in Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury’s big issues

Some of the early arrivals at Shaftesbury's Let's Talk

Some of the early arrivals at Shaftesbury’s Let’s Talk

Having posted about the behaviour of the crowd at the Shaftesbury Let’s Talk event I have remained silent on the issues raised, in part because there were some I wanted to cover in a bit more detail, in part because – despite being there – I had formed the opinion it would be a harder task that it actually is.

In fact the issues raised, with the exception of Nightingale Square, were largely those we’d expected and those raised with us before the meeting (and, indeed, are raised with us regularly). The Nightingale Square issue was something of a surprise: mainly because it isn’t in the ward, or even the neighbouring ward.

The following is a quick run through of the issues I noted. I hope this is complete and reflects the issues raised as the meeting progressed but are from my notes, rather than the council’s official record, so there may be errors and omissions. On a few I have added some comments, to clarify, expand, respond or simply note something of interest.

  1. Making the Gideon Road estate a residents only area
  2. Dog fouling.
    I fear I’m going to return to this. As a councillor I’m well below my quota of dog poo posts.
  3. Poor state of repair of pavements
  4. Speeding in the Shaftesbury Park estate. One of the problems of 20mph zones is that they don’t seem to work. I was looking at the results of one scheme elsewhere recently and rather surprised that while the overall speed reduced fractionally, some roads saw some fairly hefty increases in speed. The real problem with these is that the police (nationally) will not enforce them.
  5. Controlled Parking Zone costs
  6. Nightingale Square. A range of issues, from lack of playspace to lack of wi-fi, from a temporary accommodation hostel in Balham. I can’t help but see this as a bit of political showmanship by the organiser since, despite their claims the council had ignored requests for a meeting, a meeting between the council and the hostel to discuss these issues was taking place the next day. They pop up again later.
  7. Gritting
  8. Access to Nine Elms during the works and the suitability of the last expo venue
  9. Fly-tipping. Something to which I want to return (along with dog fouling). In fact several of the topics below could be included with this as a general waste collection discussion.
  10. Boris bikes
  11. Nightingale Square
  12. Litter after a refuse collection. This was concern about the lack of alignment between refuse collection and street cleaning. This did surprise me since my experience of the new contract, once everyone had adapted to the new collection day, is that it has been very good.
  13. Bulk collection costs
  14. Spitting
  15. Closure of Cringle Dock
  16. Nightingale Square
  17. NW bulletins
  18. Difficulty of getting housing
  19. Being spied on by MI5
  20. Elsley School development. There were some concerns about the impact of the building work and the effect that an influx of new residents would have once the development was complete. I suspect the latter is related to the suggestion of making the Gideon Road estate residents only.
  21. Fly-tipping

If there was a disappointment for me it’s that some of these issues could so easily be resolved by us as councillors. While I sometimes wonder what the point of a councillor is, one thing I do know they can do is get those niggling little problems fixed (although I’m powerless when it comes to the massive hole caused by a water leak in my road, which is into the fourth month of waiting repair by Thames Water).

To balance that disappointment I have some satisfaction that the standards of Wandsworth and Wandsworth residents is high. My run the following Saturday morning took me out of Wandsworth, through Lambeth, Southwark, the City of London, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea and while I took some pride that it was only in Wandsworth that I ran without the perils of deep puddles it didn’t do much to warm feet soaked from Lambeth onwards. Of course, people do not get to choose their council, so such a comparison is not relevant to most.

If there are any issues, mentioned here or not, you want to raise with me then get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.

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