People power as residents consulted about improving Ashfield

Residents pass on their views at the Sutton Locality Team consultation event
Residents pass on their views at the Sutton Locality Team consultation event

Hundreds of Ashfield residents have put forward their ideas on how the area could be improved in a series of consultation events held by Ashfield District Council.

The newly formed Locality Team has been out and about gauging the public’s opinion on what is right and wrong about their area - and what ideas they may have to improve it.

As part of the development of the plans, residents and groups are being asked to put forward their ideas about what they think the priorities should be.

The Sutton event, held at the Rumbles cafe on Sutton Lawn this week, saw a steady stream of people attend through the day raising problems and offering solutions.

A council spokesman said: “We had a steady flow of residents throughout the event.

“We value the public’s time and comments and over the coming weeks we will collate this information and that from the surveys to write a draft plan of priorities.”

Alan Shaw of Skegby said: “Traffic is a problem. People are parking with two wheels on the pavement and two on the road.

“Disabled people on their scooters can’t get past.

“Women with babies have to take their prams onto the road. Something needs doing about that.”

Ian Kerry of Skegby Road, Sutton added: “They have got to make it a better place, a cleaner place to come and live and they have got to encourage industry to come here.

“While we have run-down areas this will be difficult to achieve.”

Reaction to the Locality team consultation was mixed.

Chris Hopkinson of Skegby Neighbourhood Residents Group said: “We need these sort of events more often.

“My biggest idea around here is for more community cohesion.

“We need schools, groups and neighbours working together. A few years ago we did an environmental project and planted trees - that is the way forward.”

But Sutton West councillor Raymon Buttery was sceptical. He said: “I don’t know where the money is gong to come from to implement a lot of these suggestions. We have to save £1 million this year and £2 million the next.”

Residents stuck post-it notes in different categories, which included anti-social behaviour, regenerating town centres, streets and parks, increasing employment and affordable and safe housing.

Suggestions included improved signage at boundaries to promote Ashfield, a one way street system for Outram Street and more parking in the town centre.

Positive notes included praise for Lammas Leisure Centre and a high standard of cleanliness in parks and streets.

Visit the survey online at: http://www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk/news/2014/04/locality-action-plans.aspx