Community Pride 2017

Cheshire Community Action are not holding the competition in 2017, because of lack of funds.

Janet Griffiths is continuing to organise litter-picking and weeding sessions.

Volunteers are welcome - please email or phone 0151 336 5478

 

 

Community Pride Competition 2016.

We again entered Neston & Little Neston, jointly with Neston Town Council. We were runners-up in our group.

The judges' comments:

 

Overview

 

Neston is a pleasant market town with many amenities, though the town centre has obviously suffered from

the recent down turn as there are a number of empty shops and other premises. There are many interesting

buildings (photo 14): the Town Walk leaflet and blue plaques gave plenty of useful information.

 

Little Neston also has much to offer. The Quay and footpaths leading from it were being well used by walkers,

cyclists and dog-walkers on the day of our visit (photos 3,5). The Wirral Way, which is well signed, is also an

asset. We particularly liked the local schools' art work in the Market Square (photos 23, 24, 25). We contacted

one of the Neston representatives Cllr Janet Griffiths, and had helpful responses to our questions.

 

Section 1: Appearance of shops, banks, estate agents, shop window displays, condition of paved and parking

areas.

 

Most high street businesses are well kept and tidy (photo 50) although many of the window displays lacked

wow factor. The exterior of some of the occupied shops are in need of some care and attention (photos 47, 48)

and a few look particularly unkempt. (photo 31).

 

Section 2: Railway station, bus shelters, telephone kiosks, public toilets, exterior of schools, notice boards,

public car parks.

 

The railway station is generally in good order, with attractive planters (photo 27). However there was a lot of

litter on the line (photo 28) and some on the platform(photo 26). As it was a Monday morning when we visited

the station, it is possible that is was suffering from weekend revelry and that the litter pickers would have been

out later.

Bus shelters and telephone kiosks are in good order, although there are weeds and some litter in evidence.

The exterior of the schools are in excellent order, and the playing field in Little Neston is well kept (photo 07).

There are two public toilets. The one in Stanney Fields Park is clean and well maintained whilst at the one in

Chester Road car park payment is required to open the door so we didn't see inside!

Neston is well equipped with public car parks, which are all in good order with the exception of a few weedy

areas. We thought the decoration on the outside of Sainsbury's car park was very attractive (photo 60).

There are several notice boards in Neston and Little Neston, of varying standards. The Town Hall board is tidy

and up to date (photo 45). The Library also had an excellent board though we were distressed to see our

Essar Community Pride poster displayed on the litter bin outside the Library! (photo 40). The Town Hall notic

e board (photo 20) is adequately tidy and up-to-date whilst the one in Stanney Fields Park is dirty and damaged

(photo 58) with notices that are difficult to read. We were disappointed by the state of the information boards

at the Quay in Little Neston. They are appropriate and interesting, but the perspex coverings have become

opaque, making reading difficult (photo 6).

The finger posts for pedestrians in the centre of the town are attractive and helpful (photo 21).

 

Section 6: Litterbins and litter, graffiti, chewing gum, dog fouling, weeds.

 

There are plenty of bins, which are in good condition, and appear to be emptied regularly. There was some

evidence of cigarette ends etc in the vicinity of some of the bins. Whilst litter is not a big problem, we saw a

fair amount of odd pieces of litter in numerous places – see above for examples. With very few exceptions

(photo 59) Neston is free of graffiti. We saw no dog fouling or chewing gum residues. As instanced above, we

saw some weedy areas in various locations.

 

Our suggestions:

We share the town's frustration with CWAC regarding weeding. In general your volunteers are doing a good job.

Perhaps a gentle reminder to the volunteers at the library and, possibly, the railway station, plus the managers

of the Mill Street flats, would not come amiss. We would advise Neston History Society, who has responsibility

for the Quayside interpretation boards to seek sponsorship and/or grant-aid for more weatherproof replacements.

 

Kath Gee and Judith Needham

 

 

Community Pride Competition 2015

We again entered jointly with Neston Town Council.

Janet Griffiths organised weeding and litter-picking parties.

 

Best Community Newsletters were Dodelston, Rainow, and Helsby.

