Barriers on Northfields Way – Where are they?

It can not have not escaped any Clayhanger residents’ notice that the barriers proposed for Northfields Way, with the intention of preventing ASB including illegal encampments, have not materialised.

There has been a public consultation, a traffic regulation order and final plans… but where are the barriers?

This has been a question which has been repeatedly asked by Area Partnership Manager Laura Terry and Cllr Wade on many occasions on Clayhanger residents behalf. As their efforts have been to no avail, madwblog has written to Mr Gordon, Head of Change and Governance at Walsall Council, to ask him where the barriers are:

‘Dear Mr Gordon,

As a resident of Clayhanger and a hyperlocal blogger – madwblog.com – I write concerning the proposed barriers for Northfields Way in Clayhanger to prevent ASB and illegal encampments. 
I have had a continued interest in the prevention of anti-social behaviour on Northfields Way since June 2015 when I first discussed my concerns with Cllr Steve Wade. Since then, Northfields Way has been subject to three illegal encampments, regular fly-tipping, ASB involving drug use, motorbike racing, and loitering. Like many residents of Clayhanger, I took active involvement in the Public Consultation events in March of this year and was satisfied when the Traffic Order began and the plans were finally released for the barriers to be erected effectively closing Northfileds Way in an effort to prevent some, if not all, of these issues.
However, there has now been a long delay in work beginning to install the barriers. Even taking into account a change of administration in May, the commencement of work seems long over-due. Residents of Clayhanger continue to be subject to anti-social behaviour on Northfields Way all of which have been duly reported to the Police. Since Laura Terry is well aware of these issues and continues to be supportive of the community in their concerns I trust, as her manager, you are too.
It is interesting to note that only yesterday (29th September) Walsall Council took out an injunction to combat ASB in the borough including illegal encampments. Whilst this, I assume, will give the Council greater powers, could it not also serve to force illegal encampments to split into smaller groups and target areas previously unexplored or unused for some time? Would this make Northfields Way vulnerable to another encampment before the barriers are in place? The subsequent court action and clean-up would be a huge waste of public resources and would undoubtedly enrage the already frustrated community in Clayhanger. 
Having invested in a full public consultation and engaged with Clayhanger residents on this issue I would now expect a date to be set to commence the work. Should there be any reason why this is not the case the residents whom have placed their trust, and recently their votes, in this current administration should be kept fully informed of the situation.
Mr Gordon, I would be most grateful if you could respond to this email by confirming the following:
  1. Funds have been allocated to erect the barriers;
  2. A date is set to commence work which is within a reasonable time frame;
  3. Residents of Clayhanger have the support and commitment of Walsall Council to prevent ASB, including illegal encampments, on Northfields Way.
I look forward to hearing from you shortly,’

Details of Walsall Council’s recent injunction can be found here.

 

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Clayhanger Autumn Litter Pick success.

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Another Saturday morning meet at Clayhanger Co-op and another Community Litter pick in Clayhanger.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the litter pick this time as I was unwell, but the event was stoically supported once more. Council representatives Laura and Matt were in attendance and organised litter pickers and rubbish collection and about half a dozen community members came to lend their support. Cllr Steve Wade also lent a hand and is a regular supporter of the Clayhanger Litter picks

It’s surprising how much litter can be collected by a few people.

Image provided by L Terry

Image provided by L Terry

Unfortunately, there is never going to be a shortage of rubbish in our village and there is as much to collect as there are volunteers to collect it! With winter only a few short months away, rubbish tends to be blown around and is more noticeable as the shrubs and bushes die back revealing litter trapped for months unseen.

Current litter picks focus on the co-op carpark and the main roads through Clayhanger, but with more volunteers, the common, the park and the estates could be covered too. It’s a great way to get up and about on a Saturday morning and an opportunity to meet fellow Clangers.

The next litter pick is scheduled for Saturday 10th December 2016 with mulled wine and mince pies for all those who volunteer! As usual, meet at the co-op carpark 8.30-10.30 am.

Clayhanger Community Centre Summer of Love.

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Since the public meeting to discuss the future of Clayhanger Community Centre in July, there has been much activity in the building on Church Street.

At the meeting, appeals were made to help fix the roof, secure the boundary fence, tidy the garden area and redecorate the interior.

Happily, the roof has been fixed courtesy of Cameron Homes who donated the cash to complete the job. The roof tiles are now back in place and the risk of leaks or further damage through the winter have now been averted. The boundary has been secured thanks to the generosity of WM fencing and local tradesmen have relaid the slabs at the rear making the area more even underfoot.

Further applications for funding have been made to undertake work to the interior.

The Annual General Meeting for Clayhanger Community Center is to be held on Tuesday 27th September at 7.30pm. Anyone is welcome to attend and tea, coffee and cakes will be on offer after the meeting. The AGM will review the work of the committee since July and set out plans for the future. If you, or someone you know, would like to act as a Director on the committee, nominations must be made in writing by 23rd September to 28, Church Street, Clayhanger, Walsall. WS8 7EG. A leaflet detailing this information has been delivered to all houses in Clayhanger Village. The cost of printing was covered by the generosity of a local resident.

The primary purpose of the Community Centre is to serve the needs of the residents of Clayhanger and as such an on-line survey has been posted via the Centre’s Facebook page asking residents for their views on the centre and what they would like to see provided in the future. The response so far has been very positive and although there is only 24 hours or so left (the survey ends at midnight on Tuesday 20th September) there is still time to make your views known. Click here to complete the survey.

As well as the building work, there have been successful events over the summer including a ‘Water Play Day’ and games activities on the park with equipment donated by Tesco.

As was discussed at the public meeting back in July, Clayhanger Community Centre is very short of cash. Recent work on the building has only been possible due to the generosity of local business. More funds need to be raised to continue to improve the building and appeal to groups to hold activities there. Show your support for Clayhanger Community Centre by attending the AGM on Tuesday 27th September at 7.30pm. There is much love in Clayhanger for the Community Centre. Come along and show yours.