For a local authority or council, it is essential to ensure public places and facilities are well-maintained. Not only do they keep a town looking neat and tidy, but they also help people feel safe when they are in that particular area. This could be through additional lighting which improves visibility and can help reduce crime, or through general maintenance which reduces the risk of accidents.
One such authority that is taking that course of action is the Highland Council that covers much of northern Scotland. They have authorised work to be carried out on a much-used staircase in the city of Inverness. The Raining Stairs connect the city’s Castle Street and Hill and Crown areas and act as a popular thoroughfare for residents.
But despite their regular use, the stairs have suffered years of neglect, prompting the council to take action. The £20,000 facelift will see the steps cleared of weeds that have been allowed to grow over the years, causing a potential hazard to those using them. In addition, the handrails will receive a fresh coat of paint, drainage channels will be implemented and the steps will undergo a power washing treatment to leave them clean and free of graffiti.
The stairs are named after John Raining, an 18th century English benefactor who donated thousands of pounds to support charitable schools in the Scottish Highlands. Several schools were built in the area during the 1700s and 1800s as a result of his generosity, including the Raining School, which was situated at the top of the steps.
For a council to take action like this may seem like a small step in the grand scheme of things, but it can make such a big difference to a town as a whole. Having streets and paths that are clean, tidy, safe and presentable can make people feel so much better about the town in which they live, as well as offering a much more positive impression to people visiting from elsewhere. And word spreads. When people go somewhere, they tell their friends and family, whether the experience was good or bad, so it really pays for the powers that be to make the most of the area they are entrusted with overseeing.