‘It shows residents are prepared to get things done’ - councillor leads the way to restore pride of Chatteris

PUBLISHED: 17:38 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38 03 July 2020

Cllr Julie Smith next to the New Road sign in Chatteris she has worked on in a bid to revive some of the town’s street signs that are in need of repair. Picture: DAN MASON

Cllr Julie Smith next to the New Road sign in Chatteris she has worked on in a bid to revive some of the town’s street signs that are in need of repair. Picture: DAN MASON

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A councillor is leading the call for change as she aims to restore some of her town’s pride for years to come.

Julie has also been working on the last remaining telephone box in Chatteris. Picture: DAN MASONJulie has also been working on the last remaining telephone box in Chatteris. Picture: DAN MASON

Cllr Julie Smith of Chatteris Town Council has thought about repainting some of the town’s street signs for months, with some of them in need of urgent repair.

The idea came after Cllr Smith directed a stranger to West Park Street, having initially found nearby Park Street and East Park Street.

Now, she is already putting the finishing touches to the New Road sign off High Street, in a bid to revive the town’s character.

“There are lovely old cast iron signs we want to keep in good condition,” she said.

Some of the street signs in Chatteris in need of urgent repair. Pictures: BRIAN HEMMENTSome of the street signs in Chatteris in need of urgent repair. Pictures: BRIAN HEMMENT

“It would be such a pity to lose the cast iron signs so that is why I think it is important to keep them.”

Cllr Smith said she has spoken to Fenland District Council (FDC) if the West Park Street sign can be taken down to be repaired, with many positioned high on the side of buildings.

Although she has not received a response from FDC on whether they can help, Cllr Smith, who has also been working on the town’s remaining telephone box on Wood Street, hopes fellow residents can lend her a helping hand.

MORE: New mayor of Chatteris is Councillor Linda Ashley

“Passers-by came by me and said ‘well done’. I would like to think they would get done because if people see how nice one looks, they may think it would be great to get the rest done,” she said.

“I think working on the signs will make someone visiting the town think it’s taking pride in itself, looking smart and attractive.

“I think it also shows residents that we have community spirit and prepared to muck in and get things done.”

However, some residents have shared mixed views on the issue. One said “if they are all rusty, it gives a bad impression of the town”, while another believes “they would be completely spoilt if they were painted”.

Cllr Linda Ashley, mayor of Chatteris, praised the work of her colleague and said she will take the matter into consideration.

“The signs have been part of my growing up and we do take them for granted, but for Julie to take it on herself is a marvellous thing,” she said.

“I think the signs are part of Chatteris and part of our heritage and people are interested in that.

“We’ve not been able to talk about the signs, but it is something we will be discussing and something I will intend to discuss.”

Fenland District Council has been contacted for comment.

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