Mayor In ‘Barny Army’ Appeal
Town Mayor Cllr Mrs Val Elkins has called on everyone in Barnstaple to help in overcoming the problems caused by cuts in Devon County Council’s maintenance of roadside areas in the town.
In April the County Council stopped cutting grass, maintaining shrub beds and weeding pavements, except where there is a hazard to highway users. A new informal partnership – nicknamed the ‘Barny Army’ – involving the Town Council, businesses, community groups and individual residents, has emerged from this and is making progress in tidying up the town, but the Mayor says more help is needed.
Cllr Mrs Elkins said “We’ve seen some real improvements through our planted areas sponsorship scheme, volunteer work, and other Barny Army activities. Whilst this is very welcome, people will have seen that there are still lots of problems with long grass and weeds in Barnstaple. The County Council isn’t going to change its mind, so the only way we’ll sort this out is if we work together as a community. The sponsorship scheme offers anyone the opportunity to look after a roadside area and get recognition for their work, but it is just as important for us all to play our part, and I would urge everyone to weed the area at the front of their homes as their contribution to the Barny Army effort. At the same time the Town Council, although only a small organisation, is putting more money into this type of work but we do want to make sure this doesn’t cost more than the Council Tax payer can afford. If we all work together we can restore the pride in our town’s appearance.
“Many residents already look after the patch in front of their house, dispelling the myth that there are health and safety regulations preventing it. As long as what you do doesn’t endanger you or other highway users, there’s nothing to stop anyone from doing their bit. If you’re at all worried, our Town Clerk Will Austin has said he is happy to advise – contact him on 01271 373311.”
The Town Council’s green area sponsorship scheme offers anyone the chance to adopt a roadside area. Unlike the County Council’s scheme, there is currently no up-front fee and those who sign up for three years are provided with a sponsorship sign, along with training, supervision and equipment if the sponsor decides to do the work themselves. The Town Council is also helping volunteer groups who want to get involved, providing traffic management, supervision and equipment. Anyone interested should contact Kate Graddock on 01271 373311 or email email@example.com
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