We are often being told that the ‘Big Society’ under the new Localism Act, is the way forward to improve our communities, including utilising the efforts of local voluntary groups.
There are many such groups in Matlock working tirelessly and initiating projects for the good of the community. One such scheme being put forward by the Matlock Civic Association is that of a possible statue/sculpture at the Park Head in Crown Square.
I was disappointed, therefore, to receive a response from the district council that they were ‘not in a position to assume additional maintenance responsibilities’ even such minor ones as this one would presumably be. This, in my opinion, is closing the door to such worthwhile schemes and no voluntary group can take on future maintenance work on behalf of a council.
Such a response may dishearten the Civic Association and other organisations wanting to improve our area through their own efforts, given the fact that in this particular case they were only asking the council to maintain a single structure.
Fortunately, I am pleased to report that the town council, following my recent proposal, resolved ‘in principle , to examine the possibility of taking on such maintenance responsibility.’
Local authorities, even in these difficult financial times, must surely try to adopt a ‘can do’ attitude and work as closely as possible with all voluntary community groups who are willing to carry out beneficial projects.
Cllr Sue Burfoot
District and Town Councillor