NEWS: travellers’ site / college’s promise / bad bad driving / sudden collapse

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid April 2016
News of…:  travellers’ site by Draycott / Draycott College ‘on the mend’? / crazy driving in our lanes / collapsed (and collapsing) structures…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including the annual village assembly… Check out the Events page)

– – –
Badly-planned planning!

Well, it has been a confusing few weeks and no mistake.  Staffordshire Moorlands District Council could not have handled matters worse!
Issues like where new housing is to go and where a new travellers’ site is to go have to be sorted – of course – but these are sensitive situations.
All the leaks to the press, all the councillors wringing their hands with dismay (but still voting for the proposals to be pushed ahead) and the way that information has been released slowly then quickly really do make SMDC look amateurish and, worse, uncaring.

Anyway…  it looks like the district council has now settled on one of two spots for the area’s travellers’ site – on fields behind the petrol station in Blythe Bridge or a site opposite Chandni Cottage restaurant (known as site TR002). Both sites are on the very edge of Draycott.
Some keen-eyed folk have already pointed out that the former is currently Green Belt land, so it will take a while for permission to be granted for that – if it ever is.
The Blythe Bridge website already has a petition up and running.

This will be mixed news for the folks of Draycott Old Road, as they are just a skip away (across fields) from the proposed two sites. However, some of the other possible proposed sites (especially the one near Draycott College) were probably not their first choice either…

Taking of Draycott Moor College, there was a good meeting last week held by Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council to discuss the ongoing issues of bad behaviour by pupils there.  The new head turned up for the meeting and was quite convincing; and the college has said it will clear up problems “not in months, but in weeks…”
However, we have heard much of this before.  The proof will be in the pudding as they say…    And some people were definitely not convinced by the college’s attitudes – see our Comments section.


If you feel you have not had a chance to put your point of view about local matters yet, you still have a chance, at not just one – but three open meetings!
The first one (our annual Draycott Village Assembly) takes place this coming Monday; the local community action group have theirs in ten days; and people worried about the travellers’ site have yet another one they can go to (on May 3rd).
Check our What’s On page for details of all these get-togethers.

– – –

A lot of people have now reported the perimeter wall, by the Cresswell garages, that collapsed ten days ago (see pic below).
It seems like it was simply cement-fatigue – as the wall, more or less, seems to have collapsed as one item, before breaking up on impact. It’s just fortunate that nobody was ‘on the wrong side’ of it as it fell…
It would take an expert to work out if it was deliberately pushed over.

Collapsed wall at Cresswell garages

However, it’s certainly now a hazard; so let’s hope that the council gets someone out to sort it quickly.  The garages there are no longer for rent, so it won’t affect any householders.

Oddly, a similar issue has come up, at much the same time, warning parishioners at St Mary’s Church in Cresswell about the state of some of the old gravestones there – which are leaning over a bit too much.

Headstones warning sign at Cresswell Churchyard

This is not the first time that Cresswell Churchyard has had discussions about the gravestones.  Older parishioners will remember that, in the 1960s, the late Father Meagher (an Irish parish priest of the ‘old school’, who took no nonsense!) wanted the gravestones in the ‘old’ part of the cemetery removed and re-situated.  He wanted them placed up against the walls of the cemetery (as they are at so many churchyards now), leaving most of it as just lawn – also making it easier to maintain…

However, for once he did not get his way, and after fierce objections, fewer than half-dozen headstones were eventually taken up.
We shall wait & see if Father Meagher (looking down from above) gets his way this time!

– – –
Crazy driving

It would be nice to finish this post with good news, but sadly, no.

You may have read on the village Facebook page about Shelagh Wood, who was incredibly lucky not to be injured by a crazy driver tearing down Draycott Old Road.  If you don’t know the lane, it’s barely wide enough to fit two cars, so it’s best to be slow along there.

However, at the weekend, early in the morning, someone came down there so fast, he scratched all along the side of Shelagh’s car as they passed each other, ripping her wing-mirror back and peeling back paint on the car’s side and twisting her door edge.  Presumably, his car looked as bad as hers afterward… so – if you see a silver saloon car (with a Y in the numberplate) suddenly looking the worse for wear on its passenger side, ring the Police on 101.

There has been a spate of these minor (fortunately) accidents recently on our narrow lanes – there have been a couple of incidents on Cheadle Road, near Brookside, too.
Why are so many people in such a rush?

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
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)

4 responses to “NEWS: travellers’ site / college’s promise / bad bad driving / sudden collapse

  1. College - questions!

    If the process of turning the college around would be done in weeks not months, why has it not been completed already?
    If the company that owns the school cared about the school students this would of been dealt with, before the old head and various other staff left in recent times.
    PS In answer to the previous correspondent, the “peacenick” is called Jay Hart.
    Chris Rance


  2. Travellers site

    Some confusion here. Our understanding is that the ONE preferred site for the travellers site is the yard on the left as you turn onto the A522 from Blythe Bridge, opposite the Chandni Cottage restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Traveller confusion

      Editor reply…

      Hi Rocketman… I think you may well be right!
      However, I did try hard to read the council’s documents and the press output, and I must admit I was confused. All this shows just how badly the district council have handled all this.
      So what I have done is amended the article – thanks for pointing out the error.


  3. Draycott College

    Re: Draycott College.
    Sorry, I was at the PC meeting on 18.4.16 and the Staff who turned up were not convincing at all. In fact the pony-tail wearing ‘peacenick’ (didn’t get the names) went out of his way to tell the parish “I can offer you no assurances”.
    There were older residents who were clearly still shaken by the bad behaviour of pupils and others who, despite all the ‘measures in place’ and ‘College policies’ had still been insulted and ignored by College Staff themselves. Even the Police representative, ‘Tom’, seemed disinterested.

    Claiming the moral high ground (‘these kids have PTSD, they’ve been in war-zones’) to justify the College’s reckless hands-off approach will only work for so long.
    Thankfully, Cllr Mark Deaville spoke for many in calling for a much needed fixed time-frame for improvements. At least someone is being responsible about this.
    Of course, if things do not go right the Staff will be untouchable. If criminal damage, theft and/or assault takes place in Draycott it will be the vulnerable and innocent residents and the College pupils themselves who will pay the price.
    Parish Councillor Steve Jones


Write your comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.