Trevor John Orton

Grew up in an attic on Queen Street

Distinguished military career and former Estates Services Manager for 500 properties.

PHOTO inc.

When are the good people of Colchester going to rise up and take a stand against a cultural lack of Civic Pride as demonstrated by run down grot spots, tatty nooks and crannies, dirty toilets, unsafe underpasses, chewing gum ridden pavements, substandard shop frontages and mountains of litter?

This amazing town, with all it has to offer is visually a disgrace. The proliferation of fast food, plastics and the disposable culture hasn’t helped but I really think it is time we address the appearance of our beloved ancient market town. I repeatedly see with my own eyes tarmac poured over broken stones and slabs, trees uprooting pavements, gaffa tape holding together broken lampposts – this isn’t good enough and we must demand better of those in charge. Some of the temporary, and no doubt emergency fixes seem to last for months in some cases years. I’ve lost count of how many times the lift in Priory Street has broken down – this is a prime example of a lack of care in our town and it is unforgivable for those who suffer from limited mobility.

I note that thousands of pounds of expenditure is planned to be spent on television adverts to promote Colchester but my concern is that if it is successful in attracting people here they will be disappointed by the standards of care in our streets.

As a simple resident, like many others I speak with, I despair and feel ashamed that our amazing town is being allowed to fall into disrepair. The situation could easily be rectified with the authorities admitting that extra resources are needed to address these basic standards on our streets. A maintenance team could be set up, the town split into sections and working on a rota basis could be a solution. By upgrading the town people would immediately feel pride and in turn this might attract more visitors to come and enjoy Colchester.

Your readers will note that there are local elections (again) this May. I challenge the current councillors, of all colours, to step up and explain how they will work to ensure that standards improve. I’ve attended eight Full Council meetings since 2016 emphasising these issues and have presented detailed photographic evidence but I’ve not seen enough action from either Colchester Borough Council or Essex Highways.

You may ask why I bother, why, because this is my town. I was born here in 1941 and it’s a town I love and care about. I spent twenty years travelling the world in one of the country’s top military units where leadership and management skills were essential. Following this I spent eight years re-adjusting young offenders and twenty years in London where I was responsible for the management of 500 properties. Despite all of this I’ve always considered Colchester my home and to see it in this state angers and depresses me. I feel I have a responsibility to at least try and make a difference.

My life expectancy is now limited, it may only be a couple of years. It would be gratifying to able to close my eyes for the last time with a smile on my face knowing I had made a difference. I fear unless we see radical political determination I may be disappointed but I passionately believe now is the time for businesses, residents and politicians to stand up, raise the standards and restore Civic Pride back to Colchester.