MALVERN Civic Society and Malvern Town Council are both quite right to worry about the state of footways in the centre of the town.

Great Malvern is a town of unique charm, with historic buildings dating from medieval time - the Priory, the Abbey Gateway - to Victorian times.

Independent traders are working hard to ensure that the town remains a vital retail centre, in the face of competition from the internet, and from edge-of-town retail developments.

But it is essential that their efforts are complements by a determination to make sure the town centre’s pavements and street furniture are in good order.

Malvern is a tourist destination, and therefore it is quite worth while spending the money to ensure that the town presents its best face to the world.

Blocked trains and cracked and uneven paving stones do not create a good impression.

And the sad state of the bench outside the former tourist information centre at the top end of Church Street contrasts strongly with the smart benches recently installed outside the post office and in other locations.

Local authority budgets are always constrained, but this work must be made a priority.

With the help of the civic society, which has put in many long voluntary hours scouring the town to locate and document the areas needing attention, the relevant authorities now have no excuse not to take action.

And can we also make a plea to the owners or tenants of business premises to ensure that their facades are in good order? It all helps.