Friday, September 25, 2009

Westgate Matters

It's been a very long time since I sat at a desk in a university and my how it's changed!

Over at the Chatham campus, it's stuffed-full of ICT, hidden computers that flip-up from rotating desktops, web-access, via the magnificent library, to just about any literary, newspaper or reference resource one can think of and most important of all to someone who lives on caffeine, 'Costa Coffee' and Danish pastries on-demand in the students cafe. All very civilised indeed, as I remember back to studying by candlelight during the power cuts of the great 'winter of discontent' in the late seventies!

More importantly now, some encouraging news for Westgate residents. In last week's Cabinet meeting, both Cllr King and I expressed deep concern over the visible increase in anti-social and intimidating behavior in Westgate's Station Road in recent months, a dramatic rise in reports from 12 to 180 incidents a month, I understand from the latest figures.

The intelligence suggests that the problems are being caused by youths coming into Westgate from other areas, such as Herne Bay and Margate, where vigorous policing has been targetting their anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the evenings. I suppose we can thank mobile phones and social networking for enabling them to organise so well.

Last week, I wrote to Roger Gale MP to express our concerns and he in turn wrote to the Police Area Commander, Chief Superintendent John Molloy. I'm pleased to report, that today I heard from the Police that they will now be focusing significant effort into Westgate and will be taking positive steps to address the problems; this includes introducing dispersal orders to prevent the large groups of youths, sometimes as many as 30 at a time, congregating outside the station and around Adrian Square.

I will be meeting with Inspector Tutor next week and plan to accompany the Police on one of the evening patrols to gauge the effectiveness of a this much-needed initiative to tackle this very worrying rise in aggravated and organised anti-social behaviour in what was always recognised as one of the more peaceful towns on the island.


Gerald said...

The Universities at Medway at Chatham Maritime is on the site of the old naval base, HMS Pembroke, and is a campus shared by: University of Kent, University of Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church University and Mid Kent College.

The campus has gone through some major renovation over the last few
years - including the opening of the new library that Simon refers to, which is based in the old naval drill hall.

There are some open days for the various Universities in the next few weeks and anyone interested might like to have a look at the website.

Anonymous said...

The majority of the yobs hanging around outside of Edwards and playing football against the cars, are not from outside the area, but from the Linksfield area of Westgate. They move down there when they're not hanging around in and around the new Logi's Fish bar in Lymington Road.

They were all known by name by Tony the old warden, but the new ones don't go out after dark, and don't seem to come up around the Southern area of Westgate at all!

Anonymous said...

Whilst I understand there are some youths causing problems in Linkfield Road, it is not fair to say the Community Warden does not come out after dark, or to say that he does not come to the Southern area of Westgate. I reported a young lout on a VERY noisy moped hurtling up and down Belmont Road with no crash helmet and doing wheelies to amuse his many cretinous friends. I took his number plate and reported him. Within half an hour he had been interviewed and given his first of the '3 strikes and you're out' warnings. I was called back by the police (yes.....unbelievable as it may sound !) and by the Community Warden AND by the plastic police and was thanked for my 'public spiritness'. He is still showing off whenever he can, but I live in hope that he will recieve the other two strikes soon and probably cry when his beloved moped is crushed ! Whilst I agree that the police could probably do more about the youths in Station Road and Lymington Road, until someone comes up with something better than the ASBO badge of honour or the ineffectual 'dispersal orders' we have only the parents of the feral kids to rely on. Sadly our society is lacking respect and until that is restored, we will just have to tolerate this lost generation. Incidentally, Logi's do great fish and chips ! Try them and don't let the youths put you off.

Anonymous said...

when you talk to people in lymington rd they all say things have inproved from what it was and i belive this to be true the old saying once given a bad name it is hard to chage this that is not true the problem is kids come in from out of town cause all the problems then go the same was said about elthbert homes in westage now they don,t just blame the kids people make me sick do they won,t to live on the moon sorry they will still find something to moan about

Anonymous said...

this problem about the bench seat aotside the piggy bank school ,some years ago when the council wont,ed to move it the whole of westgate were up in arms about it , yes even the residents ass now it seems there leader won,ts it removed well what a change of heart .it seems this is a one man job trying to get the seat removed i wish him luck h
e will need it why not stop the kids getting on the train at the other stations like herne bay and see if that work snot clear everything away from westgate