Reporting Issues

On this page, we outline how all of us in Draycott-in-the-Moors (ie Draycott, Cresswell, Totmonslow) might deal with those very local, day-to-day issues that concern us all, from pot-holes to minor crime to public footpaths.

Nearly all problem issues can be first dealt with by an online report to the Staffordshire Portal, where one can report anything from abandoned vehicles to fly tipping to noise complaints to potholes. Your complaints are then passed to the relevant department (which might be in the County Council, or in the Moorlands Council). You will get a reference number, so you can then track online what happens to the complaint. It is a very easy process.

Second, it is the responsibility of our Draycott Village Council to monitor all these issues (even though it can rarely take direct action on its own). So, once you have used the Staffs Portal, please also email Draycott Village Council to inform them of the issue, and tell them whether or not you have reported it somewhere. Draycott Council has no powers to force the relevant bodies to take action, but it can and should give support to residents if nothing happens.
For a full run-down of your rights, see the government’s neighbourhood rights page.

Categories

Do you have an interest in a particular village issue?  If you do, click for the subject-area that interests you most:
Infrastructure (highways, pavements, signage, potholes)
Tidy Village (litter, verges, hedges)
Safe Neighbourhood (including defibrillators, petty crime)
Environmental issues  (Neighbourhood Plan, dog-fouling, green issues etc)
Street Furniture (inc planters, official signage, manhole covers, benches)
Community Activities (civic volunteering, village projects)
Public Footpaths in our local countryside
Pride in our heritage

++
INFRASTRUCTURE (highways, pavements, signage, potholes)
All highways issues should first be reported to Staffordshire Highways. Issues can include matters such as deceased animals by the roadside, pot holes, rutted pavements, overgrown verges etc; and you can even mark on a map exactly where the fault is.

Maintenance of village infrastructure is no longer done as a regular matter by the highways authorities, so it is very much in householders’ interest to report stuff.  The more that blocked road-gullies & drains, potholes, failing street lights, flooding, empty grit bins are reported, the more the authorities will take notice!

~ Roads. The worst potholes are the recurring ones outside Blythe Business Park and at the bottom of Church Lane. The worst flooding (due to an issue with the gullies) is on Draycott Level. These sets of problems have continued, and even got worse, over the last five years, but the newly-formed Draycott DCAT action group has recently said it will sort out these issues once and for all.
To see one of our articles on potholes, click here.
~Uneven drop-kerb. A disabled resident reported in 2016 that the drop-kerb on Stuart Avenue, which is supposed to allow wheelchair-users smooth passage on to the road, is in fact uneven and bumpy. This was reported to Draycott Village Council in 2016 who promised to ‘see what could be done’ about applying for grants. Nothing has yet been done; so wheelchair users need to keep pressuring the village council.
~ Church Lane. Churchgoers and householders had complained for years about the state of this road. Despite many discussions, nothing was done. So, in late 2019, some members of St Margaret’s Church took it on themselves to ask a local developer to tarmac the first half of Church Lane. Their request was accepted – see article.

++
TIDY VILLAGE (litter, verges, hedges, fly tipping etc)

Your council tax enables Draycott Council to spend around £2000 a year employing both a litter-picker and a handyman (aka ‘lengthsman’) to keep the village looking good – see Village Tidying Projects on the council’s website. If you have thoughts on what tasks the two men could be doing, or doing better, email Draycott Council, who must consider your thoughts, and may act on them.
~ Lengthsman jobs could include (… or should include!) … cleaning road signs, particularly the ones which actually belong to the council (such as the Totmonslow village signs) and cutting back vegetation-growth over pavements, such as encroaching grass or hedges (the criterion for space on a pavement is that someone should be able to push a baby buggy along it easily).
See an article we wrote on overgrown pavements.
~ Litter Picker. A litter-picker is employed by the council at a cost of £1000 a year to go out monthly and clean up litter across the parish.
There was a complaint by a resident in 2015 that Cresswell Lane was excessively littered and not being tidied enough by the litter-picker. It turned out that the village council was not monitoring the detail of the litter-picker’s rounds, and so the rounds were then reorganised, in order to deal with the worst spots most.

