Football, tennis and ASB

I was right about Spain, though the Final was the least colourful game they played. Good for Murray, getting to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. He needs to play Nadal more often to get the measure of him.

Had a really good meeting with School Lane Residents on Monday, while Murray was coming back from almost certain defeat by Gascquet. I wish the RA could have a similar experience.

The committee of the RA is full of dedicated people it’s a privilege to know and serve. They really care passionately about their estate and want what we all want – a decent life where they can go about their business in safety and their children can grow up free from the sort of influences we saw on ‘Panorama’ last week in parts of Liverpool.

It’s not good enough that these residents are confronted by assemblies of youths in the stairwells in the small hours – and they’re not just sheltering from the rain! Am I the only one who feels frustrated that all the ‘powers that be’ can talk about as an answer – with the very best will in the world – is ASBOs and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts. Bits of paper, bureaucratic procedures – New Labour smoke and mirrors. Do they work?

Of course it would help massively if the open stairwells were closed off so that only residents and their bona fide visitors could get in. This would cost the Council thousands of pounds per stairwell, which it doesn’t have thanks to ‘negative housing subsidy’ which creams off 30% of our HRA income this year and more next. Another stealth tax from You Know Who.

Can we please get a grip on this basic consideration: peaceful citizens have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes no matter where they live. This right is paramount. All public policy should be aimed at achieving this effectively. Any policy that does not further this aim should be jettisoned and replaced by others that do.

About pauljohnston

Elected as Conservative councillor in Surbiton Hill, Kingston upon Thames in 1998. Re-elected 2002 and 2006. Former parliamentary candidate in Lancashire and Birmingham. Ceased to be a Councillor (temporarily?) in 2010. Active among Residents' Associations in Surbiton Hill and among residents in social housing generally. Former teacher of History at St. Brendan's College Bristol and Head of History and Politics at the London Oratory School. Worked with Sutton Trust running summer schools for sixth formers at Oxford University from 1997-2000 aiming to improve uptake of places from pupils from state schools which sent very few applicants to Oxbridge.
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