Today Colin Rogers, Alison Moore and myself have a walkabout with senior managers from Barnet Homes to talk about issues on the Grange Estate and Prospect Ring. We caught a number of small things that need doing and expressed to them the problems that the estates have been having recently.
The community centre at the Grange is to be turned into a nursery, which is good news because it will mean some rennovation for the derelict building, and hopefully the removal of the Jurassic Park style fences surrounding it, as well as maintenance of the greens nearby. On the whole, the caretakers of the Grange to an excellent job and the estate looked in relatively good condition overall, so we were pleased with the progress that is going on there. As I understand it, there is a DJ competition on thursday evenings, so work is going on to engage young people. Barnet Hones are not responsible for the Old Barn, but they understnad that a number of problems that we have on the Grange, and Strawberry Vale, stem for the lack of access to the Old Barn.
Then we moved on to Prospect Ring (where I live) through the walks, and we spent some time at the Market Place playground. I explained to them that the playground is being used to play football, when the Stanley Road Playing Fields is just round the corner. playing football in the playground is damaging the equipment. there is a very small enclosed green next to the playground, but it can be intimidating for these small children to play football there, whilst ebing watched by older teenagers who sit at the benches nearby.
On Prospect Ring, we showed them the decaying state of the central green, and th eproblem with the lack of parking places for local residents because of commuters who park there (we are very close to the station). The officers are also keen to remove the "no ball game" signs, which is a very positive move.
The caretaker, Oscar, happened to chance by and was extremely helpful in letting the officers know about some of the problems here. he is also a resident of Prospect Ring, and knows the place better than anyone else. We told the officers about the fire incident on block 13-56 with fire, which was so alarming to residents, and the problems with people smoking in the stairwells.
All in all it was an extremely successful visit. Barnet Homes were very keen to listen to us, took a keen interest and care about the problems we are having. The local councillors have done our job of reporting the problems, and I think Barnet Homes will respond well. On their visit last year they solved a number of problems, and they are working very hard to engage with all sectors of the communities, I commend them!
I hope they will deliver real action to tackey the problems that we raised, but I feel very positive about today. I felt proud to be a councillor, and I hope this shows we are making a difference. Alison, Colin and I work well as a team and I think today was us at our best.