Your front page story last week should have asked for a face-lift for the whole of Matlock Bath, not just the Jubilee Bridge. This is because the bridge’s dirty and scruffy image is similar to many parts of the village.
Every time I drive through on the A61, I get more and more depressed by the obvious neglect and disinterested attitude shown by the county council, district council, parish council, the residents and the traders to the villages appearance.
A few examples: The sign at the bottom of Waterloo Road had originally eight directional signs, only one remains, the rest were broken off years ago. The tree close by has been dead for three years, at least. There used to be an iconic view of the village from Temple Road, just above the Fishpond Hotel. The view has completely gone, blanked out by scrub trees and ivy.
It used to be a pleasant walk along the Parades, until many of the traders found out that there was profit in outdoor tables and chairs to sell food and drink. I am aware, of course, that they own part of the pavement and can do this. However, it halves the pavement width.
Not only that but on a walk from the County and Station to the Fishpond Hotel, (I called in neither by the way) I counted 43, yes 43, obstacles in the public space. They ranged from two cars, three large waste bins, one on the pavement edge, another containing food which was open, to numerous A boards, several side-by-side blocking the path. Surely there must be several health and safety and environmental health protection issues here. What are you doing about it, county council and district council?
Both the men’s toilets in the village are dark and dirty, and need a lick of paint. A deep clean now and again is required. The four-hourly swish around with a wet mop is not sufficient. I understand one tour firm has stopped coming to the illuminations because of continued complaints about the ladies toilets.
There is however something good happening in the Bath. I am sure that the Friends of the Grand Pavilion will achieve their aim in providing a facility of which we all can be proud. May I suggest this is the time to improve the appearance of the village as well.