SEVERAL members of the Derwent Valley Council undertook a site inspection at Willow Court today. Mayor Martyn Evans, Deputy Mayor Craig Farrell and Councillors Barry Lathey, James Graham, Scott Shaw and myself had a good look around the oval precinct - which includes the sportsground and four major adjacent buildings.
One or two of my councillor colleagues mentioned that this should have been done a long time ago, and I certainly don't disagree. It also served as an impromptu brainstorming session and the ideas came thick and fast. I believe that Mayor Evans will set aside most of a future council workshop to document those ideas we came up with today - and more. I will let you know when that session is held, so you can join in and share your ideas for the site.
What did we talk about? Heaps. A men's shed. A community arts centre. A home for the Derwent Valley Players. A "middle school". Cheap rooms for artists, potters, weavers, anyone arty. A gallery space. Restaurants and cafes. A man in a van selling chips and handing out leaflets. Krispy Kreme doughnuts. And the biggie: Regular open days at the barracks sooner rather than later; not wishing our lives away while waiting for a multi-million dollar development. What are your ideas? Share them here as feedback or send me an email.
After our look around Willow Court we reconvened at the courthouse for a working bee to establish a councillor's room there. While there we chatted with two members of the Derwent Valley Regional Arts about their ideas for Willow Court.
From there, Crs Evans, Farrell and myself went for a look at the nearly completed performance stage at Tynwald Park (Cr Shaw had been there earlier in the day). It's not the sound shell we were promised, but it's a bigger and more useful stage which will be enclosed at a later date.