Town council listens to resident’s complaints
UNTRIMMED and unkempt hedges and grass verges, noisy buskers and lack of waste collections were the most common issues brought up by residents at Dartmouth’s Town Council Open Day.
Cllr Mike Rowley said: “Ten intrepid but apprehensive Dartmouth Town Councillors manned the barricades for an Open Day in Royal Avenue Gardens. The plan was to facilitate open dialog between residents and the council in a relaxed and friendly environment, where people were out and about and would feel free to come and air their views.
“There was a steady flow of Dartmothians coming over during the day, chatting and having cups of tea and biscuits. Lively but friendly discussions were had, and notes taken of issues that are important to our fellow residents.”
Cllr Rowley said the issues ranged from localised ones that town councillors can deal with directly to those which needed to be dealt with by South Hams and Devon County Councils.
He added: “The town council will be looking to see if we can address the localised issues. Many of the problems raised are, however, the sole competency of either South Hams or, in the case of highways, Devon County Council. These issues have been passed on to our district and county councillors.”
The most common issues raised by residents were refuse and garden waste collection, excessively loud buskers in Royal Avenue Gardens, and lack of a visible police presence in the town resulting in anti-social and drunken behaviour.
The most frequently raised matter was the state of the town, including untrimmed and unkempt hedges and grass verges, weeds growing through pavements and the embankments and bins on pavements impeding pedestrians.
“It was generally felt that untidy hedgerows and grass verges are not only trip and safety hazards but give visitors a poor impression of the town,” said Cllr Rowley. “It also encourages littering and fly tipping. Whilst Dartmouth Town Council is not responsible for the pavements and roads, we’ll be highlighting the general dissatisfaction to both the district and county councils who are the responsible authorities for these matters.
“All of the people who came and spoke to us were good natured and courteous. The overall impression was that people felt it was a worthwhile experiment and some expressed their appreciation of the opportunity to air their opinions face to face. Dartmouth Town Council intends to repeat the event, probably in the autumn. Watch this space as they say!”
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