Monday, June 02, 2008

Site visit on the Phythian - can we stop that ASB through estate design planning?

The Phythian estate in Kensington is the best council estate in Liverpool.

I should qualify that really. It is not a council estate any more, two months ago it was transferred through stock-transfer to a private company named Pinnacle, under the umbrella of Liverpool Mutual Homes.

And in any case, lots of residents bought their homes over the years, so few now live in social housing.

However, despite all that, it is a fabulous estate.

Great houses with big gardens, all beautifully maintained, a really great place to live.

But for one particular family on the estate it has become a hell.

They live on the end of a cul-de-sac where there is access only for pedestrians at the end of the road.

This pedestrian access has become a magnet for trouble. Young people hang round there, drinking beers and chatting each other up, which would not be so much of a problem except that as they get drunk they begin to urinate in the close (girls as well as boys). Also drug dealing takes place in the quiet corner and sometimes motorbike riders use the limited access to flee from police.

We had a meeting on site with the affected home owners and watched some video film they had made of a particularly bad evening when police had to be called to disperse crowds.

We were joined by a member of our council's neighbourhood management services who had lots of good ideas about how to solve this problem and I am hopeful that we might be able to put this right for these residents and their immediate neighbours.
He had several suggestions and was also able, while we stood in the street, to phone the CCTV managers and have the camera that covers this area moved, so that it looked right at the problem area. Impressed? Moi? You Bet!

Now I should say that in the years since the estate was built, a project was undertaken to redesign the estate to factor out most crime and ASB that were troubling the original residents, and it was fantastically successful. Houses were turned round, front doors moved to the back, entries closed, gardens extended, lights put in. It made a huge difference.

It is testament to the TRA of the time that there are so few problems left on the estate.

We hope that with this last final change we will have achieved a near perfect estate.


Anonymous said...

It was your now Labour chair of adult services who was the estate manager overseeing the estate redesign!
The estate is not part of the New Deal - should the cameras strictly speaking be focused no it?

Louise Baldock said...

You are absolutely right in that Roz Gladden had a lot to do with the very successfully redesign. Well done her.

I think the CCTV cameras are multi-functional, they are for traffic management, crime management and various other things. This particular camera is located on the north side of Kensington and covers about the first 100 yards up Kensington Street from the road, which is about the extent of the New Deal - they cover the south side of Kensington and Prescot Road but also the frontages on the north side.

I dont see a conflict. Do you?

You cannot really think that the camera with 360 degree sight should only actually look at about 300 degrees in case it accidentally looks upon non NDC territory can you? Or are you pulling my leg?

Yes I think you must be... sorry to be so dim!

steve faragher said...

when we had our bit if trouble on southbank road, the nice policeman who "dealt" with it when asked if he thought that there might be something to see on the CCTV at the end of the street, lazily told us "oh there's no film in that camera", back to trianing school I think.
"New ways of tackling crime!" as the sign on the pole says.