It has taken me just 3 days (approximately 2.5 hour per day) to canvas over 75% of Drake Ward. I have been lucky enough to have the help of My Mum on of those days and the help of my friend Chris and his 3 children today. The experience has been fascinating with me discovering streets I didn't even know existed, I have also met loads of lovely people who really care about Plymouth and Drake ward.
What has been eye-opening is the amount of rubbish around Drake ward. Here are some pictures I took last Thursday just 2 days after the bins were collected.
The picture above doesn't really show you quite how bad the lane is; these service lanes at the rear of Guildford Street in Greenbank have had problems over the last few years and residents say they are constantly phoning the council to try to resolve the problem. One resident I spoke to said she was sick of ringing the council, spending time wasted on holding systems and never actually getting the problems dealt with. I have to agree with the people who said they were sick of paying such high rates of council tax yet seeing such poor service in return from the council. Most of those I spoke to agreed that they would rather see their money spent on grass roots issues such a bins and tiding up local neighbourhoods rather than lavish projects such a the Life Centre.
Another issue that came up today which was of interest to me was the proposed incinerator for St Budeaux. From what I can gather the research into the incinerator and it's long term health effects for Plymouth's residents is not extensive enough and I, like many fear another asbestos style set of illnesses in the future as a result of the incinerator. Some of the Drake residents I spoke to do not see the incinerator as a problem for them as they do not live in St Budeaux but with the strong coastal winds that affect Plymouth this really is a problem for all of us. We really need further research into alternative ways of dealing with our waste issues and, as I have mentioned in previous posts, we need to reduce the sources of waste as well a dealing with end waste product. A serious reduction in the packaging of retail items and a drive to ensure that manufacturers have to use recyclable packaging in their products would be a good start. Click here for the latest article on the incinerator from the thisisplymouth website.
Lastly I wanted to mention some of the wards hidden gems such as Shaftesbury cottages and Skardon Place, these small roads have some great community spirit as well as beautiful architecture. It is nice to know that despite the wards faults there is plenty that is great too.