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The Voice of … Newgate Road

The voice of Newgate Road

The voice of Newgate Road

For the first of our new series featuring you, the residents of Bohemia, the Voice did a door-to-door survey in Newgate Road recently to find out what issues or concerns they would like aired in the magazine, good or bad.
Most residents thought the area a friendly one, comments including, “ fantastic”, “nicest place I’ve ever lived…everybody really nice and friendly”, though one lady said “very isolated.   You get to know your immediate neighbours, otherwise people keep themselves to themselves.”   Another said “It was a community, but now it’s gone; there’s too many buy-to-lets.”
People in general appreciated local shops, though there was a mixed bag of comments.   A lady with no car said “It’s very convenient to be so close to the shops and laundrette.”   Four thought there were too many fast food shops.  One added,”We objected to planning permission, but nobody listens to us.”   A man said Bohemia “needs a good greengrocer’s or a farm shop selling local produce.”   He continued, “local shops are beginning to recover…it could become a nice village; it’s picking up.” Others thought that as a local shopping centre it was going into decline, with “lots of empty shops which could be developed.”   Several wanted the post office back.   One was in favour of ASDA and did not think it would affect local shops, “…they said that about Lidl and it didn’t happen.   There’s plenty of room for competition, and it will bring work for the town.”
One resident said the pubs are good, while two complained of noise from them at night.   One of these said it was since the government’s ban forced smokers outside.
Litter aroused the strongest feelings.   This was mainly litter dropped by schoolchildren and litter left by the dustmen, who just let rubbish pour out of any broken bags and leave it.   Jude Harvey and another resident were thinking of writing to the school to complain.   Another invited the Voice to look at the poor state of the twitten which runs behind the houses at the Bohemia Road end, which we found wreathed with rubbish.   He told us the dustmen don’t bother to go round the back and pick up the recycling, and also the twitten needs improvements to surfacing and lighting.   B.Jones said, “Street cleaning is disgusting … before the new contractors took over, one man and his cart kept Bohemia spotless.   Now it’s like a third world country.”   However, one lady praised the new street sweepers, which she thinks very good.  
Parking was the next most negative comment.   One family was moving out for that reason, and because their car had often been hit while parked.   She said, “We feel as if we are being pushed out.”   However, another resident said it was good to be able to park outside their house.
An elderly resident said that Bohemia is very badly served by buses.
One man complained of vandalism to cars, and “noise at nights from people coming up from the Park drunk.”    One said the area feels “very safe”, while another complained of crime, burglary and youths with very bad behaviour and language, but said, “There’s good policing and they’re very prompt”   She added there used to be a problem with drug addicts, but this has now stopped.   The local bobby was praised; “He’s good.   He finds out what people are worried about and comes to church at the end of the service in case people need to chat to him.”   However, D. Jones complained of the lack of policing and said, “I don’t think I’ve seen the local bobby once.” She was concerned about “young youths playing ball in the street and sitting on the seats (which they have defaced), drinking and smoking.”
David Barratt of the Hastings Young Persons’ Council said there was not enough provision for youth, especially the 11-25 age group.   He said there was a need for “somewhere for kids to be safe”, and was concerned about road safety for pedestrians, especially children.
B. Jones said Newgate Fields could be better maintained, with the path surfaced and grass tracks regularly mown to improve access. (See letters page).
Opinions on naming the twittens were split 50/50, though not many mentioned it. All in all, the Voice found a wide range of comments in Newgate Road.   In forthcoming issues, we will be concentrating on further individual streets, so that your voice can be heard.

Next month:
St Paul’s Road

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