Live Magazines’ Tedd Walmsley encourages us to get involved in local politics and policy-making, which shapes our future and that of our children and grandchildren
I hope you enjoyed your summer here in the Ribble Valley or if lucky or brave enough – in warmer climes? It’s been the summer of the staycation and I’d be interested to know how the visitor numbers have been this year here in the valley and whether we’ve missed any opportunities to capitalise on the staycation.
Events in the Ribble Valley have been thin on the ground – alongside the cancellation of the Food Festival with no viable alternatives, have been the cancellation of the agricultural shows in Hodder and Longridge. Thank goodness the private sector had the courage to create and execute so well events such as the Royal Lancashire Show and the recent Holmes Mill Food Festival.
The Royal Lancashire Show attracted 21,950 over three days despite the weather not being great. But organiser Colin Mustoe was determined it should go ahead, saying: “Many people depend on shows for their living, and it would have been all too easy not to bother. We have to get back to some kind of normality.”
I believe there’s a mini food event at the Longridge Showground this weekend which has had little, or no support from the council. Historically this type of event has been vital in driving footfall to local businesses and I implore Ribble Valley Borough Council to crack on, get involved and announce, before it’s too late, a calendar of events for 2022.
I recently visited the wonderful Blueberries café on Market Street, Clitheroe – a regular haunt to meet friends and clients and always good food and service I might add. On my last visit I couldn’t help but think that the only thing missing was a spluttering tuk-tuk and a few cows roaming free to make a comparison to Mumbai. The roads and pavements are truly a disgrace and hardly helpful to the aesthetics of our flagship market town of Clitheroe. However, all is not lost. A recent conversation with County Councillor Sue Hind, revealed she has gone into battle with LCC to get match funding for a programme of road and pavement improvements with a pre-Christmas start date. I will watch with intrigue as to the extent of these improvements and the impact on our town and report back.
Can you believe it’s more than 30 years since any capital projects have been completed in the Ribble Valley – me neither. I’m hearing lots of talk and gossip about projects ranging from swimming pools to a crematorium. My former boss at the Daily Telegraph used to say, ‘Be judged by your deeds and not rhetoric.’ Let’s see what happens – but suffice to say I’m not holding my breath!
As I write these columns and discuss the content with a host of people, I’m struck with how little is known about the processes within the borough and county council. I had a few people bemoan the condition of roundabouts on the A59 – ugly, dangerous and hazardous were some of the adjectives used. There were others that can’t be published.
LCC finally mowed them and the verges to within an inch of their lives but what happened to the beautiful wildflowers of just a few years back? Who IS responsible, and how can we lobby our county councillors, recently elected, if we don’t like what we see?
We must be more vocal and more interested in local politics and also the officers who are responsible for putting into practice the policies decided upon.
Just last week there were two local by-elections in the Ribble Valley – the turnout to vote was a staggering 17 per cent – truly appalling in my humble opinion. Policies and decisions shape not just our futures but those of our children and grandchildren – they are in our hands not just those of the council.
I think it’s only fair after three of my articles that we give RVBC a chance to reply so I intend to ask the leader if he’d like to write his own article in October to update and excite us with future plans for the Ribble Valley.
Please feel free to contact me if any of the above, or indeed any other topics, interest you and would benefit and educate our readers.
Until October be kind to each other and support all that is local.
Royal Lancashire Show 2022: 22nd, 23rd and 24th July
The views above are my own and I’d be delighted to get some replies to my questions and report back on any progress and positive outcomes