A fresh start and a farewell to insults
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