Successful Streets

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.

Proactive approach

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.

‘Yes we can!’

SSG points out that a significant number of the issues could be sorted quickly and at minimum cost. Despite this, the councils will too often say ‘No’ to something due to lack of budget. But then they often follow that with a second ‘No’ to alternative constructive suggestions. In future, SSG wants to hear ‘Yes, we can’!

SSG is keen to start getting things done at pace, so is building a database of volunteers. If you can lend us your practical skills and know-how – whether with a pen, a paintbrush or a keyboard – and have the enthusiasm to move mountains, SSG wants to hear from you.

To get involved, please email us at:

Street Pride Report

To learn more, download both the 2018 Street Pride Report and the follow-up February 2020 SSG Report.