Saturday 17 December 2011

Facing some challenges in Wembley Central today

A challenge to Green canvassers
A sense of humour, if not a sense of the absurd comes in handy when canvassing, and certainly was essential today when I started out in the early morning rain in Wembley Central. I was particularly taken by a woman who wanted the nuisance street trees chopped down in a road that already had 90% of its gardens paved over. "Not natural green territory," my co-canvasser surmised. I  liked the 'garden gas-guzzler' above which, parked up tight to the garden gate,  challenged me to clamber over it to deliver my precious leaflet.

I was a little concerned at one house when, having rung the doorbell and trapped myself between the inner and outer door, I saw a notice proclaiming, "I am a soldier of the LORD and I will smite HIS enemies DEAD!" - turned out to be a potential supporter but I didn't stay to talk...

Otherwise the welcome was warm and the idea of an independent voice on the Council was well received. Some people complained that issues the victors had promised to raise at the Council elections had not been dealt with and these often related to basic matters such as fixing dangerous broken pavements and roads that required re-surfacing. There was anger about the amount of fly-tipping in roads such as Station Grove. The deterioration of properties let out on a series of short-term contracts was also raised. When tenants change, mattresses and other household effects are often dumped in front gardens or on the street with a detrimental impact on the local environment.

A troubling aspect was the number of  people blaming recent arrivals from Eastern Europe for various misdeeds  including street corner drinking and street robberies. The comments came from people who were themselves longer-established immigrants to this country.  As the economy deteriorates there may be a parallel deterioration in community relations.

The new waste collection system and reduced street sweeping was also an issue with some residents and it was clear from the blue bins full of residual  rubbish that the recycling message has still not been fully understood, perhaps because of language difficulties.

We will be out and about again tomorrow and if you would like to help e-mail me on - bring your sense of humour with you! We are meeting outside Wembley Central station at 11am.


Steve said...

oh tell me about it. Those working class shits with their big cars.

Martin Francis said...

On the contrary, it is the Tory candidate who wants the roads cleared of traffic calming measures and 'unnecessary' bus lanes so that car owners have the freedom of the road and the non-car owning working class can go to hell.