 

A Little Gem Award was given for the Floral Display on the corner of Parkgate Road and Church Lane,

looked after by Redcliffe Dental Practice.

 

Best Community Newsletters were Dodelston, Rainow, and Helsby.

 

Best websites were Audlem, Church Minshull and Willaston (Natwich). The judges like 'something out of the

ordinary, and cited Neston's mosquito forecast.

 

Neston & Little Neston came 6/6, behind Cuddington & Sandiway, Frodsham, Weaverham, Upton-by-Chester,

and Wistaston.

 

The full report can be found here. Scroll down to item SC5 - 77, and click to download a large pdf (13.5 MB),

 

The judges' comments on Neston & Little Neston included these points that lost us marks:

 

1. Shops etc

Some shops in Town Lane (Little Neston)

Weeds along shop fronts and kerbs

Weeds in the car park behind West Vale shops

 

2. Railway, bus, etc

Bus shelter in Burton Road

Shabby red telephone boxes

Vandalised noticeboard in Stanney Fields Park

Noticeboards needing varnish

 

3. Pubs, etc

Greenland Fishery looking semi-derelict

 

4. Clubs, churchyards etc

Lamination on colliery display board at Quayside failing

Long grass in Parish Church graveyard at first visit

Weeds around churches (not URC or RC)

Area immediately around cemetery chapel not well presented

Weeds in Library garden

Wirral Way muddy in places

Two pole roundabouts in West Vale Park playground need repair

 

5. Verges, floral displays etc

Weeds in bed corner of Ladies Walk at first visit

Some allotments in Raby Park Road appeared near derelict

 

 

6. Litterbins, weeds etc

Weeds in many locations.

 

 

 

Community Pride Competition 2014- two awards!

Neston Civic Society

We love our town!

Events

In 2014, we again entered Neston & Little Neston in the Cheshire Community Pride Competition jointly with Neston Town Council.

Best Kept Village

Neston & Little Neston were in the category 5001 – 10000. We came 5/5, behind Frodsham, Upton by Chester, Weaverham, and Wistaston.

Best Community Web Site

Neston & Little Neston's web site neston.org.uk were in the Market Town category, and were Runners Up, after Poynton with Worth. Knutsford was Highly Commended.

The judges' comments on the web sites were general.

Little Gem Award

The Bushell Fountain

Judges' comments on the Best Kept Village competition for Neston & Little Neston 2014

Section l Shops, banks etc. Window displays. Paved areas (including parking ) 57/90

We were disappointed with the town centre due to the number of empty shops, some of which were particularly untidy. Shop windows, due to lack of suitable displays, had little to commend them, but the other retails outlets were clean and tidy. Paved areas were clean and tidy, particularly in the High Street. Parking areas were also clean and tidy.

Community Pride Competition 2013

Section 2---Railway station, bus shelters, telephone kiosks, schools and visible playgrounds/ playing fields, public toilets, public car parks, notice boards. 110/180

The railway station was clean, but there was a considerable amount of rubbish on the railway track adjacent to the platforms. All other sections were clean and tidy but nothing particularly outstanding.[Public toilets were not seen, and gained 0/30]

Judges' comments and marks for 2013

Section 3---Public Houses, restaurants, cafés. Commercial premises – Garden Centres, Industrial estates, Town hall, Library, Medical centres, Exteriors of Village halls, Civic centres, other meeting places. 119/150

All were clean and tidy but the exterior areas generally did little to improve the environment.

Section 4--Sports and social clubs, War memorials, historical artefacts. Chapels, Churchyards, Cemeteries, Public parks, Gardens, Recreational facilities, Children's play areas. 153/180

The frontage and cemetery to St Mary & St Helen's Church was exceptional with good displays of flowers in planters etc and the grassed areas were very well maintained. The grave yard was particularly well maintained and attractive. Stanney Fields Park was well maintained and attractive as was the skate board and games areas. The overall effect of the park was spoiled by the works area and rubbish dump which was untidy and very visible from the footpath. The Bushell Fountain in the High Street was an exceptional feature in the town with an excellent display of flowers.

