Traffic chaos in Whalley, net-zero targets and Clitheroe Food Festival are some of the topics considered by Live Magazines’ Tedd Walmsley
It has been more than three months since my last article and in that time the world stage has changed so much with Covid, the Ukraine, the increase in the cost of living and the energy crisis. Sadly, time stands still it appears in the Ribble Valley. Let me start on one positive note – although I’m possibly a little premature, I do hope to bring good news very soon on the roads and pavements likened to Mumbai.
Do you live, work or shop in Whalley? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the chaos caused by the pavement widening scheme and the subsequent carnage this is causing. The funding for this has come from the hard-fought Section 106 levy from the house-builders, but in my opinion this money is wasted. Why do Ribble Valley planners not consider bigger projects such as a car park or sports hall and make Whalley a more attractive village to visit? It’s ironic that the current work actually achieves less car parking at a time when clearly more is needed.
Talking of Whalley, recent articles in the local press suggest another uptick in delinquent behaviour including the mindless destruction of the toilets (£30k repairs in the last year alone) and the theft of stone from the ancient abbey. RVBC, which has yet to consider CCTV upgrades to catch or deter these hooligans, should be helping make Whalley safe. I share the local councillor’s thoughts that these hooligans need to be named, shamed and set the task of repairing the damage – zero tolerance.
Perhaps the most damaging report I’ve seen this year is the league table of councils and the results of their climate change policies. Let’s be clear here – we live in a beautiful part of the country, steeped in history with an AONB on our doorstep. I remind you of this to demonstrate that RVBC finished at the bottom of the table with a grand total of zero per cent. RVBC have set a zero-target date at 2030, yet seemingly have no plans in place? I will post the report on our social media platforms and am more than happy to send to anyone interested by mail. Once again, I intend to write to the leader of the council inviting him or indeed anyone else, to give their views in an article in the next issue.
As many of you know I’m a big fan of the Clitheroe Food Festival and loved its evolution from humble beginnings to one of the biggest in the country. With no event for two years there was a glimmer of hope with a date set for 30th July 2022 – it’s now mid-March and as yet there are no details of how to get involved nor it seems any sponsors invited to help defray costs and avoid RVBC having to put their hands in their deep pockets to underwrite this. It’s a great event and attracts in excess of 15k visitors to the town to give the retailers, bars and restaurants a timely boost. At the time of writing, I could see no social media updates. Can I ask those responsible – is it actually going to happen? I’d also like to know what other events are planned to help put the Ribble Valley back on the culinary map? The council must stand alongside the private sector, build rapport and help achieve common business goals to achieve a thriving Ribble Valley economy.
My final though this month is on the decisions around planning and enforcement – it appears small individuals or businesses are often the soft target with declined or protracted applications. I’ve even had evidence of an over-zealous officer reporting a new business claiming they had taken up a car-park space by having their bins out at 6.30am for 30 minutes. I’m not sure how many spaces are needed on a car park at that time – I expect not too many. Why not help our businesses not hinder them?
I truly hope by the next issue I will have some answers – one way or another I’ll continue to ask the questions.
Thank-you for your kind comments – keep them coming.
The views above are my own and I’d be delighted to get some replies to my questions and will report back on any progress and positive outcomes.