A fresh start and a farewell to in­sults

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

OVER the last few weeks the Gazette has pub­lished a series of largely neg­a­tive and of­ten an­gry let­ters about Hayes Town. Words have been used such as ‘cesspit’ and al­le­ga­tions have been made that the town is full of vi­o­lent crime. One writer even claims that there are no shops at which she can shop any­more de­spite hav­ing branches of all the main mul­ti­ples small in­de­pen­dent shops such as hairdressers, cafes and florists.

Most of the let­ters have the theme that Hayes used to be won­der­ful and now it has gone down­hill. Although I do not live in the town I have been as­so­ci­ated with it ever since I started work at the old Town Hall nearly fifty years ago. It has cer­tainly been through some very bad times as a re­sult of the clo­sure of fac­to­ries and the build­ing of drive-in shop­ping cen­tres. The roads and pave­ments have also got worse and there have been prob­lems with drug-deal­ing and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour. Re­gret­tably these char­ac­ter­is­tics are com­mon to many towns up and down the coun­try but I am cer­tain that Hayes is noth­ing like as bad as it is claimed. In short many of your writ­ers are ex­ag­ger­at­ing.

More im­por­tantly things are now be­gin­ning to change for the better. With the com­ing of Cross­rail and the build­ing of a brand new sta­tion there is a great in­ter­est in in­vest­ment in the town. The re­cent com­ple­tion of the road­works in Cold­har­bour Lane shows the pos­i­tive im­prove­ment that can be achieved and this will be fol­lowed by Sta­tion Road and the re-open­ing of the town to through traf­fic. We also have very good po­lice of­fi­cers – but not enough of them – plus other very good ser­vices in our schools and surg­eries.

A num­ber of the writ­ers re­fer to the changes there have been in the pop­u­la­tion and this is cer­tainly true. How­ever the new peo­ple who have come to Hayes in­clude good and bad like the com­mu­nity be­fore them. Many of the im­mi­grant and sec­ond gen­er­a­tion im­mi­grant peo­ple I work with in try­ing to im­prove the town are the ones pro­vid­ing the busi­ness drive and whose chil­dren are amongst the hard­est work­ing to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion. The young tal­ent we have in the schools in Hayes and at Uxbridge Col­lege of­fers great prospects for the fu­ture.

I must also comment on the per­sonal at­tacks on Coun­cil­lor Janet Gard­ner in a num­ber of these let­ters. In the many years I have been as­so­ci­ated with the coun­cil I have rarely come across a more hard­work­ing coun­cil­lor. De­spite chronic ill­ness and ex­tremely lim­ited mo­bil­ity she works for the peo­ple of Hayes al­most ev­ery sin­gle day – even in­clud­ing the day af­ter a re­cent hip op­er­a­tion. Let’s have no more in­sults and start be­ing pos­i­tive about the fu­ture of this town that we all care about. DAVID BROUGH Chair­man Hayes Town Part­ner­ship

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