~ Overgrown hedges. This is something of an issue in this area, and householders should remove the edges of any hedge they own which overhang the pavement or highway. However… hedge trimming is banned by law during birds’ breeding season (approx March to August).
The highways authorities cut back field hedges twice a year.  

   ++
STREET FURNITURE (inc signage, manhole covers, benches).

Matters that continue to cause discussion (as of 2021) include: the unrepaired twisted & bent Cheadle Lane railings.

~ One long ongoing issue was the matter of the ‘wrong’ street sign on Cresswell Old Lane. After seven years it has finally been resolved.
~ Planters. All the planters in the district are owned and maintained by the Draycott Planters Project, which is managed by local resident Lee Warburton.  It is paid for by local fund-raising plus grants from the Draycott Community Fund.
~ Bus Shelters. Most of our bus-shelters (the wooden ones, plus the Totmonslow one) are owned by Draycott Council.  In 2018, the windows in the two Golden-Keg bus-shelters were removed without prior approval by a councillor (see story); and in 2016, the Draycott Arms bus-shelter was repaired.
~ Waste-Bins. All of the roadside ones, except the one by St Margaret churchyard, are owned by Staffordshire Moorlands Council. However, concerns about any of them should first go to Draycott Council.
A number of bins have been taken down in recent years. 
~ Benches. Most of the benches in our district were erected by local voluntary organisations, not the village council. However, any concerns about them should be reported to the village council first. See our Benches report.
~ ‘No-Footway’ sign.  Since 2015, Cresswell residents have asked Draycott Council to campaign for a ‘No-Footway’ sign to be installed by the Izaak Walton, similar to the one by the Draycott Arms. Nothing has been done.

++
SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD

All crime can be reported online to Staffordshire Police; or you can phone 101 (or Crimestoppers if you wish to remain anonymous), or 999 (emergencies only).
Draycott also has a local Police Community Support Officer assigned to it, PCSO Daniel Nettleton. You can get in touch with him and our district policing team (we are part of the Forsbrook and Caverswall District Policing Area) by using their online contact page.  He also holds an open surgery every second Saturday of the month at Blythe Bridge Library between 10am-12noon.

~ There was a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in Cresswell in the 2000s, but it was doing nothing, and so it has been discontinued. There are none running in the district at the moment.
NB – if you see sharps or gas canisters/pellets lying around, please take a photo, make a note of the place & time, and report them to the PCSOs either at their surgery or by email.
~ Petty vandalism.  Thankfully, there is very little of this.
Some official street signs keep beign turned the wrong way.
~ Speed-watch. No speed-watch groups operate in our locality at the moment. The Cresswell Speed-Watch group disbanded in 2018, and its equipment was given to Draycott Council.

~ Defibrillator. A defibrillator is a life-saving piece of kit for community use. They are housed in special cabinets around neighbourhoods. However, they are not provided by the NHS but through local fund-raising. The Cresswell Defibrillator Project has run successfully since 2015, but there are no others in the rest of Draycott so far.

++
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (dog mess, recycling, ‘beautiful village’ issues such as advertising hoardings, conservation)

~ Neighbourhood Plan. If a Neighbourhood-Plan for Draycott, ie an official policy-document, were to be drawn up, it could influence the appearance of any new building schemes in the district – to make them more ‘sympathetic’. The project is being driven by the village council, but, despite a lot of thousands of pounds being given to councillors to move the process along, they have not inspired any support from residents (which would be essential).

~ Advertising hoardings
A-boards on Creswell Lane junction. An official complaint about these was supported by the village council in 2019, and they were eventually removed by SMDC workers
Advertising hoardings along Cresswell Lane – are they unsightly? A village council discussion on this matter in 2016 was inconclusive, but councillors seemed to support the idea that the revenue from them was needed by the organisations displaying them, so no action was taken.
~ Dog-fouling. The specific dog-mess bins that used to be in the village were removed by Staffs Moorlands Council in 2014 as part of the cuts; dog-owners should now use the remaining ordinary roadside bins to deposit of their dogs’ deposits.  There was a campaign some fifteen years ago to spray-paint stencils on pavements to remind dog-owners of their duties, but it has not been continued.
~ Fly-tipping.  is quite rare round here thank goodness, but a very worrying instance of criminal dumping did occur in Cresswell in 2017. To report dumping, just use the form on the SMDC page.

