Thursday, 11 August 2011

Councillor Stephen Fenwick, Liberal Democract Councillor for Worcester Park Ward writes:

"The riots and attacks across most parts of London are shocking and despicable. This sort of violence is an act which should not happen in a modern city, particularly with the Olympic Games under a year away.

Seventeen boroughs were affected by violence in the last few days, with devastating consequences. A lot of police forces in the worst hit boroughs were a little unprepared for the violence which occured. The fact that there was little direction from the Government and a hinderence by Scotland Yard to act swiftly against the mobs resulted in more chaos and damage to people's lives, livehoods and futures.

During a period on Monday night when parts of Croydon and other boroughs were being destroyed by mindless idiots who have no sense of morality or even conscience, Sutton's police force - working with the Council and other intelligence - made sure that as many parts of the Borough were protected. 

Whilst there was a small amount of damage to premises in Sutton and Rosehill, attempted break-ins and lootings by some gangs were halted by Sutton police. Credit must be given to them and others who monitored the situation in Central and outer London to make sure that residents across the whole of Sutton borough were best protected. 

In Sutton High Street, police intercepted many gangs to stop their attack and police patrolled all parts, including North Cheam and Worcester Park to ensure no trouble occurred. 

On Tuesday night, all of London and many parts of the UK were put on alert for more attacks. Sutton police - alert to ensure all parts of the Borough were protected - ensured that shops closed early and that extra patrols across the whole of the Borough were out to deter potential rioters and criminals.

Sutton had relatively minimal damage, mainly due to the quick work of both the police and the Council to ensure our residents, traders and the shops were best protected.

When I watched the riots unfold on the rolling news channels Monday night, I had two concerns. The first was for myself and my family - would we be at risk from any looters or rioters? But also on my mind was the safety of the residents, their houses and the shops in Worcester Park. 

I hoped and prayed that any part of Sutton would not get devasted, particularly Worcester Park. It didn't. 

Many residents on The Hamptons have contacted my colleague and I recently about arson attacks on damage done to the estate there, particularly as there are four access points which are either not properly locked or have no proper gates to them.

At present, we are working with Sutton council and St James's Housing to ensure proper security can be installed, particularly after this week's events. However, I would also like to ensure that all parts of Worcester Park are safe so that no damage can ever be done by looters or attackers in the future. Whilst I am not a NIMBY, as ward councillor for Worcester Park, I am concerned for the safety of all residents, shops and houses. 

Whilst not trying to heighten fears of riotous attacks, I am as much concerned about the level of grafitti and other minor vandalism which sporadically occurs in the ward. The residents of Worcester Park - in both Sutton and Kingston are well protected and the council and police will work hard to ensure that no damage is done in the next few days. 

Moreover, we - and myself - are committed to ensuring that Worcester Park is a both a ward and a town where crime is low and that residents do not have suffer from the pains of graffiti or other crimes. Ensuring that we can find the available funds and the right directions - with the assistaance of all residents, regardless of politics, but with a common aim of improving Worcester Park - this can be achieved."

60 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

axlrocky said...

Exactly what is the point of this long diatribe - I've read it twice and it doesn't seem to have much of a point past slagging the police in the first paragraph [ "a hinderence by Scotland Yard to act swiftly against the mobs resulted in more chaos and damage to people's lives, livehoods "] and then praising them in the next breath.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I am personally appalled that he would besmirch the efforts of the Met Police in what has been a difficult and stressful time for all levels of the organisation.

and what does this sentence mean: "Moreover, we - and myself - are committed to ensuring that Worcester Park is a both a ward and a town where crime is low and that residents do not have suffer from the pains of graffiti or other crimes. Ensuring that we can find the available funds and the right directions - with the assistaance of all residents, regardless of politics, but with a common aim of improving Worcester Park - this can be achieved"

Could we please have some examples of what he has in the pipeline to back these bold claims?

Anonymous said...

"This sort of violence is an act which should not happen in a modern city, particularly with the Olympic Games under a year away."

Oh please. Stop trying to link the Olympics to all of this. Noone gives a toss about the Olympics.

The Joker said...

So Mr Fenwick, you come on this blog to try and get your self some credit for the well being, safety & happiness of all in Worcester Park & surrounding areas out of these dreadful riots. YET !![Typical Lib-Dem wishy washy left wing tripe]. When we want you or you mates to come on here and explain what the hell is going on with more major road works...........NOTHING. .. YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. That is typical of this council, always banging your own drum on how good you are doing but not facing up to things when they go wrong. your ''i know best'' way, explain to us your version of co-ordinated road works. We are going through hell [AGAIN] at the moment, wait until the kids go back to school, but i expect your to busy going around the borough sorting out crime & riots...............PATHETIC [P.S. I am of no party, a floating voter you might say,i just like to have my say].

Anonymous said...

I think we should stop the olympics right now and use the money that is left to rebuild the damaged properties and maybe build a new jail for all the thugs!

