LETTER: Activists can really help with sorting grot spots

Litter. Picture: Andrew Roe
Litter. Picture: Andrew Roe

We, concerned citizens appreciate greatly the attention the “grot spots” are now receiving from Councillor Tony Kemp.

His concern is echoed across Buxton. At times of acute financial constraint, there are limited funds available to address these issues. We are not naïve.

However, we feel that the reply from Councillor Kemp has managed to avoid the key issue we are raising. By reminding us of the investment made by the council into heritage projects, the focus of his reply is on the big developments. We are drawing attention to the little things which need attention, as it appears to us that the anticipated rise in visitor numbers will not be sustained if they find that some parts of Buxton are, at best, grotty and neglected.

A balance is needed. Councillor Kemp needs to better appreciate the warmth of local activism; so many volunteer groups and individuals ready to pledge their time to make Buxton beautiful.

But without a ‘can-do’ attitude from High Peak Borough Council, energies from volunteers are frustrated. Most people want Buxton to change for the better and ask High Peak Borough Council and council executive to take the lead. Lead us.

Priority areas of concern include these two vulnerable and neglected places.

Consider the old toilet site on Water Street: after at least a decade of council inactivity and neglect, we are now asking for “permission” to make something attractive here. A group of volunteers from a local group are ready to work positively with the council to develop a sensory garden with seating in this neglected space.

Also consider the Serpentine flooded area: after council care involving a year or more of fencing (and now a second set of sandbags), we are asking for the needs of this beautiful area to be addressed effectively. If this had not been avoided for 15 months or more, the cost to remedy the problem would not be £30 - 40K.

We understand that there are times when you need to say “no”. When the money is too tight or the demands are unrealistic. This is not one of those times. These are relatively simple things to fix and, while we recognise that the big projects get the headlines and photographs, there are little things that need your attention now. Recent photographs in the Buxton Advertiser have made this clear.

Meet with us. Let us help. The voluntary groups want to work with you. We can save you money in the long run. This benefits everyone.

Over the coming months we will endure the winter period in Buxton. We trust that this time can be used to plan a series of initiatives which can be implemented in the spring and summer of 2017.

We look forward to councillor Kemp and his colleagues continuing to lead regeneration projects in Buxton, taking full advantage of the wealth of enthusiasm available from the local activists dedicated to Buxton and its resurgence.Councillor Kemp – please listen”.

Dia and Jon White

Temple Road, Buxton