Green issues.  There is no specific group monitoring wildlife-environment issues in our district.   However, a small local Facebook group does monitor such issues.
~ Recycling.  If you like to recycle, rather than just stick stuff in your bin, the best resource for information is now Waste Staffordshire.
~ In 2014, the now-defunct community action group, VVSM, researched, paid for and erected a roadside ‘Wildlife Of Cresswell’ sign-board.
~ Possible contaminated land. The now-defunct community action group, VVSM, asked for a survey of possibly contaminated land in Cresswell in 2014, but SMDC officers turned this down as ‘too expensive’. See article.

++
PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (footpaths, bridleways)
To report issues such as blocked paths and broken stiles, contact My Staffs Staffs Environmental.
Draycott Council has very few statutory duties, but one of them is to report on the state of the public footpaths & bridleways in the district, so, if you have thoughts about the local footpath network, please inform them too.
There is no Ramblers branch which covers our district – anyone want to set one up?
There is a group, the Friends of The Cheadle-Cresswell Railway Path, which seeks to preserve and maintain the old railway line for walkers.

Footpaths. 
~ Missing stiles at Painsley. The footpath stiles & signposts erected by the county council around Painsley Farm went missing, presumed stolen, nearly twenty years ago. Draycott Council reported the issue then; and it’s believed a county council ranger did go out to survey the situation some ten years ago. Nothing has happened since. Draycott Council promised an annual review of the situation, but seem to have given up on that.
~ Hosewood-Painsley path. In 2014, someone has dumped a mound of soil on the path making it impassable. Despite being reported, it is still there.
~ Good news. A landowner has granted permission for walkers to cross his field, from St Mary’s Church, to get to the Cresswell-Cheadle old railway line path; and Jacob’s Ladder, opposite Brookside, which was impassable, was cleared in 2020.
Though it is not their job, some farmers do maintain the stiles on their land, which is very neighbourly of them.

~ Dumping. There is evidence of minor tipping on the St Margaret’s Church to Cheadle Rd public footpath. Discussed by village council in 2016; letter sent. No improvement so far (2020).
Worrying instances of criminal dumping continue to occur in Cresswell.

++
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES ( including: local groups; civic volunteering opportunities; village projects)
Have you ever wondered about the activities and policies of our village organisations – from heritage groups to schools to churches to sports organisations to local businesses to the local police?
Well, what you can do is request Draycott Council to ask representatives of these groups, especially ones that have asked for support from the council, to come along to a council meeting and do a public q&a presentation about their work.

~ Become a village councillor. Nearly everyone over eighteen living in or near the village is entitled to stand for the village council; no qualifications required!  Click here for the page on how to become one.
~ Village ‘centre’. An idea was put forward by a resident to the village council in 2018 to place a village sign on the patch of grass at the bottom of Church Lane. Village councillors expanded the idea, and decided to create a village ‘central point’ on the site. Since then nothing has happened.
~ Community Projects (i.e. ones where no formal membership is required). For a list of local projects/organisations with a community approach, see our Links page.
Much-missed past local community organisations are the Draycott Action Group (in the 2000s), the VVSM Action Group (2012-2018), the Draycott Brownies (2016-2019).
Current groups especially worth noting include the Draycott Fayre Committee, the Church Hall Committee, the Cresswell Community Group and DCAT.

++
PRIDE IN OUR HERITAGE
We have just one history/heritage group in Draycott-in-the-Moors. The Blythe Colours Heritage Group was formed to curate the Blythe Colours Archives. A collection of memorabilia associated with the old Cresswell factory is also stored at Blythe Bridge Library.
In 2020, it was suggested that a Friends of St Margaret’s Church group be formed. A decision is still waiting on that.

==
Do you have ideas on how to expand this page?
Do you have suggestions on other groups or issues that should be emntioned?
Please contact us with your thoughts.

