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Life for a leafletting LibDem before Corona

March 29, 2020 10:14 PM

In the days before the Corona Virus lockdown no area of Eden was safe from the prospect of a LibDem leaflet or survey. So here to remind ourselves of the normal life of a Party interested in the views of local people is the last report made for the Eden area before tumbleweed started rolling along the High St.

"Liberal-Democrat campaigners were in Soulby, near Kirkby Stephen, on 29th February to talk with residents and to find out what they think about local issues. Medium for finding opinions was through a doorstep survey.

Soulby Bridge CumbriaThere are clearly some problems on the roads. Residents are concerned that the road between Soulby and Kirkby Stephen is too narrow and needs improvement and that it is not well maintained and has potholes. There are not enough streetlights, and some are faulty and there are problems with speeding traffic. Flooding was another issue.

Specific comments were

"The road between Soulby and Kirkby Stephen is a disgrace. It's potholed and in very bad repair. The road is heavily used and should be widened and upgraded to reflect the amount of traffic it carries."

"Soulby needs more traffic control measures to stop speeding through the village. Footpaths need to be installed so we can walk through the village without being run over. The amount of times you have to dive out of the way is ridiculous."

"The biggest and worst problem is flooding!!! The neglect to the drains!! Where and how can the water drain away if the drains are full… we have lost a car in storm Ciara and at least three days' wages because we couldn't get to work."

Local campaigner, Adrian Waite, raised these issues with Angela Jones, the Director of Economy and Infrastructure at Cumbria County Council. We are grateful to her for her response which was as follows:

"Thank you for your email and for bringing these matters to my attention. We know the upkeep of our roads and footpaths is important to our residents… I will forward your email to the highway network officers who support Eden Local Committee… The Committee has powers to make decisions on a range of matters affecting their local area including Highways… Thank you for contacting me directly, we welcome feedback and views from our residents."

Two other particular issues often commented one were:-

1 - Residents also complained about the lack of public transport. There are no bus services in Soulby. The nearest bus services are from Kirkby Stephen over two miles away and services from Kirkby Stephen to places including Barnard Castle, Kendal, Penrith and Sedbergh are infrequent. It is four miles from Soulby to the nearest railway station at Kirkby Stephen West. Clearly there is a need to provide better public transport in villages such as Soulby.

2 - The Appleby Horse Fair causes issues in Soulby including parking, cleaning up and anti-social behaviour. This is the case in many villages in the Appleby and Kirkby Stephen area. There is clearly a need to ensure that visitors to the Appleby Horse Fair can attend and enjoy the Fair, but ways must be found to enable them to do this without inconveniencing residents. One issue is the provision of suitable places for travellers to stop while going to and from the Fair, because at present there are too few of them. Another is the need to ensure that the Fair is adequately policed in the surrounding villages as well as in Appleby itself.

Both these need to be considered in an Eden wide context. Local councillors to be notified."