Monday, 30 November 2015

Barnet, a tired, sad London borough in a state of decline

One of the advantages, or should I say disadvantages of owning dogs is that our daily walks bring us into daily contact with our environment. What has struck me recently is just how sad, grubby and  tired the Borough is looking. After 13 years of Conservative administration, it is us long term residents who love the Borough who are the unlucky ones. Barnet Town planners proudly trumpet the claim that Colindale is the fastest growing area in Western Europe. Sadly in all of this, the rest of us are completely forgotten. I am appalled by just how neglected the bits of the Borough which aren't being demolished and turned into tiny flats are starting to look.

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Broken Bin in Mill Hill Park
On the 8th October I took this picture of a broken litter bin in Mill Hill Park. As you can see, it has come off its plinth. This is one of many. I thought I'd give the council a chance to see how long they'd just leave it. Well six weeks is enough. still broken. Still shabby. How can you expect residents to be tidy when the bins look like this. It is not just the bins. When I visited my parents grave in Hendon cemetary, that too was in an awful state. Overgrown grass and just generally tired. Our High Street yesterday was scarred with overflowing rubbish bins from shops. The car park in Bunns Lane has spaces being overgrown with plants.
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Bunns Lane Car Park 
Another place which saddened me was the Apex Corner subway. This used to have a fine weeping willow tree, but this has gone. The grassed area used to be trimmed and neat. Now it looks disgusting. The Conservatives at the council tell us that they can't afford it and there are "higher priorities". I don't know about you, but unliker these councillors, who clearly don't care what our manor looks like, I'd be quite happy to spend a few pennies extra a week in tax to employ a few people to tend these areas. If we have no pride in our locality. we will soon see it become a pariah borough where employers shun and house prices plummet.

Council finances are a difficult thing to manage, but proper leadership makes the case for spending money and raising taxes for theings that matter. I don't know about you, but to me stopping this decline is a high priority. I spend over £2,000  a year in council tax. Is it really too much to ask the council to at least make sure that they cut the grass trim the hedges and mend the litter bins?

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