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:
Funds have been allocated to erect the barriers;
A date is set to commence work which is within a reasonable time frame;
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.