Marchmont Association
Bloomsbury London WC1

'Residents and businesses improving
the local area for the benefit of all'

Greener, Cleaner, Safer Streets by staff

  Greener, Cleaner, Safer Streets


Greener, Cleaner, Safer Streets

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GREENER STREETS: We have worked in partnership with Camden's Arboricultural Service to introduce more than 70 new trees throughout the area since 2005, in addition to replacements for damaged or dead trees. Where possible, we have consulted local residents and businesses on the choice of species to be planted adjacent to their properties.

We were particularly pleased with the avenue of 'Amelanchier Lamarckii' (Snowy Mespilus) trees - chosen for their beautiful white spring blossom and crimson autumn foliage - which we arranged to be planted along the Marchmont Parade in May 2010 (see the Marchmont Parade item elsewhere on this web site). Local residents have taken responsibility for keeping these tree pits and the adjacent protective hedge planted with attractive seasonal flowers.

The trees shown opposite were twice vandalized by 'passing strangers' until we asked the Council to install protective metal 'cages', which allowed the present trees to grow into fine specimens. Replacements for two vandalised trees in Coram Street were 'adopted' by Russell Court residents, who took responsibility for watering them during the first summer. There is lots of useful information about trees on Camden's web site (link below), including links to other related web sites. Please let us know if you would like to see a tree planted in a particular location, or you could contact the Council direct. You can also help to keep street trees alive during the dry summer period by watering them in the evenings. In 2006, with a small grant from Groundwork Camden, we provided Window Box Gardening workshops for residents in an attempt to kick-start the greening of Marchmont Street. We gave away 50 'self-watering' window boxes, complete with soil and plants and followed this up with annual window box awards, although the frequent turnover of residents has made it difficult to sustain the quality and quantity of displays. Similar workshops were organised at the Marchmont Street Party in 2012 and 2013, when we gave away a total of 80 window boxes and potted plants to residents in the wider area, thanks to funding from Big Lottery Fund/Groundwork UK. We would like all residents and businesses with a street frontage to consider installing a window box, ornamental trees or other such greenery to make the area more greener for all. It also supports local independent businesses. Although Povey's Hardware shop closed for good in September 2012, a wonderful new flower shop - Vital Flowers - opened in Leigh Street and helped to stage the 'Big' Plant Give-Away in 2013.

CLEANER STREETS: We have worked in partnership with Camden Street Environment Officers and Veolia to maintain and improve the standard of street cleaning and refuse collection. Our "Rubbish" advisory notices are periodically delivered to businesses and residents to inform or remind them about collection arrangements for general waste and recycling materials. This helps to keep our local streets clean and tidy most of the time. We ensure that swift and effective action continues to be taken when our streets are 'invaded' by graffiti, fly-tipping, hot-dog sellers and illegal bill-posting. 'Hot-spots' highlighted by local people, are targeted by enforcement officers, so let us know of any infringements and we'll get on the case. Better still, you can report fly-tipping and missed collections direct to the Council on-line.

SAFER STREETS: We have work in partnership with the Bloomsbury and Kings Cross Safer Neighbourhood Teams (Police), Camden's Community Safety team and Safer Streets to promote and improve community safety in the area. Through our early membership of the Bloomsbury Safer Neighbourhood Panel we helped set priorities for policing in the Ward, but drops in Police numbers have taken their toll. Our earlier initiatives included persuading Allied London Properties to fund the installation of a CCTV camera at the junction of Marchmont and Coram Streets, which had the desired effect of significantly reducing anti-social behaviour in the locality. We later helped set up a 'Shop Watch' scheme, which was upgraded to include several shops in The Brunswick. Occasional burglaries and incidents of vandalism on shop premises give rise to calls from businesses to increase local CCTV coverage, but the Council has consistently refused such requests. However, when residents attending a meeting of the Kings Cross Area Action Group in 2013 demanded action to tackle the anti-social behaviour caused by the Generator hostel's guests throughout the neighbourhood, the Council responded by installing CCTV cameras in Judd Street and Tavistock Place. The Judd Street camera has been instrumental in reducing the negative impact of coach parties in Judd Street. However, problems persist with noisy guests coming and going through Compton Place. We supported residents' representatives on the Community Liaison Group set up by the Council to address the negative impact of the Generator on the local community. Although major changes to the way London is policed have impacted on local policing since early 2013, with fewer Police being visible on our streets, we see Community Safety as everyone's responsibility, so we would encourage you to contact your dedicated local police team via the 101 non-urgent calls number if you have any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour. For urgent matters, always dial 999.

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Created On 04 November 2010

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