Residents take mattocks into their own hands

Roundswell residents help to make their community a brighter place by tackling the jobs councils can’t reach.

WEEDS, graffiti and ‘grot spots’ at Roundswell in Barnstaple have received short shrift during the past year thanks to the efforts of local people.

Members of Roundswell Residents’ Association have been going out in weekly working parties cleaning, weeding and replanting where needed in areas brought to their attention.

Chairman Graham Turner said soon after the formation of the association more than a year ago, it became apparent that ‘due to budget cuts’ it was becoming increasingly difficult to get anything done through the local parish, district or county councils.

“We had only two options – either sit and moan about it, saying we pay our rates and the council should do what we require, or do the jobs ourselves knowing our limitations,” he said.

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“We have groups litter picking, weeding cycle ways and footpaths by hand, cleaning signs, weeding and replanting flower beds at our own expense, plus many more things when reported to the residents group at our monthly meetings.

“All the jobs are done by volunteers and new volunteers are always welcome, as with any group you can never have enough helpers.”

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As well as new helpers, the group would like to hear from any Roundswell companies that might be willing to offer support or sponsor some of the high visibility jackets worn by the working parties with their company logos.

“At the moment people often think we are on community service, because they can’t understand that a group of people are doing this,” he said.

“The jobs we are doing are minor things that as able bodied people we can do with little effort. When you hear about other groups that have had their funding cut, while such great work with the disabled or disadvantaged, our problems with weed and litter are nothing in comparison.”

Mr Turner said anyone who would like to help, find out more or possibly start a group of their own in another area, is welcome to contact him on 01271 314851.

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