CASH has now been made available for improving the appearance of the larger village centres in the Denby Dale district.

Work in Denby Dale and Skelmanthorpe is scheduled for this year and next.

Ward councillor Maggie Blanshard said: “Among several possibilities in Denby Dale are railings outside the library and the ‘Triangle’ at the junction with Cumberworth Road. The old public toilets have already been sold. Grants are also available to improve shop fronts.”

As part of her environment remit on Denby Dale Area Committee, Clr Blanshard has championed the resurfacing of the Denby Dale footpath from Cumberworth Lane to Gilthwaites First School.

Writing in the community newspaper Denby Dale Rose, Clr Blanshard said: “This work is now complete and has been well received by the parents, children, teachers who campaigned for it to be done.

“Moves are now afoot to add a spur to this path to link it to Leak Hall Crescent – a route which has been used informally for many years,” she said.

“And the area committee is looking at ways to improve villages and has a modest budget to help with this.

“In Skelmanthorpe the flower bed by the Co-op car park has been replanted and folk in Birdsedge would like some feature to signal the start of their village – a Gateway scheme – to improve recognition of the village and deter speeding on the main A629 Penistone Road through the village.

“Another idea is to provide an information board near the Denby Dale viaduct which is such an important part of the history and identity of our area.

“One suggestion from Emley was to spruce up the shelter in the Festival of Britain Memorial Garden and we understand Denby Dale parish councillor Eddie Shaw has already arranged this with Kirklees Council.

But on the down side Clr Blanshard is critical of the “shoddy work” done to the main road through Denby Dale.

“Despite all this extra investment, we have recently had real problems with the resurfacing of the road. The top dressing of chippings has been badly washed away, collecting at the sides and on the pavements – both an eyesore and a danger.

“I have pursued this with the Highways Department who have had the area swept – but the road really does need resurfacing properly,” she added.