Anonymous said...

why waste more money on these thugs? jail is too easy an option, the problem is discipline and respect for others and the only answer to rehabilitate these fools is national service, then they will have some respect as it will be drilled into them as their parents and our society have let them get away with too much in fear of them.

Jeff said...

What a load of self promoting twaddle. Wow am I now supposed to feel more reassured by this statement, from such a opportunistic set of rather obvious and non accountable sytatementss. Typical of Lib Dem!

As per previous post, I think most of us are more concerned about another six months of road work congestion in Worcester Park. What have all these self promoting politcos got to say to get that sorted ?

Anonymous said...

What is so special about The Hamptons that they should have locks on the entry-points? Turning it into a 'gated-community' sort of defeats all of the marketing that took place prior to it being built that it should be a publicly-accessible part of WPark.
Moreover, the incidents there might suggest that the problem is from within that estate.

Maybe they should have locks on the entry-points to keep the residents locked in.

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Anon 9.02am - re locks on Hamptons and problems from within the estate... what are you about, and more importantly, what are you on?

Anonymous said...

Car abandoned and set on fire in malden road next to bus stop leading up to w park main line station.

Anonymous said...

"What is so special about The Hamptons that they should have locks on the entry-points?"

Try having your house at the alleyway to Browning Avenue and suffer arson attacks, graffiti to house and car, bricks through windows and damage to front door.

The request for gates is only to prevent late night access, whilst still remaining accessible for commuters etc during the daytime.

Those of with you with some sort of inferiority complex against the Hamptons - getting so-oooo boring now.

Jeff said...

These rioters and looters do not feel themselves to be part of the British community. If you feel part of the community you don't do things like that to your neighbours.

On TV yesterday some of these hoodlums tried to excuse their crimes by saying they were out of work and couldn't afford plasma screen TVs.

In the 1930s many British working people were unemployed and near starvation, their children barefoot and they lived in slums. But they didn't attack, terrify and steal from their neighbours because they still felt part of the British community. Instead they organised the Jarrow March on Parliament.

These rioters who don't feel part of the British community must leave our country.

Anybody convicted should have their British citizenship removed and they should be deported. Perhaps we could pay the Somali government to take them in, they'd probably feel at home there with all the violence going on.

The majority of Black people in this country are as angry about the looting as everybody else and must not be demonised because most of the looters were clearly Black.

Jushy said...

Jeff you're a racist jerk, I'm surprised your comment was approved for publication.

Anonymous said...

what on earth are you talking about.What is racist about Jeff's post on the 14th.
The majority were black but there were also a lot of white criminals. and he is correct if any were immigrants, then they should lose the right to live in this country if they cannot abide by the laws of this country.

axlrocky said...

4th day with no retort from our illustrious coucillor?

Anonymous said...

Commuters don't necessarily work 9-5pm. What about those returning on foot to the Hamptons at 11pm? Are they expected to traipse down Green Lane first or get a taxi home?

Locks - the first I've heard of them - may prove dangerous because of the tunnel nature of the Hamptons. In the event of an attack, where do people flee? Into the parkland and beyond?

If the matter of vandalism is as serious as it sounds then I suggest you write to the authorities about a police presence. At least they should be able to catch the culprits, rather than direct them elsewhere because of your locks.

Oh, if you want a truly "eyeballing" experience then I suggest you push a pushchair/buggy through the Hamptons and uphill. There must be some automatic assumption that you are a scrounging single mother on the estate. Not the case, I'm afraid. Should I wear a suit and lipstick next time for your graceless lot?

Little Smiff said...

"I hoped and prayed that any part of Sutton would not get devasted......" A touch ironic that Councillor Fenwick is using the blog to express his opinions but obviously hasn't been reading the articles about spelling mistakes. Easily done Mr. Fenwick but next time you want to indulge your views over the public media at least use the spellchecker.

Anonymous said...

Two points:

1) If the Hamptons can become a 'gated community', does that mean other areas of Worcester Park can request the same?

A house in my street was burgled a few weeks ago and there is graffiti on some fences so can we get a a gate as well?

2) A more general point. Residents of Worcester Park are also in Epsom & Ewell - not just Sutton and Kingston.

This is constantly overlooked on this blog.

Anonymous said...

"What about those returning on foot to the Hamptons at 11pm?"

Use the main entrance on Green Lane, obviously. And this approach is supported by the police, so your suggestion of writing to them is void.

As for your "eyeballing" comment, you really are full of utter about making cr@p up for no good reason at all.

It's people like you spouting such nonsense that gives the local hoodlums the opinion that "posh Hamptons lot" are fair game. And that's why people like me don't like people like you.

Jeff said...

How dare 'Jushy' call me racist and suggest my comment should be censored.

If he/she was fully literate he would have noticed that the only time I mentioned the race of most of the looters was to point out that the majority of Black people are as angry as anybody else and should not be demonised.

the joker said...

axlrocky.......i'm surprized that your surprized, our super hero councillor is to busy saving us from the hundreds of rioters & looters in W Park than to bother with a little matter like MORE road works. To be truthful..WHAT DOES HE ACTUALLY DO FOR US IN W Park. Answers on a postage stamp please...
and Jushy there is nothing racist in Jeffs post that is why it has been approved so please stop using the racist card it makes you look rather silly.......

