We must all return Hayes to its glory
I write in support of the author of the “Gentrification Isn’t Making Hayes Safe” letter from your May 4 edition. As the author stated gang-related crime is evident. Drug dealing, protection rackets, prostitution and muggings have been an ever increasing element for at least the last 12 to 13 years. In fact not alone are the number of criminal instances increasing in numbers. The ferocity that is attached to them is increasing also with stabbings and murder now becoming more regular.
Approximately 2 years ago the Police Ward Panel meeting in Townfield Ward I was told that ‘extra resources had been sourced to fund 2 full time police officers in Hayes Town only, to deal with incidents of street begging, anti-social behaviour and street drinking’.
At around that same time according to the police’s own statistics the burglary of residential properties in wards around Hayes Town was on the increase.
All ‘resources’ for public services such as the police are ‘sourced’ in one way or another from the public purse. There is no chance whatsoever that private individuals or groups would dip their hands in their own pockets to pay for policing regardless of whether they benefited or not by doing so.
Clearly the ‘extra resources’ have not successfully combated their target areas. Indeed it could be argued that the problems of begging, drinking and ASB have increased over the last 2-3 years.
With regard to the actual process of Gentrification itself (even without gangs, beggars, yobs, muggers etc, etc) this publicly funded scheme is also destined to fail for a variety of reasons: a) As Phase One reached its premature completion (Phase Two cannot begin until the various utility companies move their equipment/
pipes/cables etc from Hayes Town), it would seem that nobody associated with this project had the foresight to request that the utility companies attend to these preliminary works on Phase Two, while Phase One proper was live. As I understand it the crew who did Phase One (to a very high standard) will be sent to other jobs with no guarantee of their returning to complete the project. b) As stated Phase One Pathways/ Cycle Paths, though inordinately wide (wider than the road in many places), were installed to a high standard. Regrettably those who use the footpath/pavement do not appreciate the effort that has gone into installing them for in save of the pavement slabs being well over 2 inches thick of vibrated concrete 120 of them are now, after being in situ for less than one year, in need of replacing due to cracks and chipping. Clearly this
damage was not caused by pedestrian traffic demonstrating that the path is being used for a purpose other than that which it was designed for? c) Litter is piled in huge mounds on both sides of Coldharbour Lane. Often address labels are clearly visible but nothing gets done, and the culprits continue to offend. Our street cleaner does an excellent job but he is fighting a losing battle as a hand cart is no match for combating mounds of rubbish, mattresses, beds, chairs etc.
Not long ago Hayes was a clean, safe place to work and live in.
Sadly that is not the case now, and throwing public money at the problem will, by itself, not work to change things. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to return Hayes to what it once was. BERNARD FAGAN Avondale Drive