Tag Archives: Public participation

NEWS: village assembly / rural crime / Colours archive / council shenanigans

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late April 2018
In this post we have news of…: the forthcoming annual village assembly, rural crime questionnaire, the Blythe Colours archive on the move, local council inaction …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a local police drop-in session…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Village get-together

It’s that time of year again when this village will be holding its annual community assembly – the yearly meeting when the residents come together to discuss how life is going in the village. It’s a custom that goes back over 150 years. (For more about village assemblies, click here and for their rules, click Parish Assembly rules).

This year however, the village councillors who are supposed to organise it have seemed less than interested in sorting it out. A date has only recently just been advertised for it (it is a fortnight away); it will be cut to just one hour this year; and it’s still not clear what will be happening in the meeting!

However, from what we can gather, it will be a local-information event. It’s hoped that village groups from Draycott/Cresswell/Totmonslow will take a stand at the event and be prepared to talk about what they do.  However, if you also want to raise an issue for general discussion, just ask for it to be put on the agenda – any local elector can do it.
But it’s all a bit last-minute…

The 2018 Draycott-in-the-Moors-Parish assembly takes place at Draycott Church Hall on Monday 14th May from 6.30-7.30. To book a stand, email Dawn Plant

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Questions about crime

If you look at a map of our district of Draycott in the Moors civil-parish, you’ll see that the vast bulk of it is rural. Even most of us who live in the ribbons along Uttoxeter Road or Sandon Road overlook fields.
And this is why the Staffordshire Police Commission is asking communities like ours to help fill in the latest crime survey.

This questionnaire is about crime in rural areas specifically – whether enough is done to combat it, and why people in rural areas don’t report crime as much as those in urban areas.Deputy Police Commissioner Sue Arnold with Sgt Rob Peacock
The Rural Crime Network questionnaire only takes a few minutes to complete. If you do fill it in, you’ll make one of our local police officers, Sgt Rob Peacock (seen above with the Staffs Deputy Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold) a very happy man.

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Blythe Colours archive on the move

The difficult situation for the Cheadle History Centre will likely have a knock-on effect for history-lovers in Cresswell. (The centre at Cheadle has moved out of its current premises because the lease is up, and they have nowhere else to go).

Blythe Colours archive arrives in Cheadle

Blythe Colours archive arrives in Cheadle

Volunteers from this website worked with the Cheadle history group to save the Blythe Colours Archive (see story), which consists of nearly three filing cabinets of material – all fascinating stuff if you lived and worked at the Cresswell factory over the last fifty years. It has been stored since 2015 at the group’s rooms in Cheadle High Street.
But where will the archive go now?

A temporary home has been found for it, but if nothing else turns up soon, it may have to be transferred out of the Moorlands to the Hanley Library Archive Centre. However, if you have ideas on what alternatively could be done with it, please use the Comments box at the bottom of this page.

Fortunately, we did manage to index all the material, and one of the volunteers has made a fantastic digital archive of it all, so progress has been made even in the short time it has been at Cheadle.
The website showing the material is really good, and well worth browsing if you have an hour or so to spare.

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Council Shenanigans

(Our local Draycott Council gets up to so many odd things that we simply haven’t been able to keep up, so we have given the council its own little section called ‘Council Shenanigans’. However, some people don’t like to read reviews of our leaders – so we suggest that those folk now click on to something else!)

Local Plan… not
Community-level councils such as Draycott Civil-Parish Council have very very few set responsibilities – but one of them is to comment on planning matters.
So, we were interested to see what our councillors would think of the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan Final Version. As the official body representing the electors here, our council’s views would have been taken seriously.

And what thoughts did our council contribute?
Umm… None.

This is pretty poor of them.
Virtually the whole of the Local Plan’s ‘rural areas allocation’ of housing & industry for the Moorlands has been shoved into Cresswell – thanks to the Blythe Park development plan – so, surely our council should have been falling over themselves to get their views heard (whether for or against).
However, apparently they thought not. (They have had since February to discuss the matter).
Poor Cresswell… ignored by its own councillors!

The last time our council put in thoughts about the Local Plan was back in the summer of last year, but they were supposed to renew them in time for this final consultation. They didn’t. It’s not clear if they forgot, or just didn’t bother.
Some residents did put in views though, which you can see on the Local Plan Comments page – including thoughts from VVSM, the Cresswell community-action group.

Public participation
Nearly all community-level councils, such as Draycott Council, have a public q&a session at the start of their meetings, because otherwise members of the public would not get a say (the public is not allowed to interrupt the actual formal proceedings).