Gordo's Neighbour said...

We've recently had a discussion on the access issue concerning the Hamptons on this blog, but I'll repeat a few salient points here.

The Hamptons is not and will not be a gated community as residents have covenanted to provide the public access to Mayflower Park. The plan is to close - late at night - some of the more remote and hidden access points (such as Browning Ave/Heatherlea Grove and Pigs Alley) and to reopen them in the mornings.

It has been the experience of residents since these entrances were opened up three years ago that these two entrances are popular with those we identify as 'troublemakers'. We've recently also seen a recurrence of serious vandalism of the houses adjacent to the entrances in question, and a sad case of the theft of a swan and a signet. They're dark (as the lights are constantly being vandalised) and some residents would prefer not to use them when returning on foot after 11pm. The Browning Ave entrance in particular was opened to provide access to the S3 bus service, which doesn't run 24 hours.

So no, we're not locking up entry points - just closing off the dark alleyways late at night and reopening them in the mornings. Entry by way of Green Lane (brightly lit, monitored by security) will remain open 24/7.

axlrocky said...

sounds sensible Gordo's neighbour, I think you'll find that unless things have changed since I lived there some of the unruly street urchins actually live within the walls so you may actually be locking them in, my car was vandalised several times, but it may have been Lib Dem councillors,[rather than kids] upset at challenging blog posts!

axlrocky said...

Day 5 and still silence from the lib dems by the way - also no sign of anything from MP Paul Burstow who promised an email via twitter.

I am willing to give Lord Burstow the benefit of a week as he has to play big boy politics in the westminister sandbox but the clock is ticking!

Anonymous said...

I think the Worcester Parkers should hold a meeting say £2 entry fee to fund hire of a hall and discuss the downward spiral of W Park. I have noticed it over the years certainly and there is no reason whatsoever why us as residents can't do something about it! Tidy up the front gardens, pick up rubbish in the street outside your house, a pain I know but if tings are tidy it dicourages others (that has been proven apparently) to rubbish them. Have a very strong neighbourhood watch presence (I for one would be more than willing to do one night a month for instance) - why don't we all make Worcester Park the nice place that it quit frankly should be!!! Anyone else in agreement - I can't do this on my own!!!

Anonymous said...

Supported by the police?

The police have no right to close a public right of way. Sutton council (highways) do - and have to make alternative provision to ensure people can get home safely.

There has always been a thoroughfare between Browning Avenue and what is now the Hamptons - not sure whether it was there pre-sewage works or whether it served a small playing areas.

I'll get on to the councillor (if I have time) and point out that Mayflower Park is for the use of all members of the community and that access points were terms and conditions as set out by Sutton.

I'll suggest he contacts Paul Burstow, who is very familiar with the situation and the appalling social divide (children on the housing association estate having to change primary schools because of barriers erected by St James's Homes).

The Hamptons is increasingly becoming a cowboy town.

axlrocky said...

put some names on these comments boys and girls, unless your actually called anonymous, in which case make something cool up!

Anonymous said...

Yes anon (9.22am), I agree that residents should take action to improve the community and I would be willing to be involved. But I would also suggest that we actually need to work with the Council to develop a community plan for WP. I know this may sound like a bureaucratic exercise but this is very much needed to set out a strategy for the long term improvement of Worcester Park. At the moment the residents have no real input into what they want for the area and the Council just seem to occasionally do random schemes in an ad hoc way with no clear direction. Whether people like it or not, we are reliant on the Council as the gatekeeper for funding and believe me that in Council world having a written plan with a list of scheme ambitions will help prioritise WP for improvements and make it easier to attract funding when opportunities come up. This is especially important for WP due to the boundary issues and lack of coordination between boroughs so I would suggest that all 3 boroughs should be signed up to this as well as Transport for London. I think Sutton Council already have strategies in place for other areas like Sutton town centre, Hackbridge and Wallington (I think?), which is probably one of the reasons they get more attention than WP. The community plan should cover the local facilities that are needed (schools, healthcare, leisure etc),transport improvements and a plan for working with businesses to regenerate the high street.

I think some people have been a bit unnecessarily rude in response to Cllr Fenwick’s update. Ok yes, for a lowly local Councillor he was perhaps a bit OTT in his attempt to sound statesman-like, but at least he bothered to give an update on what was going on locally that some people may have found useful. Anyway hopefully he hasn’t been put off reading these comments, as I would like to ask him whether he would be willing to take this suggestion forward to the next committee and ask that the Council lead on the development of a community plan for Worcester Park? I would be willing to be involved in a residents working group to input ideas into the plan which could then go out to consultation with all residents.

Anonymous said...

Recently, regardless of how an article begins on the blog, it ends up being a slanging match between The Hamptons & the rest of WP. This is rather silly (although sometimes very amusing!!)