On this page, we outline how all of us in Draycott-in-the-Moors (ie Draycott, Cresswell, Totmonslow) might deal with those very local, day-to-day issues that concern us all, from pot-holes to minor crime to public footpaths.

Nearly all problem issues can be first dealt with by an online report to the Staffordshire Portal, where one can report anything from abandoned vehicles to fly tipping to noise complaints to potholes. Your complaints are then passed to the relevant department (which might be in the County Council, or in the Moorlands Council). You will get a reference number, so you can then track online what happens to the complaint. It is a very easy process.
Second, it is the responsibility of our Draycott Village Council to monitor all these issues (even though it can rarely take direct action on its own). So, once you have used the Staffs Portal, please also email Draycott Village Council to inform them of the issue, and tell them whether or not you have reported it somewhere. Draycott Council has no powers to force the relevant bodies to take action, but it can and should give support to residents if nothing happens.
For a full run-down of your rights, see the government’s neighbourhood rights page.

Categories

Do you have an interest in a particular village issue?  If you do, click for the subject-area that interests you most:
Infrastructure (highways, pavements, signage, potholes)
Tidy Village (litter, verges, hedges)
Safe Neighbourhood (including defibrillators, petty crime)
Environmental issues  (Neighbourhood Plan, dog-fouling, green issues etc)
Street Furniture (inc planters, official signage, manhole covers, benches)
Community Activities (civic volunteering, village projects)
Public Footpaths in our local countryside
Pride in our heritage

++
INFRASTRUCTURE (highways, pavements, signage, potholes)
All highways issues should first be reported to Staffordshire Highways. Issues can include matters such as deceased animals by the roadside, pot holes, rutted pavements, overgrown verges etc; and you can even mark on a map exactly where the fault is.

Maintenance of village infrastructure is no longer done as a regular matter by the highways authorities, so it is very much in householders’ interest to report stuff.  The more that blocked road-gullies & drains, potholes, failing street lights, flooding, empty grit bins are reported, the more the authorities will take notice!

~ Roads. The worst potholes are the recurring ones outside Blythe Business Park and at the bottom of Church Lane. The worst flooding (due to an issue with the gullies) is on Draycott Level. These sets of problems have continued, and even got worse, over the last five years, but the newly-formed Draycott DCAT action group has recently said it will sort out these issues once and for all.
To see one of our articles on potholes, click here.
~Uneven drop-kerb. A disabled resident reported in 2016 that the drop-kerb on Stuart Avenue, which is supposed to allow wheelchair-users smooth passage on to the road, is in fact uneven and bumpy. This was reported to Draycott Village Council in 2016 who promised to ‘see what could be done’ about applying for grants. Nothing has yet been done; so wheelchair users need to keep pressuring the village council.
~ Church Lane. Churchgoers and householders had complained for years about the state of this road. Despite many discussions, nothing was done. So, in late 2019, some members of St Margaret’s Church took it on themselves to ask a local developer to tarmac the first half of Church Lane. Their request was accepted – see article.

++
TIDY VILLAGE (litter, verges, hedges, fly tipping etc)

Your council tax enables Draycott Council to spend around £2000 a year employing both a litter-picker and a handyman (aka ‘lengthsman’) to keep the village looking good – see Village Tidying Projects on the council’s website. If you have thoughts on what tasks the two men could be doing, or doing better, email Draycott Council, who must consider your thoughts, and may act on them.
~ Lengthsman jobs could include (… or should include!) … cleaning road signs, particularly the ones which actually belong to the council (such as the Totmonslow village signs) and cutting back vegetation-growth over pavements, such as encroaching grass or hedges (the criterion for space on a pavement is that someone should be able to push a baby buggy along it easily).
See an article we wrote on overgrown pavements.
~ Litter Picker. A litter-picker is employed by the council at a cost of £1000 a year to go out monthly and clean up litter across the parish.
There was a complaint by a resident in 2015 that Cresswell Lane was excessively littered and not being tidied enough by the litter-picker. It turned out that the village council was not monitoring the detail of the litter-picker’s rounds, and so the rounds were then reorganised, in order to deal with the worst spots most.

