News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early January 2017
A Happy 2017 to one and all!
In this post we have news of…: local council tax rise? / future of Draycott phone-box / police investigation into Blythe Park plans / the statue of St Mary…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including the Cresswell Valentines Ball. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page which is open to all
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If you were hoping for a zero council tax rise from Draycott Area Council this coming year, you might be disappointed. Some Staffordshire parish councils have already declared they will not put their ‘precept’ (share of the taxes) up, but Draycott councillors have indicated they might.
Two major issues concern our councillors: whether to give the parish council clerk a pay-rise; and secondly whether they wish to start paying for the services of a ‘lengthsman’.
A lengthsman is a person commissioned to do odd-job work about the area, like mowing of public areas, weeding etc etc. In the past, such work was paid for with a grant from Staffordshire County, but parish councils have now been told they must fund the work themselves in future – if indeed they think it is worth carrying on with it at all.
(Incidentally, the parish already, separately, pays for the services of a litter-picker, out of its budget).
Of course, alternatively, the councillors could think about dipping into reserves to pay for additional costs and keep the tax rise as low as possible.
If you want to put your own viewpoint, or see the discussions on this issue, the council meets on 16th January.
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Draycott kiosk – at risk?
Is the phone box on the Draycott Arms junction at risk?
British Telecom has announced that it is ‘decommissioning’ a lot of local phone-boxes, as they claim they are hardly being used any more. BT quotes the usage of the phone box at Tean Village, which was only used three times in the last twelve months.
So far, BT has not said it will decommission the Draycott one – but the writing is on the wall.
At the moment, this phone-box only accepts credit-card payment (not cash), so it’s not a lot of use … but … it is on a dangerous stretch of road – so should we try to retain it as an ‘emergency’ recourse, especially as mobile coverage is so limited at that dip in the road?
If you have thoughts, email them to Draycott Parish Council, which is taking up the issue.
As for the only other phone-boxes in the Draycott district, the one on Draycott Level was knocked down in a car accident a while ago and never replaced, and the Cresswell one – threatened with decommission – was taken on by the VVSM local community action group, who now maintain it as a site for a public defibrillator, and as an information point, though you cannot make calls from there anymore.
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You may have wondered why there should now be a police investigation into the Blythe Park planning application – as it was approved way back in 2015.
(The approval meant that a huge new housing estate is to be built in Cresswell, and that the Cresswell industrial complex is set to double in size).
Well, it has been explained somewhat in this article. Click on the link to read it – and see what you think.
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End of a good year
It’s clear that 2016 was a good year for the church of St Mary’s in Cresswell. It is the oldest Catholicc church in Staffordshire, and celebrated its 200-year anniversary with a good knees-up, a listing from Historic England, and a great history exhibition. Sadly, the church lost a very charismatic priest, Father David Hartley, but managed to get replacements in very quickly.
One part of the anniversary was the refurbishment of the statue of the Virgin Mary which stands on the front of the building. Frankly, it had started to look its age, and needed a clean-up, which it got last summer, and it looks brand-new now.
You can now even clearly read the inscription under the statue which was obscured before.
Our Latin is not so good – so, can anyone translate this inscription for us please?
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