Wednesday, 27 August 2014

People Selling Cars From the Public Highway

The Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005 makes it an offence to leave two or more motor vehicles parked within 500 metres of each other on a road or roads where they are exposed or advertised for sale or causes two or more motor vehicles to be so left but this would not of course apply to individual vehicles.  This legislation is endeavouring to prevent people from running commercial car sales from the public highway.

A council should not put notices on cars as this is in effect a trespass and criminal offence.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Parkside Tree Reports

At the beginning of this month I wrote a couple of reports up about tree maintenance required in Parkside. As we move towards  September I shall be looking for evidence that CBC and their contractors have done, or will be doing, something about the many issues I have highlighted.

from the report

I even came across one man who claims to have had to raise the height of his kitchen floor several times due to tree roots growing underneath! That's clearly a case of negligence by the authority responsible for allowing a tree to grow so close to a property. If the tree were near your house you'd start grumbling when the birds sit in the branches above your car and drop their do-dos all over it. Then perhaps you'd start making actual noises about the branches when it came over your roof tiles and spoilt your tv reception. But to let it get to this state, making your kitchen floor unsafe, then it really is time to tell the tree who is the boss!

Elsewhere there's a bunch of trees ganging up on a lonely streetlight. Never did condone bullying!
From the report.

Meanwhile, Highways contractors, CBC Housing department, and CBC's tidy-team argue the toss over who's job it is.

Download Report A - The main report

Download Report B - Bromley Gardens

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Newbury Rd Garages Update

I've been asked by residents to see what can be done about these three garages in Newbury Rd. This is being pursued by the ASB & Statutory Nuisance Team responsible for Community Safety at Central Bedfordshire Council.

The main problem is tracking down the owners, as some are privately owned, and others may be housing associations. I'm told that two owners have been tracked down and asked to clear up and make secure or they could face penalties. The third owner is still being sort.

Our Mature Trees Need Maintenance

When we had Pride in Houghton earlier this year some effort was trumpeted by Central Bedfordshire Council as they trimmed a few trees, but what happened to the momentum?

All over the Parkside ward  people are now kicking up a fuss, notably over the state of sycamore and ash trees, some that are more than 30 years old. Planted close to homes, they regularly drop off their seeds that can quickly establish root and sprout in gardens. Some are so close they touch the windows of homes, and when they don't can block out a significant amount of light.

There's a horse chestnut tree in Enfield Close that, as a sapling, was lovingly watered by the first residents, but now they are regretting it, as the chestnuts in their cases make the footpath slippery while the branches cut out light. There are trees and public flower bed areas that have been left to be taken over by ivy and other strangling weeds. Areas in Bromley and Chelsea Gardens have become unsightly.

I have written to CBC to ask them what their strategy is towards these mature trees. People have had enough of being told "we'll see what we can do" and want some action. It is probably time to take out older trees and replant saplings in better places. I have offered to tour the ward with people from CBC's arboreal team to see what can be done. It's going to take some investment, so anyone on CBC, be warned, I'm looking for it.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Less than 8% of Homes Are Affordable

A new survey from Shelter shows that less than 8% of homes are "affordable" in our area. The pressure is on for Central Bedfordshire to ensure that new developments have the right proportion of affordable homes to meet local needs.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hostility Towards Travellers?

I was asked on social media, "If I was made homeless, and had no other option but to live in my caravan, would I face the same hostility toward me as the travellers that we see in the town? Would I be treated any differently?"

I replied, My observation is that hostility is greatest the closer the travellers are housed to residents. The hostility rises in proportion to any associated anti-social behaviour, such as urinating in public, the greater the perceived sound of the travellers generator, and the correlation of local minor crime to the arrival of the traveller. So, if you were to lose your house and take to the caravan, take care where you park, toilet, and keep away from areas likely to be affected by crime and you'll minimise the danger of being an outcast.

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