Fed up with getting nowhere with its previous attempts to draw attention to the poor condition of the public realm in our High Street, the Civic Society’s Successful Streets Group (SSG) has been upping the ante.
SSG saw little point in updating its four-year-old list of 253 issues of concern such as broken paving, grubby bins, cluttered signage and street furniture only to see few – if any – improvements.
So, SSG has adopted a more proactive approach to working with both councils (Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council that between them control the streetscape), and the various private companies that can help to improve matters (Ubico, BT, Virgin, etc.).
The group’s three-fold focus is to: highlight the categories of problem items; identify and engage constructively with the person or team in the council or company who has responsibility for these; and follow up to see tasks carried out or, if not possible, to develop new ways to somehow get the jobs done.
We are regularly campaigning to highlight the issues, offer constructive solutions, and call the culprits to account for their inaction – as you will read in our quarterly newsletter, OurTown and in our occasional news sheet, Making A Difference.
Our ‘Town Centre Manifesto’ – a tactic that gained significant media coverage earlier this year – has now begun to produce some positive results. You can download it here.