A GROUP of Cirencester residents concerned about the appearance of their town have taken matters into their own hands.

Members of the Park Community Group last week carried out a ‘place check’ of Cricklade Street, looking at the state of the road and what could be done to make it more appealing to visitors and residents alike.

Although the street is one of the town’s main shopping areas with retailers including Dorothy Perkins and Boots, many have expressed concerns that the appearance of the road is very poor, conveying a bad impression to visitors.

The idea was the brainchild of Cotswold District Council ward member Cllr Lee Searles (Lib Dem), who explained the group was using a template developed by the Urban Design Alliance (UDA) whereby members could record a problem, what should be done to deal with it and who is responsible.

"The premise of this is we could walk down Cricklade Street and everyone would probably point to the paving and the general state of the road," he said. "We need to look at the very small things like stickers or dangling wires which add to the feeling of the place.

"We need to think about who is responsible for these things – it may be the council or the shop owner or someone else."

Issues raised during the hour-long check included hanging wires, graffiti and stickers on lampposts and the dilapidated state of some of the buildings.

Group member Meg Blumsom said she was concerned the state of some areas of the town was deterring visitors.

"Cirencester used to be a very smart town in comparison to Tetbury," she said.

"It’s gone downhill since then "It hasn’t got the ‘let’s stop for a coffee’ factor any more and that’s crucial."

Group deputy chairman Patrick Moylan said he hoped other community groups in the town would follow their lead, saying: "I think we will find the whole of the town is behind what we are trying to do".