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‘Stop the Grot’

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: November 07, 2013

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A CIVIC society is aiming to name and shame areas of a town which they are deeming as ‘Grot Spots’.

The Leek and District Civic Society is set to collate a list of areas in Leek which members feel are in need of urgent attention.

The areas identified so far include: * Two unused billboards in Buxton Road.

* A derelict house in Ashbourne Road; * A cobbled pavement which has tarmac spots in Overton Bank; * The wooden ornamental posts in Derby Street; * A disused piece of land at the corner of Russell Street and Haywood Street * The former garage site on the corner of Alsop Street and Broad Street.

Michael Stapleton, secretary of the society said: “We are conscious that around Leek there are several areas which let the town down.

“We have discussed this topic and will be photographing and publicising these ‘Grot Spots’.

“The main ones for us at the moment are the two unused billboards in Buxton Road, and the ‘white house’ in Ashbourne Road.

“That house has been empty for years and ideally needs demolishing.

“We are just keen to improve Leek.

“There are lots of positives in our town but we just need to get rid of the negatives."

Fellow society member Roger Warrillow added: “As a society we just want to pinpoint the areas that are in need of attention.” The civic society is aiming to liaise with the conservation department at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council about ‘Grot Spots’ in Leek, as well as contact those who own an or are responsible for the sites.

Peter Kent-Baguley, chairman of the civic society added: “We either care for the environment or we don’t.

“We will be contacting owners of such sites about our concerns; there’s no point just moaning about things.

“A lot of people feel powerless but we need to point out these grot spots and try and get something done.

“We all think that Leek is wonderful and beautiful – but it’s when you are walking casually through the town, perhaps when walking your dog, when you really look at some places and think they don't look too good.

“I do feel that the town council should have the remit of the environment and not the district council.

“Local things should be in the hands of local councillors. It would make it simpler and more streamlined.” Leek Town Mayor John Fisher is backing the civic society's initiative.

He said: “The civic society is right to highlight areas that need improvement.

“The white building in Ashbourne Road, for example, is a disgrace.

“As a town council we have recently highlighted areas such as the wooden posts in Derby Street and the land at the bottom of Russell Street, and are in talks to hopefully get these areas improved.

“I would like to hear people’s suggestions of any other Grot Spots in the town.

“As a town council we will certainly look at them and I am willing to work with the civic society on this.

“I can think of plenty of places in my ward where developers have had the permission to clean up a piece of land but they have not done it.

“It is a headache, but I am glad that the civic society has taken on this initiative – after all they are like the guardians of our environment.”

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