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Apr 17 2011

Alleys in South Harrow – the need for gates

I took an opportunity today to visit one of the alley ways which run parallel to Northolt Road – this one runs from Wyvenhoe Road along to Roxeth Grove, and is adjacent to Welldon Park Junior School.  Like many alleys in the area, this suffers from the usual anti-social behavioural problems, ranging from drinking, public urination/defecation, car crime, and, of course, rubbish dumping.

The difficulties with most, if not all, of these alleys is that they are not owned or maintained by the council: the upkeep is the responsibility of each resident, who will own his or her particular section of the alley, but has a right of access over all other parts, and must allow other residents the right of access of his part.  Thus, these are generally unpaved, and, if rubbish is dumped there, won’t generally be removed by the council.

Community Payback have done some very useful work on this particular alley, and many like it. Teams of offenders will be taken to an area, and – as part of the ‘payback’ for their crime – be tasked with clearing the alley.

Because the alley is unlit, police won’t patrol it on foot at night – and it’s not safely drivable in a car – and, indeed, it’s often partly blocked by debris such as that shown.

The alternative, or, indeed, addition, to regular cleaning, is to install alley-gates at each end. Often, there is a contribution to be made by both council and residents alike, and, of course, it does need 100% cooperation to make it work. Station Parade, at the end of Northolt Road, had gates installed some years back, at the request of residents and shop-owners alike, and the gates were generally left open: a complete waste of money.

If you’ve got any ideas for solving this very real problem, do let us know in the comments, below.

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