~ Overgrown hedges. This is something of an issue in this area, and householders should remove the edges of any hedge they own which overhang the pavement or highway. However… hedge trimming is banned by law during birds’ breeding season (approx March to August).
The highways authorities cut back field hedges twice a year.  

   ++
STREET FURNITURE (inc signage, manhole covers, benches).

Matters that continue to cause discussion (as of 2021) include: the unrepaired twisted & bent Cheadle Lane railings.

~ One long ongoing issue was the matter of the ‘wrong’ street sign on Cresswell Old Lane. After seven years it has finally been resolved.
~ Planters. All the planters in the district are owned and maintained by the Draycott Planters Project, which is managed by local resident Lee Warburton.  It is paid for by local fund-raising plus grants from the Draycott Community Fund.
~ Bus Shelters. Most of our bus-shelters (the wooden ones, plus the Totmonslow one) are owned by Draycott Council.  In 2018, the windows in the two Golden-Keg bus-shelters were removed without prior approval by a councillor (see story); and in 2016, the Draycott Arms bus-shelter was repaired.
~ Waste-Bins. All of the roadside ones, except the one by St Margaret churchyard, are owned by Staffordshire Moorlands Council. However, concerns about any of them should first go to Draycott Council.
A number of bins have been taken down in recent years. 
~ Benches. Most of the benches in our district were erected by local voluntary organisations, not the village council. However, any concerns about them should be reported to the village council first. See our Benches report.
~ ‘No-Footway’ sign.  Since 2015, Cresswell residents have asked Draycott Council to campaign for a ‘No-Footway’ sign to be installed by the Izaak Walton, similar to the one by the Draycott Arms. Nothing has been done.

++
SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD

All crime can be reported online to Staffordshire Police; or you can phone 101 (or Crimestoppers if you wish to remain anonymous), or 999 (emergencies only).
Draycott also has a local Police Community Support Officer assigned to it, PCSO Daniel Nettleton. You can get in touch with him and our district policing team (we are part of the Forsbrook and Caverswall District Policing Area) by using their online contact page.  He also holds an open surgery every second Saturday of the month at Blythe Bridge Library between 10am-12noon.

~ There was a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in Cresswell in the 2000s, but it was doing nothing, and so it has been discontinued. There are none running in the district at the moment.
NB – if you see sharps or gas canisters/pellets lying around, please take a photo, make a note of the place & time, and report them to the PCSOs either at their surgery or by email.
~ Petty vandalism.  Thankfully, there is very little of this.
Some official street signs keep beign turned the wrong way.
~ Speed-watch. No speed-watch groups operate in our locality at the moment. The Cresswell Speed-Watch group disbanded in 2018, and its equipment was given to Draycott Council.

~ Defibrillator. A defibrillator is a life-saving piece of kit for community use. They are housed in special cabinets around neighbourhoods. However, they are not provided by the NHS but through local fund-raising. The Cresswell Defibrillator Project has run successfully since 2015, but there are no others in the rest of Draycott so far.

++
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (dog mess, recycling, ‘beautiful village’ issues such as advertising hoardings, conservation)

~ Neighbourhood Plan. If a Neighbourhood-Plan for Draycott, ie an official policy-document, were to be drawn up, it could influence the appearance of any new building schemes in the district – to make them more ‘sympathetic’. The project is being driven by the village council, but, despite a lot of thousands of pounds being given to councillors to move the process along, they have not inspired any support from residents (which would be essential).

~ Advertising hoardings
A-boards on Creswell Lane junction. An official complaint about these was supported by the village council in 2019, and they were eventually removed by SMDC workers
Advertising hoardings along Cresswell Lane – are they unsightly? A village council discussion on this matter in 2016 was inconclusive, but councillors seemed to support the idea that the revenue from them was needed by the organisations displaying them, so no action was taken.
~ Dog-fouling. The specific dog-mess bins that used to be in the village were removed by Staffs Moorlands Council in 2014 as part of the cuts; dog-owners should now use the remaining ordinary roadside bins to deposit of their dogs’ deposits.  There was a campaign some fifteen years ago to spray-paint stencils on pavements to remind dog-owners of their duties, but it has not been continued.
~ Fly-tipping.  is quite rare round here thank goodness, but a very worrying instance of criminal dumping did occur in Cresswell in 2017. To report dumping, just use the form on the SMDC page.