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Anon 9.33am - again, the plan is to close several entry points late at night and reopen them in the mornings. Public access will continue to remain unimpeded during those hours through the entry via Green Lane (although it is common for public parks to be closed after dark - just not practical for Mayflower Park due to the design of the Hamptons). It is not a lock-out (or a lock-in) - people will just have to use the remaining, better lit and security protected entry points during affected hours.

This follows specific incidences - we've had problems with youths coming in late at night to drink in the park, often resulting in petty vandalism. There were also repeated cases of serious vandalism (spray paint on houses and cars and break-ins of cars) to the homes immediately adjacent to the exits - in some instances, the police have identified the offenders coming in from outside the development.

As a result, the plan was formulated together with the police and the council, and I was told that (1) the police are indeed in favour of it and (2) the paths involved are not public rights of way (I've not checked this myself - all public rights of way are listed with the council).

Axlrocky - are you referring to the bike garage fire near Maple Lodge? IIRC, that led to the infamous curfew imposed by the Thames Valley Housing Association. All very topical isn't it? We've not had a serious problem (that I'm aware of) since.

Don't recognise where the 'cowboy town' description comes from - I suspect ignorance.

Jeff said...

If closing minor access gates to the Hamptons protects houses adjacent to them from criminal attacks, why should anybody reasonably object?

I mean, how many people outiside the Hamptons really want to visit the Mayflower Park after dark?

Anonymous said...

I understand residents reasons for wanting the closure, but the concern is that once you start closing off accesses at certain times it can become a slippery slope to residents demanding permanent closure. It is important that our community is as accessible as possible (and I include the Hamptons as part of our community). This route provides a good shortcut from that part of the Hamptons through to the top of the high street which is really handy for popping to shops/ pubs/ school on foot- going via Green lane is a massive detour which will only encourage people to drive clogging up green lane even more.
In practical terms, how do you propose a closure would work? What would the times be? They would need to be early enough in the morning for commuters and late enough at night for those eating and drinking in the high street-we do want to support our high street don’t we? Who would be responsible for opening and closing the gate and what would be the contingency if they were unavailable for some reason. I can forsee problems happening with residents walking home via this route, finding it unexpectedly closed and then having to walk all the way round via Green Lane. I can see why the Police would support this as it’s the easy option for them instead of having to actually deal with the anti social behaviour problems which is what they should be doing. I would suggest that rather than gates the Cllr should seek security lighting and CCTV(funded by St James of course). As others have pointed out, simply locking out the problem is not an option for other WP residents and this does create a bit of a them and us mentality which can unfortunately build resentment.

DT said...

Though I can fully understand the desire to add gates to reduce crime. it will probably not have the desired effect and may actually lead to higher level of crime.

From the description of these incidents it seems like a lot of it 'jelousy' crime, being brought about by preceptions of a group being better off than another. Perhaps gates may increase that resentment? and I doubt that unless these are planned to be massive structures they will block fit young hooligans.

It is far better to improve the total security of the neighbourhood, as annonymous 3:10 pointed out this would be best served by installing security lighting and CCTV cameras.

Also to be considered is the effect it may have on emergency services. The fire brigade for example will send appliances by separate routes to try and reduce the effect on traffic jams. It might be your house on fire that they can't get to because of a closed gate! Rat run blocks in Central London can add 4 or 5 minutes to their times.

So in closing no one wants criminal activity anywhere in the neighbourhood, but unless you have a full gated community with 24 hour security, partial measures may increase it.

Barbyk said...

get a life!!

Peoples Front of Buckland Way said...

I personally believe all late night access pathways to the estate should be closed off - with exception of the main route in through Green Lane - including the new pathway through to Buckland Way (you all appear to have overlooked this one) as this is also proving problematic at times. However, there has been a small increase (before the riots) of plastic police patrols if that helps at all.

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Anon 3.10pm - the Browning Ave exit is indeed very handy for the residents of the Hamptons, for school runs (to Dorchester Rd and Cheam Common, the High St and the S3). As such, opinions are divided amongst residents - some like the plan, some don't think it'll make enough of a difference to outweigh the inconvenience and yes, some would like all exits apart from the road in from Green Lane to be closed permanently.

As it is, the plan (for limited after-dark closure) is being drawn up between the residents' assoc, St James, the council and the police, in the context of specific recurring incidences, together with various other options such as CCTV, private security and security lighting. The 'practical issues' you have mentioned have been raised and (as of the last time we residents were briefed) should be addressed. Responsibility for locking and unlocking, for example, will lay with the private security which currently patrols the development through the night.

The Browning Ave exit is a particular problem as it serves as a funnel, late a nite, for drink-sodden underage drinkers and mischief makers targeting the park/development. The two houses on Browning Ave at the entrance to the alley will benefit tremendously also from this if it means no more spirited youths passing under their windows in the middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

Barbyk- get a worthwhile opinion! If you don't like grown up discussions then don't feel the need to read or comment on them.

Barbyk said...

