Friday, 20 December 2019

Murder in Mill Hill, a rotten end to a rotten year locally

Normally we have a Friday joke, but it would seem horribly inappropriate. Today did not start well. At 8am the radio sprung into life. The headline story was that someone has been murdered at Scratchwoods open space. If it had not been raining, I would have been heading up there on a normal Friday morning to walk the dogs. I've been running a threevyear campaign to clean the area up and address anti social behaviour. I've been supported by Hale Tory Councillor Laithe Jajeh, who got much of the flytipping and dumped rubbish cleared and is working on other improvements.

Scratchwoods is an amazing local asset. I normally walk once or twice a week around the space. It drives me absolutely mad to see the way selfish residents leave their litter on the grass, when they could walk fifteen feet to the nearest rubbish bin.

There is a very pleasant cafe where you can have a drink or a meal which is worth a visit on a day more pleasant than today.

I don't want to speculate about whether the murder was related to the sexual activities, drug taking or even dog walking that happens at the park. As it is set away from any populated areas, there are all manner of the things happening which are less common in other local parks.  I do hope that anyone who saw anything comes forward and ensures that the police resolve the matter quickly.

It seems to me that this murder has been a rotten end to a rotten year in Mill Hill. The passing by Sadiq Khan of the Pentavia Retail Park Scheme will ensure that Mill Hill will have a major eyesore for the foreseeable future, blighting the skyline. Residents of the Ridgeway have had to endure terrible disruption from the Barratts development at the NIMR. The Thameslink service seems to get no better. The local Mill Hill neighbourhood forum lost it's designation and therefore the local neighbourhood plan was not completed. Shops lie empty in the Broadway, some including the old bank sites have stood empty for a considerable time. We lost Leyla's, a long standing restaurant as well as Hee's Chinese takeaway, which was a cornerstone of our family's dining habits.

Lets hope that the maniac is swiftly caught and that in 2020 we see a better year for Mill Hill.

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