Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

The PDHS Needs YOU!

Apologies, as we don’t normally publish personal opinion pieces on the blog, but here goes….

Tomorrow it’s time once again for the PDHS show. Usually the  second major PDHS event, first Open Gardens then the Show, with summer sandwiched nicely between them. A chance to show off how kind the summer has been to our gardens, or how skillful we’ve been in mastering whatever the gods have thrown at us, after the early promise of open gardens. Sadly, as we all know, this year is a bit different. The cancellation of Open Gardens was a big blow to the PDHS and the village. You may have seen the note on the Show entry form “Prize money has been reduced to the loss of revenue from Open Gardens this year”. Open Gardens usually brings substantial revenue to the PDHS so this year they will be feeling the loss. But this doesn’t just affect the PDHS and their ability to run trips and events it affects the whole village. Over the years the PDHS have been extremely generous in sharing their funds with other organisations and groups in the village including this blog, so we will all be feeling the pinch. Speaking for the blog, we have annual costs for provision of web hosting, storage, etc which we would struggle to pay without the generous donations we receive from the PDHS.I’m sure other groups will be hit similarly.

So now it is our turn. Time to say thank you to the PDHS and give them our support, like they have supported us through the years, and make this the best show ever! Everyone with a garden, you have something growing you can enter in the show. Don’t worry if it wouldn’t win at Chelsea or Chatsworth, it’s just for fun and to support the PDHS, and you never know….

Then there’s the cookery section, we all fancy ourselves as the next Bake Off champion. Now’s your chance to shine and show off a little.

And for the kids, who can’t pick a jam jar full of flowers or take a picture of a tree?

So come on everyone it’s time to support the PDHS and thank them for what they’ve quietly done for the village over the years.

Steve J

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Online Safety

We received the following message regarding attempted fraud –

Diane and I have detected attempted fraudulent activity on one of our accounts.

The transaction appeared on our statement as JS Online grocery.

Fortunately, Diane picked up on this and it has been successfully resolved.

We would just like to warn others to be aware and to check statements for unusual activity.


Jim & Di T

While it is not certain how this particular fraud was accomplished with more and more of our lives being conducted online much of our personal data is at risk of compromise by fraudsters. If anyone is worried about their online security Derbyshire County Council are offering help and advice at



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Merry Christmas!


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Mrs Monty’s Uttoxeter Tips

16:45 Dartford Warbler

17:50 Midnight Magic

You heard it here first 🙂

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Merry Christmas!


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Kevin S writes:

As a user of O2 for my mobile phone for longer than I can remember, I have been getting increasingly frustrated by their intransigence and lack of respect for loyalty. Having just had another very unsatisfactory call with O2, I have now decided to leave for an alternative service provider.

I’ve currently got a very good offer from “3”, but since the mobile reception in the village is so poor, I would like to ask readers of the blog for their experience of the signal on “3” in Parwich.

Indeed, I am sure it would be interesting to everyone to hear people’s experiences on local reception for any of the service providers.

From my perspective, I feel that the O2 signal strength has been dropping of late – but that could just be a reflection of my frustration.

Kevin S

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Thursday 17th November 2011
at 8pm, Calver Village Hall

Please visit our website.  Contact us by email: or 01433 631436

“Peak ParkWatch are an independent organisation, and the opinions expressed on their website do not necessarily represent the opinions of the PARWICH.ORG blog team.”

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The planning application from Robert Gosling at Hill Top Farm has been registered with Peak District National Park. Application number: NP/DDD/0911/0933 Proposal: Erection of a single wind turbine and stone build plant rooms.

All the planning documents can been seen on the National Park website or by visiting the Peak Park at Bakewell.

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Keith P writes:

Half the houses for sale in Parwich are currently registered with the online estate agent Housesimple. One has already sold, subject to contract.

Nowadays, 80 to 90 per cent of houses are viewed by buyers online through portals such as Rightmove, Primelocation, Fish4homes, Zoopla and others, and this is changing the face of estate agency. Local estate agents are no longer the first port of call for a buyer; the internet is.

But if you want to put your house on the best internet sites, you can’t do so without going through an agent, which Housesimple will do for you. Local estate agents also put the houses on their books on Rightmove and Primelocation. The difference is in the price.

A house selling for £300,000 might have a local agent’s fee of £4,000. A house at £700,000 may attract a fee of £8,500 or more. On Housesimple, the fee is £425 + VAT in total, which is why half the properties in the village have now opted for the internet estate agent.

Who knows, you might even sell your house to someone else in the village. What’s the point in paying agents many thousands of pounds to do that, when you can get just about the same exposure for very little?