OK Anonymous... I know that was a juvenile comment and I apologise.. It just infuriates me at the level of bile and one upmanship between supposed civilised people within a community we all hopefully care about. The Hamptons have disadvantaged certain residents of WP with regard to traffic and school places, and parts of WP have disadvantaged people in the Hamptons with undisguised snobbery and unfriendly attitudes. In the face of such serious problems this country faces and has faced recently, the petit squabbles between some of the above factions are somewhat fatuous and quite frankly very insular...!!!! I would hope that if the riots did indeed come to Worcester Park in any substantial form, we could link arms and work together for solutions...

axlrocky said...

There are a few comments on here which are blatantly from either cllrs or colleagues of cllrs, have some political conviction and stop hiding behind the anonymous tag - or is this an apt description of your political status in the sham coalition

Stevie P9 said...

As a resident of Worcester Park for over 25 years, and working for a number of years as a Estate & Letting agent in the area I always like to read with interest people's opinions of how our little town fairs in comparison to the world at large!

To councillor Fenwick I would ask, on reflection, do you not feel your statement is a little crass in it's timing and criticism of the police, and totally over the top to compare the chaos across London to what really amounts to some very minor incidents suffered by a very small percentage of your ward.

I would like to point out to The residents of The Hamptons who feel they are being victimised or hard done bye, they only have to walk up any of the roads off of Browning Avenue and look at any of the Alleyways or cut throughs between the houses to the garages at the rear of people's houses and see a lot more of the graffiti and damage caused by bored youths and yobs than just that around their precious Estate, and I don't see or hear our learned Councillor planning to pay fo secure access for those residents.

As someone who helped to sell and Let many properties on the Development I know you were all shown plans and access points before you purchased your properties, so can not understand why you feel the need to constantly bitch and moan that you have an alley or access point next to your house that prevents you from feeling secure in your home, that must have been something you considered before you secured the property?

The Hamptons was a very attractive developmen that seems to have been poorly managed from Day One, n maybe it's time it's residents started looking more to the company that promised them so much to start with for some satisfaction and stopped moaning a those of us who were here long before them!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Barbyk, that is a worthwhile opinion that I very much agree with. The comment that really sums this whole ridiculous rivalry up has got to be "And that's why people like me don't like people like you".

Fenwick for President said...

Jushy is right. From the obvious lack of racial balance and diversity, it is clear that all the extensive televised video footage of the riots, from numerous sources and locations, was entirely staged and the product of a racist media conspiracy. And it’s pretty clear from the resulting images, that London’s CCTV cameras are similarly racist too.

I was utterly sick to death of hearing from that endless list of bellyaching victims who complained that they’d lost their businesses and homes - As a committed Lib Dem, all I cared about was the human rights of the looters and arsonists.

Meanwhile, rival English and Indian gangs were seen repeatedly clashing at Edgbaston, throwing missiles and using bats against each other, whilst being cheered on by their supporting mobs. But in contrast, as there were few Afro-Caribbean youths around to target, police made absolutely no attempt to intervene, and our racist media even tried to pass it off as a ‘sporting event’.

Lastly, I’d like to end on a positive note, by thanking our local Lib Dem MPs for saving our local hospitals that weren’t actually going to close. And I'd like to pay a special tribute to Stephen Fenwick and our local Lib Dem Councillors for heroically preventing the recent local riots that weren’t actually going to happen.

Jushy said...

I called Jeff 'racist' because of his remarks about Somalia and his idea of revoking British citizenship. In case you hadn't noticed Somalia is suffering from one of the worst cases of drought that the world has ever seen, so comments about it being a violent place are insensitive and distasteful to say the least. I realise Jeff's suggestion of deporting convicted rioters to Somalia was probably made in jest, however where would you deport 'indigenous' British people to? Or perhaps you just meant the British citizens who aren't white?

You say 'These rioters who don't feel part of the British community must leave our country.' Why would they feel part of any other community if they don't even feel part of the community they were born and raised in?

I didn't suggest that immigrants who aren't citizens of this country and commit a crime should not be sent back to their country. I don't think Jeff implied this either. He was talking about British citizens.

Fenwick for President, amusing though your sarcasm is, I'm not entirely sure what your point is in relation to what I said.

And for the record Jeff, I'm fully literate.

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Stevie P9 - I'll give you the benefit of the doubt in that you appear to think that the council is spending money on the Hamptons security - it isn't.

Money (or lack thereof) is one of the reasons that widespread security lighting and CCTV was not an adequate option. There is no money in the council or police kitty left, no point blaming politicians, bankers or greedy credit-driven consumers who borrowed too much to pay for cars and holidays they couldn't afford...

It's just plainly ridiculous that our society is constantly looking at someone else to blame for our problems and for someone else to pay for dealing with them. "Bored, restless and unemployed - it's surely the government's fault and they need to do something about it." "Issues with the Hamptons? It's St James' fault - get them to pay for it."