Section 5--- Tidiness of verges, hedges, traffic islands. Floral displays, Hanging Baskets, Pots, Beds and Borders, Allotments. Ponds and streams. 65/120

Apart from the church facing the High Street and the Bushell Fountain, floral displays were limited but had been well maintained. Other areas, verges etc were good except for the entrance to the Wirral Way which was untidy and not well maintained and there was graffiti on a small sub-station building. [Allotments were not found and gained 0/30]

Section 6---Litter bins, adequacy, condition, absence of litter, graffiti, dog fouling, weeds, chewing gum. 155/180

There was an abundance of litter bins and all were well maintained and were not overflowing. There was very little graffiti around the town but some chewing gum was noticeable in the town centre. Dog fouling and weed control were to a very good standard.

We entered Neston & Little Neston in the Community Pride Competition, jointly with Neston Town Council. We took part in two litter picks, organised by our Treasurer, Janet Griffiths.

In Best Kept Village (large villages, 5,001 – 10,000) Neston & Little Neston were Runner Up.

In Community Web Sites (Market Towns) neston.org.uk was Runner Up.

A Little Gem Award was given for the Sensory Garden at Neston Library.

Section l Shops, banks etc. Window displays. Paved areas (including parking ) 65/90

General appearance of shop, banks, etc. was very good: no evidence of dog fouling, chewing gum residue. There were minimal weeds and litter along the shop fronts.

Window displays were good.

Paved areas were generally good, some very good: minimal litter.

The appearance of the high street and other shopping areas was very tidy.

Section 2---Railway station, bus shelters, telephone kiosks, schools and visible playgrounds/ playing fields, public toilets, public car parks, notice boards. 130/180

Railway station and surroundings were well maintained. Approach to the platform had some weeds: the platform itself was well maintained with a clean shelter, waste bins, and some floral displays: overall good.

The bus shelters were all maintained to a high standard save for one on Burton Road. The old red telephone kiosks were all in working order, but their appearance was poor, many with broken Perspex fittings. The areas surrounding both bus shelters and telephone kiosks were very good, minimal weeds, no dog fouling or graffiti: overall good.

Exterior of schools and playing areas very good: no litter, dog fouling etc.

The public toilets in the main car park appeared very good.

The appearance of the main car park was disappointing with many weeds. There were many weeds on some of the pathways from the car park. There was however no sign of litter or graffiti: overall acceptable.

Notice boards were very good. They appeared to be well maintained and the notices inside readable.

Section 3---Public Houses, restaurants, cafés. Commercial premises – Garden Centres, Industrial estates, Town hall, Library, Medical centres, Exteriors of Village halls, Civic centres, other meeting places. 110/150

Surroundings to the public houses and café were clean and tidy with no litter, dog fouling etc. Car parks were tidy with some weeds and some uneven surfaces, but generally good with no dog fouling, graffiti, or chewing gum residues.

Condition of the commercial premises at Clayhill industrial estate were overall acceptable. Some areas were very clean and tidy with no litter or weeds, in other areas weeds were much in evidence.

Town Hall and Job Centre appeared to be well maintained, surroundings very tidy: very good.

Surroundings to the Library and medical centre off Liverpool Road were free of weeds and litter, buildings well maintained: good.

Exteriors of the Civic Centre and British Legion were very clean and tidy. The Dee Scout Centre building and surroundings were excellent, the Neston Community and Youth Centre surroundings were acceptable, but some weeds around the car parking area: overall very good.

Section 4--Sports and social clubs, War memorials, historical artefacts. Chapels, Churchyards, Cemeteries, Public parks, Gardens, Recreational facilities, Children's play areas. 150/180

The Neston Recreation Centre appeared to be well maintained, free of litter and largely free of weeds, graffiti etc. The tennis courts looked very attractive, again free of litter: overall good.

The War memorial at Neston Parish Church on High Street was very well maintained with someattractive floral displays: nothing to detract from what was an excellently presented memorial.

Community Pride Competition 2012

Other memorials were generally well maintained, with the Bushell fountain at The Cross particularly attractive, being free of weeds, litter, etc, overall good.