However, in a strange move a couple of months ago, the council decided to put the q&a session to the back-end of the meeting.
This was very strange, as the poor old public would have had to sit through the one to two hours of proceedings just in order to be able to ask one question…
Not surprisingly, an objection was put in from the public… and the council reverted, and we are now back to a bit of sense.
If you want to put a question in person to the council, you are once again welcome to attend the start of council meetings at 7.30, and put your question then.

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RIP Jean

One of the grand old ladies of this district has passed away.  Jean Edwards (born into the well-known local Shelley family) died at the end of April aged 93.
Her wish was not for floral tributes or the like at her funeral, but for mourners to give donations to her beloved St Margaret’s Church.

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NEWS: 100th / less public input / old film / sad news

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in middle-September 2013
We have news of:  Ethel’s 100th birthday; big ploughing match coming up; less public input at parish council meetings; old film of Draycott; some sad news.

(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Happy century!

Following the recent party held to celebrate Betty Hammond’s one-hundredth birthday, Draycott can now add yet another centurion to its roster.

Older people may remember that Ethel May Brash and her husband ran the Roadhouse Cafe on Uttoxeter Road  (when that was still the main route to Uttoxeter) from 1947 up until they retired in 1982. It was where the B&R Motors garage is now.

Ethel, who still lives in Draycott in New Avenue (though husband Bob sadly died a few years ago), is now 100, and decided to mark the occasion in style with a party at Draycott Sports Centre.
The Sentinel turned up to report on the event – and you can read their report of it by clicking here.

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Looking back

Of course the building that was the old transport café run by Ethel and Bob has now changed use – as so many buildings in our village have done.
(Does anyone have photos of the transport café?  If so, we’d love to hear from you – contact us…)

And, if you are interested in the recent history of the village you may enjoy an old video that has come to light.
Matthew Pointon, the local man who wrote the definitive history book about Draycott, was raised in this village, and, back when he was young, made a short video about it.

The video, which is only ten minutes long, was made over a dozen years ago, and is a short tour of the village’s main sights.

English: The New Plough The New Plough Inn is ...

The New Plough – before it closed

It shows The ‘New Plough’ pub (now The Mango Tree), the old Draycott Manor School (and its air-raid shelters!), and even the church choir of the day practising.

Because Matthew was, and is, interested in history, the video also shows the main historic sites in the village.
But the main memory-jogger must be the image of the 1929 Healey owned by resident Geoff Perkins.  Even in 2000, it was running beautifully!

To see Matthew’s old video, which has now been uploaded to the internet, just click here, sit back, and enjoy…

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Hedge your bets!

The big events of September for the Stone branch of the Staffordshire Agricultural Society takes place this year … in Draycott.

Not only is the ploughing match here (at Fields Farm), but also the hedge-laying match (at Manor Farm).   Breakfast and lunch are also laid on.

If you’re interested in taking part, or just attending, Daisy Shelley (01889 505292) is the one to talk about about the event.

For dates, times and more details of this (and other events in Draycott this month), check out our Events page.

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Sad news

We were glad to start this edition with good news, but, with good news sometimes there comes bad news.
Sadly, we have now heard of the death of Karen Maryon, the wife of Mike Maryon.  Mike was our county councillor up until the last election, when he felt he had to step down in order to have enough time to care for Karen.
Mike has been a good friend to Draycott.

Karen was an outstanding member of the Moorlands community herself, and held the post of chairman of the Staffs Moorlands District Council for a while.
There is a touching profile of Karen’s life and achievements in this week’s Cheadle & Tean Times, and it is worth buying a copy just to read it.
Our condolences go to Mike.

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Less public participation

Mike Maryon often attended meetings in Draycott, and we wonder what he might think of the latest move by Draycott Parish Council.

The agenda for the council’s September meeting (which can be seen pinned up on all the parish’s notice-boards) reinstates an old ruling that there will be “no debates” during the Public Participation slot (held at the beginning of council meetings.)
So, now, each member of the public will be allowed to do nothing more than to state one question only during this slot; and it will be in the chairman’s discretion as to whether the point raised will even be discussed – probably at a future meeting.

To us, it seems a shame that the public is to be silenced in this way.
Parish councils are generally known for being a lot less formal than district or county councils.  Even as little as two years ago, we remember that Draycott Parish councillors used to sit round one big table at their meetings, side by side with members of the public, who would also chat along with them about issues raised.  Perhaps, yes, that way of doing things was unwieldy (and led to a lot of unnecessarily wordy discussion!); but it seems a shame to go to this other extreme.

However, the councillors must have their reasons, and they are certainly well within their rights to reinforce this rule.

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