The plan to close the Browning Ave exit at nights is being devised in the context of specific instances which have marked it as a hotspot. It is a cost effective compromise, falling short of the taxpayer-funded 24/7 security lighting, CCTV, electric razor wire fence, border patrol, CAP and nuclear deterrent originally proposed...

Whether we knew beforehand of the access points is irrelevant - they have demonstrably become a problem and a solution is at hand. It's like saying planning permissions for extensions should never be given as buyers had a chance to view the design of the house when they bought them...

Peoples Front of Buckland Way said...

Stevie P9 - just to comment on your remark that we were all well aware of the exits and entry points at time of planning, I agree, however, how many of you others commenting now actually either bothered to go to the planning meetings at the time, or wrote to the developers and councillors to formally object. Answer - not many as you left it to the rest of us at the time to do it on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Stevie did make a good comment about access.

This is an excellent website: please don't include race and national/international issues. The site should be about what effects us on a day-to-day basis that is not considered important enough to discuss with our chiefs in the context of Sutton and not considered important enough for the local paper.

It effects us if we can't get home because of locked gates, for example, or if it takes 15 minutes just to drive down Green Lane.

If anything can be learned from the Hamptons, it is for buyers to check with the estate agent, developer and conveyancer about public access and to double check this info yourself with Sutton. Also, find out where the council housing will be.

The cowboy comment came across as an angry response to this "gee, we'll do what we want" attitude that appears to come from the Hamptons: you can gate; why can't other homeowners gate public access points when graffiti appears (they go by the rules)? Also, there have been gates (to prevent the housing association people from entry), may be more gates and "sheriffs" guard the Green Lane point of access. Car drivers don't indicate and there's this small town "keep the strays/ruffions" out attitude, it seems. St James's Homes? Rogues.

We must ensure that people from the housing estate are not isolated from using parkland and footpaths - but that's old hat now as they can now use the park without having to traipse down a grotty, unlit alley (Pigs Alley) - only to come across a locked gate.

Despite that, I don't agree with developers having to hand over a large percentage of new homes to housing associations. A large spread of housing association properties creates problems across the borough, problems that were once confined to particular areas.

Many people objected about the size of the Hamptons - from day one when we were conned into thinking it would be a small development (and therefore not many housing association properties) with a bus running through it to the station and a short-cut to the high road. People objected about the extra strain on Green Lane (cars; bus already goes down there) and schools. Locals even suggested an access road from Garth Road. We haven't left it all to you to resolve - and won't.

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Anon 10.35am - I'm going to try again and put this in context. There have been a number of instances of theft and vandalism to homes in the Hamptons and to Mayflower Park (incl the theft of a swan and signet) where the perpetrators have come in through the secluded gateways at Browning Ave and Pig's Alley. Repeated consultations between residents, the council and the police have led to a plan involving private security, CCTV and a proposal that the alleys be locked late at night and reopened in the morning. All borne by residents and St James, not the council or police.

This is a measured response 'within the rules', not a unilateral measure by the resident as you suggest. Any residents of WP having a similar problem can do the same, ie, consult with police and council and try to come up with a solution.

I can only assume that the affect of closing the alleyways late at night was considered, but logically, how disruptive can it really be? How much legitimate traffic can there be using those alleyways late at night, especially traffic that doesn't involve residents? As I mentioned, most public parks are closed after dark - for a reason.

It's worth noting that Mayflower Park and the Hamptons development belongs to a private company - it is private land. Residents have covenanted to provide the public access to Mayflower Park and the issue of access is a subjective criteria which can be altered in consultation with the council, which is the arbiter. That's what's happened in this instance (hence, Cllr Fenwick's reference to it) - the council was involved as it had to be satisfied Mayflower Park remained accessible to the public, not because the council was going to pay for it (or grant special favours to the residents of the Hamptons).

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Finally, to correct a few of your misconceptions (Anon 10.35am), there are no gates to isolate the Housing Association residents from Mayflower Park and the rest of the Hamptons. Just in case you weren't aware, there are two lots of Housing Assoc homes within the development, one just inside the main Green Lane entrance, and the other on Boscombe Rd. The reason there is a barrier preventing road traffic from passing through from Boscome Rd to Green Lane is to prevent the Hamptons from being used as a short cut - the roads in the Hamptons are private roads, maintained by the residents at our own expense. The council has obviously agreed that it would not be fair for us to pay for wear and tear caused by external traffic.

As an aside, your obsession with drivers in the Hamptons befuddles me. The poor use of indicators is a problem - but no more than what I see in the rest of WP.

axlrocky said...

whoever wrote "Fenwick for President" - I salute you, laughed my arse off! [thats LMFAO for all you young'uns!]

Jushy for Vice-President said...

Somalia: “comments about it being a violent place are insensitive and distasteful to say the least”. Jushy is right again, that’s the indisputable truth. The stories that Somalia has been in the midst of a raging civil war for the last two decades are totally fictional.