Churches, chapels, churchyards and the large cemetery were all very well maintained. Grass had been cut where necessary creating a very tidy appearance: overall very good.

Stanney Fields Park was completely free of litter on the two occasions the judges visited. Similarly there was no evidence of dog fouling, graffiti, or chewing gum residue. Bedding plants were in the process of being put in around the stream that flows through the park: overall the park and gardens very good.

All the children's play areas that were visited had well maintained equipment that appeared to be in good working order with suitable landing areas where appropriate. Another pleasing feature of the play area was the provision of litter bins, substantial seats that were free of weeds surrounding them, and a total absence of litter and graffiti: overall very good.

Section 5--- Tidiness of verges, hedges, traffic islands. Floral displays, Hanging Baskets, Pots, Beds and Borders, Allotments. Ponds and streams. 65/120

Verges and hedges were in the main acceptable. There was evidence that some grassy areas had been mown recently, but, almost inevitably because of the wet weather, there were weeds in many places: overall acceptable.

The judges did not see as many floral displays in the town as had been expected, perhaps because of the poor recent weather the planting was a little later than usual this year. Areas in Stanney Fields Park were being prepared for bedding plants and the displays that were seen were very good: overall good.

It was evident that the allotments that were seen were being used: overall condition acceptable.

Condition of the stream flowing through Stanney Fields Park was acceptable although some banks were a little overgrown with weeds in places.

Section 6---Litter bins, adequacy, condition, absence of litter, graffiti, dog fouling, weeds, chewing gum. 155/180

Litter bins excellent. Litter very good. Graffiti excellent. Dog fouling excellent. Weeds poor. Chewing gum excellent.

We entered Neston & Little Neston in the Community Pride Competition, jointly with Neston Town Council. We took part in two litter picks, one organised by our Treasurer, Janet Griffiths. A Little Gem Award was given for the new gates in front of Woodfall School.

We did not reach the intermediate stage, the worst we have done. It seems that weeds played a part. Here are the judges' comments and the marks, for 2012:

Visited 11th May and 10th June.

Section l---Appearance of shops, banks etc. Shop windows. Paved and parking areas. 62/90

This was a good section on the whole- even closed-down shops were reasonably tidy.

The new market square was seen on market day and on a Sunday and impressed us on both occasions.

Section 2---Railway station, bus shelters, telephone kiosks, public toilets, school exteriors, notice boards and public car parks. 122/180

The station was well looked after but the weeds and long grass in its car park were a pity and such a contrast to the shop car park alongside.

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All school exteriors were a high standard.

Public toilets were also good.

The car parks were well marked out and litter-free.

There were some dated and curled up notices on boards but on the whole these were fine.

Section 3---Public Houses, restaurants, cafés. Industrial units, Town hall, Library, Medical centres, Village halls, meeting places and surrounds. 105/150

Another good section with litter-free car parks at public houses. The businesses at the entrance to Clayhill industrial area were not as well cared for as ones further in and had many weeds around. The recycling area was very tidy.

All meeting places were good.

The medical centre in town had a good car park and cared for garden borders.

Section 4--Sports and social clubs, War memorials ,historic artefacts. Churchyards, Cemeteries, Parks, Gardens, Children's play areas. 121/180

Despite the recent cleaning of the war memorial weeds had been allowed to grow from it. There were also weeds at the base of the crinkle-crankle wall.

The Bushell fountain looked good on our June visit.

Because of the poor weather some garden areas had not been replanted and some not yet cleared of previous displays.

The children's play areas vary from very good to poor. The Stanney Fields facilities are wonderful but children have to be taken there. The ones close to homes, where children might go alone, e.g. Marshlands road and Sytchcroft were not good.

Section 5--- Tidiness of verges, hedges, traffic islands. Floral displays, Allotments. Ponds and streams. 70/120

The hanging baskets in Little Neston shops area were attractive. The allotments in Marshlands road looked under-used.

The stream in Stanney Fields was attractive.