Green issues.  There is no specific group monitoring wildlife-environment issues in our district.   However, a small local Facebook group does monitor such issues.
~ Recycling.  If you like to recycle, rather than just stick stuff in your bin, the best resource for information is now Waste Staffordshire.
~ In 2014, the now-defunct community action group, VVSM, researched, paid for and erected a roadside ‘Wildlife Of Cresswell’ sign-board.
~ Possible contaminated land. The now-defunct community action group, VVSM, asked for a survey of possibly contaminated land in Cresswell in 2014, but SMDC officers turned this down as ‘too expensive’. See article.

++
PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (footpaths, bridleways)
To report issues such as blocked paths and broken stiles, contact My Staffs Staffs Environmental.
Draycott Council has very few statutory duties, but one of them is to report on the state of the public footpaths & bridleways in the district, so, if you have thoughts about the local footpath network, please inform them too.
There is no Ramblers branch which covers our district – anyone want to set one up?
There is a group, the Friends of The Cheadle-Cresswell Railway Path, which seeks to preserve and maintain the old railway line for walkers.

Footpaths. 
~ Missing stiles at Painsley. The footpath stiles & signposts erected by the county council around Painsley Farm went missing, presumed stolen, nearly twenty years ago. Draycott Council reported the issue then; and it’s believed a county council ranger did go out to survey the situation some ten years ago. Nothing has happened since. Draycott Council promised an annual review of the situation, but seem to have given up on that.
~ Hosewood-Painsley path. In 2014, someone has dumped a mound of soil on the path making it impassable. Despite being reported, it is still there.
~ Good news. A landowner has granted permission for walkers to cross his field, from St Mary’s Church, to get to the Cresswell-Cheadle old railway line path; and Jacob’s Ladder, opposite Brookside, which was impassable, was cleared in 2020.
Though it is not their job, some farmers do maintain the stiles on their land, which is very neighbourly of them.

~ Dumping. There is evidence of minor tipping on the St Margaret’s Church to Cheadle Rd public footpath. Discussed by village council in 2016; letter sent. No improvement so far (2020).
Worrying instances of criminal dumping continue to occur in Cresswell.

++
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES ( including: local groups; civic volunteering opportunities; village projects)
Have you ever wondered about the activities and policies of our village organisations – from heritage groups to schools to churches to sports organisations to local businesses to the local police?
Well, what you can do is request Draycott Council to ask representatives of these groups, especially ones that have asked for support from the council, to come along to a council meeting and do a public q&a presentation about their work.

~ Become a village councillor. Nearly everyone over eighteen living in or near the village is entitled to stand for the village council; no qualifications required!  Click here for the page on how to become one.
~ Village ‘centre’. An idea was put forward by a resident to the village council in 2018 to place a village sign on the patch of grass at the bottom of Church Lane. Village councillors expanded the idea, and decided to create a village ‘central point’ on the site. Since then nothing has happened.
~ Community Projects (i.e. ones where no formal membership is required). For a list of local projects/organisations with a community approach, see our Links page.
Much-missed past local community organisations are the Draycott Action Group (in the 2000s), the VVSM Action Group (2012-2018), the Draycott Brownies (2016-2019).
Current groups especially worth noting include the Draycott Fayre Committee, the Church Hall Committee, the Cresswell Community Group and DCAT.

++
PRIDE IN OUR HERITAGE
We have just one history/heritage group in Draycott-in-the-Moors. The Blythe Colours Heritage Group was formed to curate the Blythe Colours Archives. A collection of memorabilia associated with the old Cresswell factory is also stored at Blythe Bridge Library.
In 2020, it was suggested that a Friends of St Margaret’s Church group be formed. A decision is still waiting on that.

==
Do you have ideas on how to expand this page?
Do you have suggestions on other groups or issues that should be emntioned?
Please contact us with your thoughts.

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