For our first campaign, we’ve written to M&Co to enquire about the provision of seating in front of their new store.
3. Response from ‘Care for Cleveleys’
We spent a week talking about the response on the ‘Care for Cleveleys’ page, and the majority of people thought that the initial reply from M&Co was a weak excuse for not doing something that they’d said they were going to do.
The concensus of opinion was that we should ask Paul Maynard MP to get involved, and he has written to them on our behalf.
‘Care for Cleveleys’ have also written back and asked them to reconsider their initial judgement, explaining that the proposed seating area is right underneath the local authority CCTV camera, which is also monitored.
2. Reply from M&Co dated 19 June 2015
After a month had passed with no reply, some of the members of ‘Care for Cleveleys’ encouraged a reponse from M&Co with a few gentle reminders posted onto their Facebook and Twitter pages. This letter appeared in the post almost straight away:
For clarification – much of the wide pavement on the sunny side of Cleveleys high street, including the piece of land in front of M&Co, is owned by the stores from when they were the gardens of the former houses. Therefore it is the stores who control what happens there – and that applies to street furniture, paving, use of the land for stalls and markets etc. It’s not within the power of the local authority or the local community to put a bench there without the landowners consent – just in case you were wondering!
What do you think?
If you have a view on whether you would like to sit down there and would like to see seating reinstated, please add your comment in the Facebook group.
1. Letter to M&Co – May 2015
People stood waiting for shoppers, outside M&Co in Cleveleys
When the M&Co planning application was lodged, here at Visit Cleveleys we were pleased to hear plans mentioned for seating in front of the store.
You may remember that in the days of Victoria Market there was a somewhat decrepit but functional wishing well, right in the middle of the block paved area, along with another old but functional bench adjacent to the boundary with Argos.
Both were removed with the passage of time – to be fair they were unsightly and maybe even verging on not being safe – but that left a space in the the seating provision!
The M&Co planning application said
“Within the building’s curtilage to Victoria Road West paving will be improved and a new seating area formed in style with the proposed building.”
As you know, no new seating has appeared and instead people (particularly men with dogs!) are often to be seen, stood and crouched outside the shop, patiently waiting for shoppers to emerge (see above photo).
Actually, on closer inspection of the block paving in front of the shop, how it has been relaid leaves a lot to be desired. It’s just been thrown down with no regard to pattern or appearance at all, even using mismatched coloured blocks, as you can see in the photo above.
In the last twelve months Wyre Council have carried out an improvement scheme in Cleveleys town centre, upgrading paving, benches, bins and street furniture. However, they are only able to carry improvements out to publicly owned land. Much of the wide side of the pavement is owned by the individual shops as it was the former gardens of the houses which the buildings once were, and that’s why there are huge gaps in the seating provision where benches would be very welcome. Anyone who comes to Cleveleys at the weekend on a nice day will know that seating is at a premium – with many people even sitting on the floor.
That’s why it’s important that M&Co provide ‘a seating area’ outside their very nice, new shop!
We have written to M&Co, explaining the situation, and we’ll keep you posted as to their reply.
Join ‘Care for Cleveleys’ the virtual community group.
2. Post photos/comments of the things that you’ve done in this new Facebook group. Lots of us doing lots of little things – litter picking etc – will hopefully inspire more and more people to do the same, and make random acts of niceness normal!
3. Use the hashtag #CareforCleveleys elsewhere on Facebook and Twitter
4. One simple rule: We’re not looking for negativity and criticism. The ‘carrot’ always has a better effect than the ‘stick’ and that’s what Visit Cleveleys has always been about – highlighting the many good things about the place, not complaining about the few things you don’t like.
More About Care for Cleveleys
Find out more about Why we Care for Cleveleys
An attractive new shop – but no seating
The old wishing well and bench can be seen in this photo