The new residents’ group for the Hearsall area was launched at a meeting on 3 February at the Spencer Club.
Around 30 residents attended, as did Whoberley ward councillor Bally Singh and the police, who were represented by Lee Froggatt and Joanna Jones-Kiamou.
The common issues that residents were keen to tackle in the area were:
- Wheelie bins being left out on pavements, blocking people with pushchairs or those with wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Many bins are improperly filled and left uncollected.
- Security gates are being left open or are in disrepair, walls around gates have crumbled leaving the gates useless. The area is a crime hot spot but when complaints are made to the council or landlords nothing is done.
- Street cleaning is not being done and some gardens have rubbish left in them. Albany Road bridge is particularly bad. Fly tipping is a problem on some streets and entries. It was suggested that a group of volunteers could organize a litter pick.
- There were some concerns about Kingston Road becoming a cycle path and anger that residents were not consulted until the plans were nearly completed.
- The area has a high number of students and others in shared accommodation, and many felt the landlords should take more responsibility for their properties and tenants.
It was agreed the group should meet again to discuss these problems further and the next meeting was arranged for Monday 24 February at the Albany pub. Unfortunately this fell into the period while the March issue of ECHO was at the printer’s, meaning it was too late for us to report on it in this issue but too soon for us to let people know that it was happening.
Chairman Paul from Kingston Road explained to ECHO that the plan for that meeting was to work in small groups, each group considering solutions to different problems including gates, bins, litter, the condition of infrastructure (roads, lights, pavements etc.), creating a network of residents to solve problems and build community spirit, funding and organization.
The group has yet to be named officially – Paul refers to it as ‘The Hearsall Group’ but wants to see if another name gains popularity. Anyone wanting more information about the group can contact Paul by email at: email@example.com