It is merely another fabrication of the racist British media, which similarly claims that those thousands of Somalis who met their deaths via clubbings, stabbings or gunshot wounds, died due to violence. They stubbornly refuse to accept the truth, that the cause was starvation and drought, as Liberals readily accept. As Jushy writes, “comments about it being a violent place are insensitive and distasteful to say the least”.

As Liberal Democrats, we are committed to an equitable society and we must similarly ensure that here, as in Somalia, the income and belongings of those who earn a living are transferred to those who we deem more deserving – i.e. those who choose to avoid earning a living. (Especially life’s essentials, like designer trainers, 6th generation iPods and 3D TVs).

Jushy’s idea of deporting the indigenous British is an interesting one. Couple this with reallocating their homes and possessions to more respected residents and this will take us some considerable way towards our shared, impartial and fair Lib Dem goal.

But what to do with the deported indigenous British? Well, Jushy could take a leaf out of the Somali warlords’ book and similarly declare they all just died in a drought. And if any gunfire is overheard in North Cheam, he can say it was just their rumbling stomachs.

Anonymous said...

A common, not a standard park:

There were locked gates to prevent housing association residents from Hamptons north entering Hamptons south (and the park) - Paul Burstow ensured these were removed. You clearly did not go up there very often. Ask some of those parents who couldn't get to Green Lane school(their walk would have taken the S3 route or a grotty alley unsuitable for pushchairs). Things have improved in that regard.

But, old hat. On a new theme, Mayflower Park is more a common than a park - a grassy area for the use of the community (whole community) surrounded by homes. It sits within the Hamptons - not separate to it - and takes up less acreage than the homes do.

Compare it to Nonsuch and Joseph Hood (latter between Hamptons and Motspur Park). These are parks with clear boundaries separate from any homes. They are not similar to Mayflower Park.

If you gate off the access points to the Hamptons at your proposed hours then pedestrians can't get in to reach their own homes, let alone use the park. Do you expect residents from Hamptons north walking from the south end of the high road to walk home via Boscombe Road rather than use the obvious short-cut off Browning Avenue? Walking up Browning Avenue and Dorchester Road to Boscombe Road is quite a steep slog. And, yes, they may be walking home from work at 11pm, saving money on a taxi fare (no S3 at that time).

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to the graffiti and vandalism but I suspect locks will be broken out of pure anger (not me), as they were when the pond area was locked off at Pigs Alley by St James's Homes, so housing association residents had no second point of access to Mayflower Park.

Joseph Hood, again, has clear boundaries and is ring-fenced. It has access points from Green Lane and from Marina Avenue. Marina Avenue is a standard Victorian/1930s residential road that leads to the park. "Undesirables" possibly walk down there at all hours but that wouldn't give the residents the right to gate off/lock Marina Avenue. I don't know whether the park itself is closed at night. If so, the park is closed off - not the homes.

When the gate situation is next up for discussion, also take into account that public access points (Hamptons) provide extra escape routes in the event of an attack.

The route between Browning Avenue and what is now the Hamptons has always been there and was possibly gated off by Hamptons construction workers. Purchasers had some warning of what might be a public thoroughfare again.

Anonymous said...

How much would it cost to install entry systems at these access points similar to the entry system at the Maple Lodge gym? If a Hamptons resident needs to use these access points after, say, 9pm then they put down a £20 deposit for a key card. As a service charge-paying resident I'd be keen to see this happen if it would help to keep our (private) roads and property safe and secure.

Jeff said...

Jushy - pointing out that Somalia is a violent place is not racist (check definition of 'racist' in dictionary) it's a self-evident truth: the United Nations yesterday accused both sides of atrocities.

You seemed to presume I was only talking about exiling non-White British citizens. I know it's not going to happen, but I was advocating the exile of ALL convicted looters and burners regardless of their race, oops sorry, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation (even including vegetarians).

Actually there is a long tradition throughout history of people being exiled if they demonstrate that they can't fit into the community so don't knock it. We'd have to pay the lucky host country but it would still be cheaper than UK prisons.

Jushy asks 'Why would they (ie looters)feel part of any other community if they don't feel part of the community they have been born into?' Because there would be a lot of violence and looting going on which would make them feel at home.

I've just seen those photos of rioters dressed in black forcing men and women to strip in the street and hand over their designer jeans and T-shirts. In those cases, I'd exile the looters in their underwear, why not? But no one listens to me, hence the terrible state of the world.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:51am

More incorrect information that only serves to rile people up about any perceived Hamptons "snobbery".

Being a resident from the outset, I can happily confirm that at NO point has there EVER been any form of barrier designed to intentionally prevent people from 'north' Hamptons getting to 'south' Hamptons WITH THE EXCEPTION of any temporary building works that have necessitated occasional closures.

References to Paul Burstow being some sort of hero and removing these imaginary barriers indicate you must work for him, as he has never done any such thing simply because you have made up this situation in the first place.

Hate to sound all ranty but when people talk about stuff when they are clearly wrong, it irritates me somewhat.

Anonymous said...

sexual orientation (even including vegetarians). The mind boggles! :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't work for Paul Burstow. I recognise someone with a social conscience. Are we not allowed to be positive about anyone on this blog?

