Blighted by crimes and anti-social behaviour and dismayed by the local council's indifferent disinterest, a local Independent councillor (Paul Janik) and the local community police sergeant (Tony Welch) worked with residents to raise money to purchase 1,049.5 feet of 2m high Palisade fencing.
Lazy and uncaring Slough Borough Council persistently refused to maintain and repair its boundary fence between the Northborough Estate and Lovegrove Drive.
Faced with typical inertia from a failing local authority, Sgt Tony Welch suggested to Cllr Paul Janik he apply to the council's community scheme for funding for a residents' fence. Paul Janik asked Slough Council for the forms but they never arrived. Paul Janik telephoned the council, before the funding deadline, but the responsible person was away - working from home. When that person returned to work, Paul Janik was told it was now too late.
Very community minded, and different from many police officers in that
respect, Sgt Tony Welch suggested he might be able to get
from the police if Cllr Paul Janik could persuade the council and residents
to contribute towards the costs of an anti-vandal and anti-crime fence.
Single-handedly Cllr Janik started. The residents were keen. The council indifferent and dismissive. After considerable efforts with the council, he approached the Assistant Director of Council Housing, Raj Kumar. Raj immediately saw the potential to reduce crime and make the neighbourhood safer for council tenants and other tenants and owner-occupiers. A stronger type of fence would save the council money instead of repeatedly, but not very frequently, repairing its own boundary fences.
Almost all the Lovegrove households voluntarily donated £100 each. Donations were received from Thames Valley Police and from Slough Borough Council's Housing Department thanks to Assistant Director of Housing, Raj Kumar. The combined contributions were enough money to start the project.
The fencing was erected by the Lovegrove Drive community over two bitterly cold weekends in December 2004 and March 2005. A few police officers, including Sgt Welch, attended to help with the work. Naturally Paul Janik was there too.
Residents not working on the fence made cups of hot tea, coffee and soup while others provided tasty food. This was People Power at its best.
The result has been vastly increased security and an absence of crimes.
This successful Neighbourhood Action was achieved without the local council's management and participation. Local MP Fiona MacTaggart (Labour) promised help but her help never materialised. Instead Paul Janik, Tony Welch and the residents of Lovegrove Drive decided to Do It Themselves.
If you want to talk about doing the same for your own community, call Paul Janik on 01753-208111 for a chat.
These pictures were taken with my first digital camera, brought around 1998 for £975+VAT. It had a 1.4 Mega Pixels sensor and used 4 alkaline batteries to take between 4 and 6 pictures. The originals have been lost and it is impossible to improve upon these technically not very good pictures.
|1. New fence||2. New fence||3. Damaged fence||4. Damaged fence|
|5. damaged fence||6. bin shed door||7. destroyed fence||8. damaged fence|
|9. destroyed fence||10. destroyed fence||11. destroyed fence||21. damaged fence|
|22. damaged fence||23. damaged fence||24. damaged fence||26. damaged fence|
|27. damaged fence||28. damaged fence||29. damaged fence||30. damaged fence|
|31. Picture 28 update|