Wimbledon Chase regeneration meeting



Not sure if anyone's posted anything about this on here yet, but I wanted to get across some thoughts I never got to air on the day. It was brilliant to see so many people turn up; the architect Tim Day gave a very interesting presentation with lots of good ideas; very big bravo to the feller who said 'let's come up with five action points we can do in the very near future'; for that matter, the meeting was very well chaired by Marcus Beale. One or two things really concerned me, however: the guy whose main idea was CCTV (which, thankfully, gathered the support of about two other people) - we are the most watched nation in the western world, but it doesn't seem to solve our urban problems - in fact, there's little evidence it does anything but increase people's paranoia about crime. It's too pat a solution, but the effect on our psyches is what I fear most - if I thought this whole thing was about helping Big Brother watch us all the more, I would oppose it all. If CCTV were to be installed on the streets around Wimbledon Chase, I would be inclined to go there less, regardless of how many trees have been planted or seats put in. I was glad to see how few people wanted it put in. The other thing that perturbed me was when the police officer said about putting seats in 'the down side is that we might attract the wrong type of people' - quite apart from being suitably vague, who are we to decide exactly which people should use seats? Sure, we don't want more crime, but what exactly are we saying? Do we want only middle-aged white people with good professions sitting in our seats? I noticed a fair bit of resentment about the local school kids - so keeping them away will turn them into good citizens, won't it? Hands up all those at the meeting who have never dropped litter... hmmm, not many I'd wager. The 'solution' the policeman had appeared to be 'temporary seats put up by businesses during the day'. I see... so we can sit down only if we're buying something. I rather thought this was a question of doing something for the people who live round here. Seats don't create or solve major social problems. Put good seats in, I say, then deal with whatever it brings up. Anyway, my rant over.