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John H writes:

Just to let you all know the Derbyshire Dales District Council has started (as of Wed Jan 5) to repair the section of footpath 21 from Croft Avenue to the squeeze stile by the electicity sub-station, between Croft Avenue and Church Walk.

Wednesday morning’s work involved four men, two lorries, a trailer, a van and a JCB digger – and they haven’t started laying tarmac yet! They are turning the former 0.9m wide footpath into a 1.8m wide ‘highway’ – as far as the squeeze stile. This work is being directed by Footpaths and Rights of Way.

I have pointed out to the workmen that the continuing footpath is 0.9m wide to the south of the squeeze stile and has no surface at all where it runs north through 9 Croft Avenue, but was informed that 1.8m was what they were told to provide.

I THINK THIS IS AN UTTER WASTE OF PUBLIC MONEY. A single man with a spade could have cut back the encroaching grass covering the underlying footpath in a few hours. The team working on this could have been more usefully employed filling in the holes in Alsop Road.

The Footpaths and Rights of Way officer has just returned my call, and has stated that 1.8m is the standard adopted wherever possible when they are reconstructing footpaths – whether it be in a conservation area or not, across public land or private land. He is also aware of the condition of the footpath alongside Smithy Close – are we going to see more tarmac there fairly soon?

These piecemeal ‘improvements’ are eroding the character of Parwich as creeping urbanisation. Do we realy need 1.8m footpaths, kerbstones, road signs and street lights, or are they being imposed upon us by County Hall bureaucrats wasting our money when it would be better spent repairing roads, providing care services and education?

As part of the Limestone Way, footpath 21, even in its ‘grassy’ state prior to this morning’s activity, was adequate for use by ramblers. As a local path, for use by village residents, it could have been better, but it did not need to be wider. In poor weather conditions, most villagers would choose to use alternative routes to avoid the hazards of the lower section of the footpath which still remain.

– John H.

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Memorial Hall use

Many people in the village will have received a flier advertising an event in the small meeting room at the Memorial Hall on Monday afternoon.  This has prompted the following email from Keith Parsons.  This email does not reflect the views of the Blog Team, who request potential commentors to confine their remarks to the issues.


On 22nd June I wrote to Mike Gerrard-Pearse to complain about his statement at the Hall AGM that non-local and business rates had now bee set for use of the new Hall.

Specifically he said, “Booking rates have increased as reported last year – local rates have increased by £1 or £2, non-local have increased by £5 & a new commercial rate has been introduced.”  (more…)

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We have received the following message from Sue H:

I sit in our kitchen and listen to the whoosh of cars or the great clanking of tractors that are simply going too fast. (For the most part lorries and vans approach at a much more acceptable speed). I can’t say whether vehicles are actually breaking the speed limit but they are certainly driving too fast to be safely under control. I really fear for a serious accident at some point. There have already been 2 kittens killed on the road and I hate the thought that at some point it could well be a child. We have 9 youngsters along this stretch, some of whom are old enough to be road savvy but others who will just be starting to venture out on their own.

Perhaps drivers are not aware that they are already in the village when they come down from Townhead. Or perhaps they think that they have already left all civilisation once past the Hall on their way up through Parwich Dale. Nobody seems to take notice of the existing “school” sign. I seem to remember someone mentioning Brassington’s idea for slowing down traffic at entry points to the village: white road markings and white fencing to give the impression of the road narrowing. Is this something we should be considering? Or what about setting a 20 mph limit through the village? Maybe this would be the only way to make people more responsible in their driving.

What do you think….?

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Summer Recess Update from our MEP

Bill Newton Dunn our MEP has emailed in his report for work carried out in the European Parliament. As any of us may not be aware of what our MEP’s do, you might like to read on.

Just to let you know that the European Parliament stops work at the end of this week. It will re-meet in Brussels on Monday 30th August. I expect to remain in the UK – so, if needed, can be reached at

The parliament’s work for the past six months has principally been about putting into effect the Lisbon Treaty (which came into effect in December).

In February, the new team of Commissioners took office. One of them, Baroness Ashton, was appointed High Representative for Foreign Affairs and has set about vigorously setting up the new “EU External Action Service” with EU embassies in most capitals of the world, to be staffed half by Commission officials, half by seconded national officials.

In March, MEPs threw out the “SWIFT” treaty. This had been agreed by the 27 national governments – whereby they would hand over to the US government access to all Europeans’ bank accounts – without any reciprocal arrangement for us to see into American bank accounts. MEPs shocked the governments and Washington by using new Lisbon powers to reject international treaties. “SWIFT” has been renegotiated, with much stronger safeguards for Europeans, and MEPs passed it last week.

