Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Guest Blog - Barnet Cleans Up the Streets, Two Ways - By Heather Smith

By Heather Smith,

The streets of Barnet need help. The roads themselves are in need of repair due to harsh weather over the past few years, but that is not all that is wrong with the streets. The streets of Barnet apparently have an alcohol problem. At least, that is what a report in the Times stated.

After a front-page story on homeless men living in abandoned garages in Edgware, Environmental Health has stepped in to block access to the garages and hopefully stop the homeless from returning. The Barnet community had been previously complaining of rat infestation and clamoring for Barnet Council to contact the owners to clean up the garages. Nothing was accomplished. When the report in the Times came out, however, steps were finally taken. A barricade was put up restricting access. Edgware Sergeant Dan Reid said:

“Getting the issue on the front page really kick started the local authority to take action. I have to say they have done a fantastic job – the garages are still in disrepair but we have taken away this facility for street drinkers.”

The abandoned garages have been approved for demolition, though no date has yet been set. In the meantime, the owners of the abandoned garage have been forced to hire a pest control company to get rid of the area's resultant rats and mice. Barnet Council is also looking to enact an alcohol exclusion zone through Edgware to thwart people drinking on the street.

Sergeant Reid said: “With taking away the garages and introducing the drinking ban we are going to massively reduce crime in Edgware.In the short time since these boards went up we have seen a fall in the number of shop lifting and anti-social incidents in the immediate vicinity.I think this is an effective solution for Edgware but the no-drinking zone will tie it all together.I wish the owners had done more – this could have been sorted earlier. It has taken the Edgware ward panel and the local authority to step in and sort it out.”
Not only are the homeless being evicted and the drunks gotten off the streets, but the unemployed young residents of Barnet will also be receiving aide. Some of the money earmarked for improvements will go towards encouraging local businesses to hire interns and apprentices in an effort to give the youth experience in real employment situations. The target ages of the youth are sixteen to twenty four.

In addition to this, the physical streets of Barnet are also scheduled to be improved. Roads and pavements in Barnet are scheduled to be torn out and replaced as part of a £4.5 million set of measures. Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, said: 

"Our residents have told us that improving the condition of the borough's road and pavements is a top priority. The bad weather over the past few winters has damaged our roads and pavements and we need to fix them while we can. We are investing in the future of our borough through helping our young people and fixing our roads and pavements."

All these improvements should make Barnet's property values increase and promote economic growth in the area. What lesson can we learn from this? If you want something done, go public and make sure that the Council can't ignore you.
Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye, please submit via the link in the sidebar. Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to hire a nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.

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