ – but nothing seems to be happening.

Complaints from the public about the lorries turning on to Cheadle Road at the Draycott Arms junction are endless.  As everyone knows, the road is too narrow for major commercial vehicles, and, as predicted, accidents occur. Just last week, a concrete post was snapped in two by a wagon squeezing through (see photo below).

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We won’t go into details about all the other continuous infrastructure complaints from residents – overgrown hedges blocking pavements, potholes that wreck car-suspensions, speed-limits, blocked or broken drains/grids  (which caused some of the flooding last month), damaged road-signs, and inconsiderate car-parking.
Such matters take up a lot of parish council time; even though, really, all that parish councillors can do is write an official letter to the relevant county-council department – and hope for the best.
Parish councils do not have enough money or influence to do much more.

In reality what actually happens is that the county council only sends round its ‘Neighbourhood Highways team’ to each parish twice a year.  The team is given a list of outstanding jobs which it tries to complete in a two-week slot allotted to them. No wonder some jobs never make it to the top of the list.

Nice surprise

However, the residents along Cresswell Lane must have been surprised and pleased to find that their stretch of road had been chosen for a lighting update.  The stretch – from Draycott Sports Centre to the railway line – now has brand new metal lighting poles with a modern white-light lamp system.  They are not as high as the older lamp-posts.
A complete tree-pruning on Cresswell Lane bank, from the underpass to the cricket club, may have been part of the same project.

A lot of the rest of us are left with the old wooden lighting poles, which (mostly) shine sodium-yellow lamps, but these too will be updated…  at some unspecified time in the future!

Parish business

Although, yes, it is the business of a parish council meeting to respond to residents’ complaints about infrastructure, nevertheless it is frustrating for any council-meeting audience to hear the same issues being discussed time and time again.

There are many other serious issues in Draycott & Cresswell, especially ones about the long-term future, which simply aren’t getting discussed.
The ‘pothole type discussions’ take over; and that’s a shame.

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One response to “Infrastructure problems take over

  1. Views on future of Draycott

    From Parish Council Chairman – to all Draycott parishioners:

    I regret that the writer is correct in reporting that a significant proportion of time at Parish Council meetings is to do with complaints. I would point out that it is extremely frustrating for Councillors that complaints are not dealt with, even when they are raised with the appropriate authorities by letter from the Parish Clerk. We must all realise, however, that finances and resources for repair work are in short supply, mainly due to Government policy. It is good to know when work does get financed and completed, that it is appreciated.

    It is not true, however, to say that long term future issues are not discussed. Can I point out that a regular agenda item centres around the work being done by the Steering Group on the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan, discussing the long term future of Draycott-in-the-Moors?
    Councillors are devoting sizeable amounts of their time to work on this and all parishioners will be informed shortly of the progress that has been made.

    In addition, time is allocated to public participation at every Parish Council meeting when members of the public can raise any item, complaint or otherwise. This will have some discussion on the night or the Council may decide to defer the item to a future agenda.
    Please feel free to attend any of these meetings (third Monday of the month except August) and raise any topic that you wish for discussion, including the long term future of the parish. The Parish Council would value your attendance at meetings and would listen, with interest to your views.

    Roger Holdcroft (Chair Parish Council)

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