The economic crisis continues. As always, Europe moves forward after a crisis, and this will result in stronger economic powers for Brussels. Britain – with its huge budget deficit – is in no position to gloat.
Have a good summer !


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Thursday 18 MARCH 2010
There will be the Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team Governance Meeting.

Everyone is welcome from all Tissington, Parwich, Bradbourne, Thorpe, Fenny Bentley & Kniveton.

It is a chance to air your views and it is an opportunity to speak to the team, including Sgt Steve EDWARDS and PCSO Kate CLEVELEY.

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Thank you Patti for the following:

Whilst I was writing the post ‘In celebration of a village wedding’ to thank the lovely people whose help towards the wedding was so greatly appreciated, it made me reflect on how lucky we all are to live in our wonderful village and I would like to share my own, very personal thoughts with readers of our village blog.

Our village is worthy of all those and other complimentary comments that visitors often make. Nature has provided us with a beautiful backdrop but it does take people and the community to provide the heart and the soul of the village. Parwich is the way it is today because over the generations scores of people have given their time and money to contribute to the general welfare of the community at various times.

We have had formal groups such as The Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council, The Village Action Group, Memorial Hall Committee and the Wakes Committee who work on behalf of the entire community and smaller groups and individuals who contribute to things they are interested in such as Historical, Horticultural, Women’s Institute, Mothers Unions, Scouts, Brownies, Guides, football clubs, and theatrical groups just to illustrate a few.

We have had groups whose campaigns have resulted in buildings and structures that we can all use such as public housing, hospitals, care centres, bowling greens, and sports pavilions and memorials halls. Not all of these groups or buildings are still here today but in their time served a purpose relevant to the community at that time.

A village is a living community that only survives by responding to its changing needs. However without the selfless, generous contributions that we all make, however small and unsung, we would not have this picture book village that makes such an enviable backdrop for our children’s weddings.

Patti Beasley

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Local Roads

Local roads have been feature in both yesterday’s Stunner and our local Police newsletter. Are the problems on the A515 and the B5056 related?

The Stunner: Series of crashes sparks new wave of safety worries – a string of crashes along the A515 between Ashbourne and Alsop-en-le-Dale has led to more calls for safety improvements.

PC Paul Cooper: Many people have commented on problems with the Temporary Traffic lights along the B5056. If they do not seem to be working correctly please let us know so we can call out the contractors. (Ring either Police Non Emergency 0345 1233333 or Call Derbyshire 08456 058 058) Some of the problems have been because they have had diesel stolen from them. If anyone is seen acting suspiciously near to the lights, or if any vehicles are parked nearby, please let us know so we can check them out.

Is this increase in incidents on the A515 between Fenny Bentley and Alsop-en-le-Dale just chance, or does it relate to an increase in HGVs following the raising of the low bridge at Fenny Bentley, or is the new 50mph speed limit a factor? Alternatively are the so called ‘temporary’ traffic lights on the B5056 resulting in more local traffic using this stretch of the A515?

Until the Highways (Derbyshire County Council) have a solution for the subsidence on the B5056 more vehicles will have to use the A515 and the awkward exits from Tissington and Alsop-en-le-Dale. Even when Highways decide on proposals for the B5056, things will necessarily get worse before they get better. What are your thoughts?

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To Bean or not to Bean – Broadly Speaking!

Apologies for the title of the post and my personal use of the blog but…

I’ve recently experienced a strange craving for broad beans (I’m not pregnant by the way). As it’s not bean season, I was wondering if anyone knew of a source of good quality, small, tasty and tender frozen broad beans, ideally with skins off (as I’m rather lazy at the moment).

I did grow some myself last year, they were OK but not great and the crop wasn’t sufficient to enable me to freeze my own. Does anyone have any tips for me for this year? Is there a certain variety that’s better than others (keeping in mind that flavour and tenderness are of great importance to me and I pick them young)? Should they be in rows, on a pyramid or in a square. Can they be grown well in pots? Is there any way to avoid all the insect things without chemicals (other than washing them off with a water spray)? How import is regular feeding?

All answers ideas gratefully received.

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Sandra S has contacted us with the following thoughts on the current state of the B5056 between Fenny Bentley and the Parwich turn-off, with particular reference to the so-called “temporary” traffic lights:

1. Traffic lights.

Whilst searching for information on another subject, I noticed that the B5056 used to be the A524. How much sooner would the traffic light problem be dealt with if the road was classified as an A-road, and why was it downgraded in the first place?