Section 6---Litter bins and litter, graffiti, chewing gum, dog fouling, Weeds. 122/180

A very good section for the size of the place and its number of inhabitants but the one area letting it down on both our visits were the weeds - they seemed to be growing everywhere!

We enjoyed our 2 visits and found Neston to be an interesting and attractive place.

Neston & Little Neston won their section of the competition in 2008. We did not enter in 2009 and 2010 because of the building of Neston's new supermarket and Market Square.

In 2011, in the category large village population 5001 - 10,000 we came 3rd/ 6, after Upton-by-Chester and Frodsham. We were awarded a Little Gem  for 'The Memorial at the Cross in the centre of Neston', i.e. the Bushell Fountain. (The organisers wrongly called this the War Memorial.)

The judges' marks and detailed comments:

Section 1

General appearance of shops etc 22

Window displays 16

Condition of paved areas including parking areas 25

The shops in use generally looked well kept and it is understandably difficult to maintain the good appearance of disused shops but dead long grass outside a shop near The Green was very noticeable. Paved areas and car parks were generally well maintained and kept fairly litter free.

Section 2

Railway station 25

Bus shelters, telephone kiosks 18

Exterior of schools and visible playgrounds/fields 25

Public toilets 20

Public car parks 25

Notice boards 28

The Railway Station platform with its planters was very neat and tidy. The bus shelters were clean and tidy but some of the paintwork looked neglected and there was a small amount of graffiti. The red Telephone Kiosks were very neglected and not only was the glass broken in the one in Brook Street but also rubbish had been dumped there. The noticeboards are well set in prominent positions and using the same design of board throughout the village is eye catching. The notices on the notice boards were excellently displayed and up to date. A couple of the boards could have benefited from minor maintenance - a touch of fresh varnish. There was very little litter to be seen outside the Primary Schools but the High School had quite a bit in evidence.

Section 3

Public houses, restaurants, cafes 25

Commercial premises, garden centres, industrial estates 20

Town halls, government offices 28

Libraries, medical centres 28

Village halls, civic centres 25

The Public Houses and their carparks were generally neat and tidy and most appeared to take great pride in their floral displays but disposal of cigarette ends seems to be a problem. There was a real litter problem at the northern most end of the Clayhill Industrial Estate - litter had accumulated in the corner among the bushes - largely "takeaway" litter.

Section 4

Sports and social clubs 25

War memorials 25

Other memorials and historial artefacts (stocks, water pumps etc) 26

Churchyards, cemeteries 25

Public parks, gardens, recreational facilities 25

Children's play areas 28

The areas planted with the summer bedding all looked welcoming and well tended. The area is well served with parks which were on the whole of a very high standard but we found some dog fouling on all even though very adequate bins were provided. We also found some litter on all except Stanney Fields Park. The children's play areas were of a very high standard.

Section 5

Verges, hedges, traffic islands 21

Floral displays, hanging baskets, pots, beds and borders 29

Allotments 21

Ponds, streams, canals 25

Worthy of note are the floral displays which give the village a well cared or air. The verges were neat and the area under the trees at the top of Mill Street was particularly striking. The allotments off Burton Road were maintained to a particularly high standard.

Section 6

Litterbins 26

Absence of litter 24

Absence of graffiti 26

Absence of dog fouling 25

Absence of weeds 25

Absence of chewing gum residue 18

Apart from the Clayhill Industrial Estate there was not a large amount of litter anywhere but there was some in most places we visited and noticeably more on our second visit when the weather had warmed up a bit. Taking into consideration the size and population of the area we found very little graffiti and very little dog fouling but enough to lose some marks. We found no dog fouling on pavements but some on the grass in each park/ recreation area. Chewing gum residue however was much more in evidence. There were some weeds in unexpected places eg round the front door of the Library and in the sensory garden on our second visit. On our first visit these areas were exemplary.

Little Gem Award

These awards were first given in 2010 for places looked after by volunteers that catch the judges' eyes. The judges listed three in Neston and Little Neston, in order of preference:

  1. The Memorial at the Cross in the centre of Neston
  2. A corner flower display in Park Street
  3. A bed of shrubs and flowers at the Parish Church of St Mary and St Helen