Tedd Talks

Live Magazines’ Tedd Walmsley looks forward to seeing improved roads in Clitheroe and urges readers to share their opinions during public consultation on future house building and development

Well let’s start with the good news this month. I was appalled at the condition of the roads in the conservation area around Castle Street in Clitheroe and was compelled to contact Cllr Sue Hind on the matter. Here’s what she had to say: “Clitheroe is a beautiful market town with a mediaeval castle as its centrepiece. But it is fast becoming Lancashire’s Cinderella because there has been no capital investment for so long. Other towns have pushed us into the role of poor relation, you only have to look at the investment poured into Padiham, Whalley et al.

“So, I set up Clitheroe Town Team with a view to reviewing and hopefully solving long overdue public realm issues. Cabinet member for Highways, Charlie Edwards, was sympathetic to our cause as was the leader of LCC after her visit.

“In LCC’s 2022 budget there appeared to be £300k funding for improving conservation areas in our county. This funding was only available via match funding from the district involved. RVBC agreed to be that district. Good news – their budget working group will meet late May to discuss and approve the spend which will be ratified at a Policy and Finance meeting in June/July.

“Any timetable for carrying out this much-needed work will undergo robust consultation with local traders so everyone will become involved and take ownership. That’s the way communities work best – not top down.”

In less good news – Cllr Ged Mirfin confirmed that crime in the Ribble Valley is on the rise with a 14 per cent increase year on year. A worrying trend. I haven’t time to delve into the type of crime but worryingly, violence associated with drink is firmly on the rise. I’ve asked the council for an update on CCTV improvements but, as yet, had no response.

With regards to irate retailers, one local events organiser has used the Freedom of Information Act to try and establish once and for all the costs of the ARC report. This was commissioned by the council and guesstimates range from £40k to 80k – an incredible amount of money that many, including me, feel could have been better spent to help businesses and footfall in ‘building back stronger’. Once they have this intel, I will share in my next column if that is possible. One of the report’s key criticisms of the council’s leadership and officers is poor communication and I’ve asked the leader of the council and head of communications to confirm a meeting to discuss the questions I’ve asked, and for them to clarify the future of the Ribble Valley in a two-page article – but as yet I’ve had no response.

It’s also been pointed out to me that the @goribblevalley twitter page, the official site for Ribble Valley tourism has seen only one tweet in the last 12 months – I’m keen to understand how this can be possible? If this is the case, it’s very worrying and perhaps ARC make a valid point.

The last topic this month is quite a big one as we see public consultation on the next Core Strategy document – a vital plan used to guide development, including house building, over the forthcoming years. In a recent meeting with Cllr Kevin Horkin, he asked me to implore readers to share their thoughts and concerns with the council when given the opportunity. New homes are subject to levies from the builders known as Section 106 money. It’s meant to be used for infrastructure projects such as new schools and health centres and facilities to help with the influx of new residents to the Valley. Having watched and personally fought new building, notably in Longridge, there are now thousands of new homes built or passed for planning, but where are these new schools and surgeries?

It’s bad enough in Clitheroe and Whalley but as Longridge is bordered by Preston, their City Council have also created huge new estates with what is now a creaking infrastructure. This is your opportunity to help guide the plan – please do it to help both yourself and your children to ensure the Ribble Valley remains one of the best places in the UK to live and work.

The council are now on countdown to the 2023 elections – it’s my duty, on your behalf, to continue to ask the questions and hope to report back with some positive answers in our double summer issue in June.

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.




Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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