The amount of heavy lorries putting so much pressure on the road should surely mean that a substantial surface should be put down to take the weight, or the lorries should be re-routed onto an existing A-road.

We do see roads with signs for no more than 7.5 tonnes.

Perhaps someone would like to approach the council with the above questions. I did ask Highways some time ago why this very busy road was not called an A-road? I did not get an answer, but more of a mumble.

P.S The traffic lights are battery powered apparently, and over a weekend they can run out of juice.

2. Road safety near the Bentley Brook.

Because so many people from Parwich travel on the B5056 past the Bentley Brook pub, would they please be mindful that where the road sinks on a regular basis just prior to the pub, there is actually a gaping gap under the road there. One day, the road will give – and on a selfish note, I just hope that I am not the one travelling by at the time. Has anyone noticed the wall listing?

Lorries pass on the opposite side to the pub laden with goods. On the way back, they are empty. I am certain that if they were laden coming back, then many more places on the B5056 would be at risk.

3. The chevron sign.

A van collided with the wall at the bottom of Ravenscliffe Farm next to the B5056. The wall was damaged. Some of it was knocked down. The gate and posts were obliterated. The chevron sign was also knocked off of its posts and sent into our field. That happened in October 2007.

I consider the chevron sign to be quite important on a fairly sharp bend. The wall and chevron sign were only put back up by the council last week. It has taken one year to put right.

It is a shame the cement in the wall will not last, due to it having been done in frosty weather.

The 50 mph signs are a good thing to help with road safety, but I am not too amused by the fact that signs have been erected on our land without even a please or thank you!

– Sandra S.

For a recap on the current traffic light situation as we understand it… (more…)

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For those of you who may have missed yesterday’s Politics Show on BBC1, here’s a chance to catch up with the segment of the programme which featured Parwich residents (Lynette, Peter, Chris, Ray and Karen) expressing their desire to see greater democratic accountability within the Peak District National Park Authority. Well done to all of them for making their cases so eloquently.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

ADMIN: As the number of Parwich-related videos is beginning to stack up, we have added a separate VIDEOS section to the column on the right hand side of this page.

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Last Friday the Peak District National Park Authority debated the Government initiated consultation on whether there should be direct elections to National Park Boards. They came to the conclusion that given the majority of members come from elected bodies there is no need for any change, however they are keen to encourage local debate on these issues.

Although local people are much better represented since the creation of the 6 Parish Council Representatives, still less than half the members of the Peak Park Board live in the Park. Also although over 70% of them do come from some 18 different democratically elected councils (though with parish councils often not enough people stand for elections to be held), they are not elected by their constituents as Peak Park Board Members.

At present we have a complex hierarchy of local government, and would yet more elections just further confuse the web of Parish, District and County Councils and the National Park Authority?

However, can any of the 18 councils represented on the Peak Park Board individually have sufficient influence to make real use of their currently indirect democratic pressure. As one person said, in relation to the Board’s preference for the status quo, “would turkeys vote for Christmas“? What are your views? (more…)

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After a long time with a pretty severe back problem and lots of money spent trying to cure it, I have found an ace!  Stephen Marshall at Peak Osteopathy (Alport near Youlgreave) Tel 01629 636997.  He has straightened me out and I fell as right as rain at last.

Thank you to Don for giving us this invaluable information.

I would also like to say how much I have been helped  with a hip problem, from being in regular discomfort and needing cortisone injections, now I am currently pain free since being “worked over” by Stephen.

When you ring you need to leave a message and he is excellent about ringing you back promptly – as he works from home he will often be able to slot you in when other osteopaths make you wait for several days.  Another advantage with Stephen is that he is honest with you about how many sessions you might have to attend and whether or not it is a problem that he can help you with.  He is also very local.

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Thank you to Chris Elton for drawing the following to our attention. Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has issued a consultation document on the idea of setting up direct elections to National Park Authorities. The Defra website says:

Consultation on Direct Elections to English National Park and Broads Authorities
This consultation invites your views on the principle of Direct Elections to the Authorities and Parish Council Members on the Broads Authority.

Parliamentary consideration of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 and the Broads Bill 2007 has resulted in an ongoing issue about direct elections to the National Park and Broads Authorities. As a result, the Government is undertaking an open consultation to seek views from its stakeholders to explore whether directly elected members would aid or hinder the decision-making process and/or strategic functioning of National Park and Broads Authorities. It wishes to give its stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate the relevant issues and in order to inform this thinking, those issues are set out in the linked consultation document. It simply sets out the issues for information purposes only without any views or recommendations.

