I was interested to read of Councillor Andrews’s commendable efforts to improve the cleanliness of our streets by urging the council to invest more in equipment to remove chewing gum from the pavements. It struck me however as a low key issue compared with other issues, particularly the general state of our pavements.
I am constantly concerned that my wife will either trip or fall on the uneven surfaces that present themselves when visiting Earlsdon shops. This, coupled with the hazard of negotiating cars, vans and even lorries parked on our pavements, is a very real problem, particularly for older citizens and people with disability. The damage caused by these parking practices is plain to see. A very good example is outside the City Arms, where the beer lorry can often be seen parked totally on the pavement, despite the pub having a perfectly useable car park. And yet nothing is done.
The speckling of chewing gum on our pavements is certainly far from aesthetically pleasing but it is no threat to life and limb. The general state of our pavements on the other hand most certainly is. I would like to see Councillor Andrews’s undoubted energy focused more on the real priorities which face us in Earlsdon. The chewing gum issue can surely wait.
ECHO invited Councillor Andrews to respond and he replied:
Whilst I accept that the removal of gum may be considered a ‘low key’ issue compared with other issues, I can assure readers that I am able to campaign on numerous fronts simultaneously. The ‘street pride’ scene is a regular complaint I receive from residents and my work on gum removal was a response to a rise in complaints about chewing gum, specifically on Earlsdon Street.
I have done a great deal of work to campaign for numerous issues in Earlsdon, including for better pavements. In the ward, a total of £165,000 has been spent on improving pavements in this financial year. Specifically in Earlsdon Street, we have explored bollards to protect the pavements from things like business delivery vans, but we received objections on highways grounds based on bus movements and traffic flow. With regard to the City Arms, I can assure you that I have raised this matter previously with highways officers, and we have written to Wetherspoons to raise this concern.
I work very closely with my ward colleagues, Cllr Ken Taylor and Cllr Michael Hammon, to lobby for funding for pavement improvements and we have had some success in the ward. We are also working with the bus companies to protect local services, we campaigned successfully to protect the clock roundabout, and regularly support local residents with numerous endeavours. I also led the campaign at the Council House to return the Earlsdon Festival to the community, which is now made possible thanks to the extreme dedication of local volunteers.
I can assure readers, that by campaigning for one particular issue it does not mean that I am downgrading other issues. I of course recognise the need for better and safer pavements in some areas, and I am regularly out and about in Earlsdon gauging the views and opinions of local people.
Cllr Allan Andrews
THERE IS A CALL FOR REAL ALE
This letter is in response to one we printed late last year. Unfortunately we received it in December during the two month gap between issues and then due to a mistake on our part it did not appear in the February issue, for which we apologise.
I am told that someone wrote in recently and misquoted me as saying that there was no call for cask ales here. Just to clarify. When I first took over in August we did not have many customers asking for cask ales. Some customers started to ask for it from end of September time and I got in some Hobgoblin to try it out. Obviously, cask ales are tricky as they have such a short shelf life. I needed to ensure that I would have enough real ale drinkers in to sell it all so that it was not wasted. The first barrel – there was some waste, the next one a bit less. It has had to be a gradual process to ensure the good quality of beer is always served, but trying to keep waste to a minimum.
Now I am normally offering a choice of 2 cask ales – a combination of either a medium, a light or a dark one, including the very popular Marstons EPA. Clearly, in order to maintain our high standards of real ale and to be able to continue to sell it, we need plenty of real ale drinkers to keep coming here!
I know from personal experience that the Albany was a well known cask ale pub. I worked here back in 1977-78 (my first job when I left school at 16 years old) and when Anne and Cliff ran it, we sold different cask ales such as Marstons Pedigree. As this pub is a traditional old pub, I would very much like to continue with the cask ales and increase the choices. So real ale drinkers – please take note – the Albany Pub sells cask ales again!!