Any entry system?

NB, Hamptons to Browning Avenue, for example, is a public right of way - anyone can use it, resident or not and it serves as a shortcut for people living on Boscombe Road or Buckland Way. Who owns what at the end of the day is irrelevant: it is a public access point; Mayflower Park/common is a public area.

I was appalled to discover yesterday that tenants at Hamptons north have to pay towards maintenence of Mayflower Park and communal areas. Residents of a new block, who were also promised extra green space, have never seen a Hamptons worker in their communal area.

No-one from Hamptons north could access the park for about two years, whether via Boscombe Road or Pigs Alley. The construction argument was a farce and please acknowledge basic planning legislation: if a public right of way is closed, alternative and safe provision has to be made.

Again, you clearly never went up there. There was a huge wall between the housing association estate and Mayflower Park. The only way for people from Hamptons north to get to the high road, for example, was via Boscombe Road, Dorchester Road and so on.

Tenants were also led to believe that they'd be near shops and public transport. I believe some are campaigning for a shop. That would really get your knickers/y-fronts in a twist, wouldn't it?

There are teenagers in Hamptons north. What is there for them? I spoke to one boy who wasn't allowed to play tennis on the Hamptons with his friend on the private side. Why? Because he is from a council estate. Surestart, a government scheme, were told they couldn't use Mayflower Lodge for playgroups - instead they use common ground at Hamptons north but this won't be practical when the weather worsens.

Do you agree with this, I wonder? If so, why on earth did you move to the Hamptons? Wouldn't you have been better in a gated Richmond development next to an expensive, adults-only gym?

I can only conclude that you were led to believe various things by St James's Homes/estate agents that turned out to be a farce. You've been left with hefty service charges for public land, "undesirables", Green Lane traffic and a house worth less than what you paid for it.

Anonymous said...

dont give it the bleedin heart bit about the housing association residents, there were im sure only a few bad apples but they were bad, had my property vandalised, verbally abused by kids aged no more than 12/13 - setting light to the bins - they were fenced off for a reason and until they can be bothered to be proper parents on that side then they should still be banned from communal areas.

Anonymous said...

To all those who are slagging off the Hamptons but seem so desperate to access it: please remove the chips from your shoulders and accept the fact that residents have the right to protect their private space. Contrary to the remarks by some (non-residents, I assume), the Hamptons is a lovely place to live. We just want to keep it that way.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had your property vandalised. But we have to live alongside these people (Hamptons north). They have just as much right to use public rights of way and Mayflower Park.

Gates and curfews may only just shift the problem behaviour on to other roads. Many elderly people bought their homes long before the Hamptons. Why should the Hampton-ites force the teenagers on Hamptons north to be re-directed in order to reach their homes/take part in activities just to protect their patch of land? You have to accept them into your community. We - non Hampton-ites - also have to accept them into our community. We should share "the traffic", as we do if the access points are kept open (24 hours).

By preventing children from using facilities on their doorstep - which it appears their parents are paying towards when they pay their rent to Thames Valley Housing - you'll only cause more problems with revenge-style behaviour.

These children aren't necessary jealous. They're children: they want to be close to leisure centres, shops and public transport, for example, so would prefer to live elsewhere (not Hamptons north).

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Anon 3.04pm (and er 4.56pm?) - just to clarify, I've been told that representatives from the council have confirmed that the Browning Ave exit is not a public right of way. Such rights of way are listed in a register kept at the council - TBH, I have not checked this myself.

Also to clarify, the 'communal facilities' such as the lodge, the gym and the tennis courts are private facilities, available for use of residents who also pay for the maintenance and improvements of these facilities. The covenants relating to public access relate to Mayflower Park only. That's why the Housing Assoc tenants have no access to these facilities.

Finally - the gate and curfew issue is getting old. The residents did not gate-off the housing association tenants and we certainly had no say in the incident of the curfew - that was an issue between the tenants and their landlords, the TVHA.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the council haven't got round to updating their list of public rights of way. Check with the Land Registry.

In the meantime, I will write to the relevant folk (people with a social conscience) to ensure that we can continue to use the Browning Avenue right-of-way.

Has anyone on this listing brought up the curfew issue? I don't think so - because it is old hat.

As the estate agent said, any purchasers should have been aware of public rights of way: Pigs Alley to the pond area, Browning Avenue, the horse stable area and Green Lane. I'm not sure whether Buckland Way was part of the original plans but note that this has probably increased the value of the houses on Buckland Way and provides a good shortcut to the school and allotments.

At the end of the day, the true rogues are St James's Homes - who have just built and built.

Elsewhere, some property owners can't sell buildings because the council maintains they have to be kept as retail units. Yet we have no retail units on the Hamptons - a newsagents, for example.

Again, jealously is not an issue for those who want to be close to facilities and public transport.

Does anyone on the Hamptons actually play tennis? I've only once seen the courts in use. And there are already tennis courts on Green Lane and close to Motspur Park station! Utter madness.

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