Comments on these proposals are invited by Friday 28 November 2008. They should be posted or e-mailed to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the following address:

Alasdair Grant, National Parks Policy and Sponsorship Branch, Zone 1/03, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6EB
Or email:

As residents of a National Park we are undoubtedly stakeholders. We suggests that as well as contacting Defra directly with your views it may be worth adding your comments below so that the Parish Council and/or the Village Action Group has some idea of the the community’s views as a whole.

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Thank you to Chris Elton for pointing out a press release on the Communities and Local Government website. Hazel Blears, Communities Secretary, speaking to the National Association of Local Councils in Eastbourne on 21st May praised Parish Councils, saying:

We are seeing a new era of modern ‘parish power’. It’s high time we got away from stereotypes that parishes are sleepy, out of touch operations. Parishes are about local democracy in action and I’m proud to be strengthening their arm.

As the smallest unit of local democracy, their small size belies the big impact they can have. The truth is new parishes can revive democracy, and modernise communities by putting more power into local people’s hands. That’s why we are boosting the power of parishes, devolving more power from central and local governments to local people.

Our forthcoming Empowerment White Paper will herald a significant shift of power, giving people a real say over the local issues that matter to them – schools, hospitals, police and housing. We need to learn from the best, and many parish councils are past masters at giving local people a voice. (more…)

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The Environment Group (Parwich Village Action Group) supplied the following:

Having argued for more public debate on the Peak District National Park Authority’s Parwich Conservation Area Appraisal we want to make our contribution available, so please click here to read the Environment Group’s comments on the draft consultation paper.

Although we felt the Authority had done a commendable job of describing the buildings and how the village evolved, we raised a number of relatively minor details, argued that the Conservation Area should be extended, pointed out that the Draft misrepresents Parwich village (Pawich is a living working community!) and suggested that further discussion is required on potential improvements not included. (more…)

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I have been driving up and down the A515 most weekdays for around 12 years. From 1995 when we lived in Doveridge, near Uttoxeter to work in Buxton, and from 2002 when we moved to Parwich. The past month, I have witnessed more dangerous driving incidents than most of those 12 years put together.

What has changed this past month? The speed limit has been reduced for most of the length between Ashbourne and Buxton from 60mph to 50mph.

On the face of it, one would think that reducing the speed limit would encourage safer driving, and I for one would certainly endorse a reduction in limit (to 40 or even 30) in inherently dangerous stretches such as the Alsop curves, Fenny Bentley and Brierlow Bar. However, a blanket 50mph along the whole stretch including Lean Low seems to be encouraging some really bad driving.

Many drivers have dutifully reduced their speed, however many don’t, and some appear to get frustrated with those who do observe the 50 limit which encourages dangerous overtaking manoeuvres at high speed. A great distance can be covered overtaking a vehicle traveling at 50mph, and drivers get themselves into trouble very quickly through a lack of judgement about how much road they have available.

Several times in the past month, I have come over the brow of a hill to find two cars abreast traveling toward me at relative closing speed of 100mph+. I honestly do not believe the road has been made safer in many stretches by the introduction of this blanket 50mph speed limit, and additionally there are very expensive looking solar and wind powered signs appearing along the length of the road, presumably to remind drivers to keep to the speed limit.

It doesn’t seem to make sense to me – I just don’t want to give in to the cynic in me which suspects an ulterior motive. What authority could possibly put revenue raising above safety considerations?


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The following was supplied by ‘a bemused Peak dweller’ (otherwise Peter T):

The commendable success of PARWICH.ORG, I feel, relates to the strength of our community and to neighbourliness. I had thought up to March of this year that I had understood the word ‘neighbour’, but, having been in correspondence with the Peak District National Park Authority on this matter, I now realise I have completely failed to understand this word. Hopefully readers will learn from my failure to grasp the extent of my own ignorance.

Somewhat naively I had assumed that ‘neighbour’ first and foremost means next door neighbour: ‘people that live in adjacent dwellings’. Many readers are probably shaking their heads, and wondering “Was he asleep at Sunday school? Doesn’t he know the Parable of the Good Samaritan?” (St. Luke chapter 10 verses 30-37). Indeed here Christ finishes with the question “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was the neighbour to him that fell among the thieves?”. Already there is more to the concept than first meets the eye.

I had previously voiced concern that the Peak District National Park Authority, unlike many local authorities, did not automatically inform people of planning applications that might affect their property, so I was very pleased to see they had introduced a Neighbour Notification Scheme for planning applications. (more…)

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