We are constantly told what a splendid little town we are lucky to live in, which is true, but we should never lose sight of the fact that there are things around us which could, and should, be better.

This means spotting things requiring attention and making our town council aware of them by reporting it at the town hall reception desk, not to councillors on the street, but at the office where it will be properly recorded.

Every effort will then be made to get the problem rectified if it is practical to do so.

There used to be surveyors out looking for items needing repair, but in these days of cutbacks and austerity not many inspections take place. It is now down to us, the general public, and it really is not too much to ask of us.

Many people, and particularly those travelling by bus, will have noticed the poorly-constructed bus shelter near our toilets. The shelter legs were never properly fixed down and the glazing did not fit properly into the frame. As a consequence, it looked pretty untidy and then a vandal kicked out the panel.

Repairs were quickly and efficiently undertaken by a competent engineer, who then also fixed down the shelter legs for the first time.

Many townspeople will know that Buttercross spent all his working life in the construction industry, and a lot of this covered maintenance of buildings, infrastructure and services.

Some maintenance involved preventative maintenance, this involving identification of items that were showing early signs of failure, or are indeed were beginning to fail, and then dealing with them before even more urgent and costly repairs, or even renewal, was required. A few pounds spent now rather than a lot of pounds later.

Accepting this obvious approach seems unfortunately to be beyond many property owners around our town, and particularly landlords to many shops. During the frequent recent rainy spells many shoppers will have been soaked by leaking and broken guttering high above our heads.

Broken rainwater pipes spew water from the sides of some shops and channel gratings crossing pavements from rainwater discharges are blocked, with overflowing water then flowing across the surface. With frosts, they will become slip hazards for pedestrians.

While mentioning various areas that, if tidied, would make such a difference to the overall appearance of our town, the biggest one of all must be the Shambles, in our town centre. How well named it is.

Decisions will have to be made on how this whole area can be tidied and improved, and by whom. The problem will not go away, it will only get worse and certainly more expensive to solve the longer it is left.