Can you think of ways of spending £4000 for the benefit of the Draycott & Cresswell & Totmonslow community?
Believe it or not, this money is now sitting in the bank account of the Draycott Parish Council just waiting for good ideas from local people about what to do with it.
One of the best things about the vast solar energy farm in Cresswell is that, when it was being built, the developers promised that they would give over a percentage of the profits from it to the local community.
Well, almost two years have gone by since the farm went ‘live’ and started producing electricity. So, the current owners of the project, REG (Renewable Energy Generation) Power Management (who took on the project from Novus Solar, the kick-starters) have at last come good on the promise.
A grant of £4000, covering the first two years of operation, has now been paid over.
Draycott Parish Council must now decide on what are the most viable and most useful suggestions for what to do with the money, either in full or as a partial grant. The only stipulation is that any suggestions must benefit the wider community of our district.
If you or an organisation you belong to thinks this is an opportunity – well, this is the time to put thinking caps on!
A few of us were sitting in the pub, and we were kicking the thought around; and these are just a few of the ideas we came up with. See what you think…
# One scheme that has been talked about for some years now, but has never got off the ground, is the idea of lighting up the exterior of St Margaret’s Church for a few hours a night. The idea would be to provide a great view for miles around of our oldest building.
# Our community could do with more volunteer effort – local people to look after public flower-beds, to organise litter-picks, to go check on our more isolated neighbours, to organise village get-togethers. How about using some of the money to set up a local voluntary effort scheme?
# Other villages have a village sign on a totem pole, carved especially. How about commissioning a sculptor to carve one for us?
# The problem of motorists chucking their litter out of their cars as they go along Cresswell Lane is getting worse. How about using the money to pay for a ‘Please Don’t Dispose of Your Litter Here!’ sign for the road?
# The book about the history of Draycott-in-the-Moors is all but sold out. How about ordering a re-print?
# Installation of a defibrillator in the Draycott Junction telephone box?
# A simple grant to the running costs of our local First Responders?
# History enthusiasts will know that a few decades ago, the Draycott Women’s Institute did a brilliant survey of the graves in St Margaret’s Church old churchyard. It’d be great to see a survey done of the old graves at St Mary’s Church in Cresswell too!
# Some of the footpath stiles and kissing-gates in our area are in sore need of repair. Could some money be put to that?
Do you have any suggestions to add? If you do, just use the comments-box at the bottom of this page.
One idea that already has gained traction is that of using the money to pay for the repair of the surface of Church Lane. This little un-made track up to St Margaret’s Church has so many potholes in it that there are more holes in it than road! Some funeral directors are even saying that they will soon refuse to take their expensive hearses up this track.
Using the community money to improve the surface of this track does seem fraught with problems though. It’s an ‘unadopted’ road, so the Highways Department has no responsibility for it, so the question really is… shouldn’t the church, the house-owners living alongside the track, and even the farmer who sends his tractors up along it, actually pay for the repair of this track, or at least pay the lion’s share? It’s a thorny question.
Within the next months, the clerk to Draycott Council will be formally inviting local organisations and individuals to make suggestions. We will let you know when this happens as soon as we know.
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).