|A challenge to Green canvassers
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 firstname.lastname@example.org - bring your sense of humour with you! We are meeting outside Wembley Central station at 11am.