Isn't it great that they've finally smartened up Emma Cons Gardens, outside the Old Vic?
... Well, yes, up to a point, except that nobody seems to have done anything much to prevent the usual community of street drinkers from having their bonfires there. So the brand new brickwork has already been charred and cracked, and doubtless as soon as the new plantings go in they'll be destroyed too. A similar cosmetic exercise took place within the last five years.
I'd love to know how much these pointless refurbs cost. Not to mention the day-to-day cost of cleaning up the bonfires & general detritus created by our pissed friends.
I know it's a political hot potato, but until someone actually does something to get these guys off the streets, there's no point in spending our tax money on new paving slabs etc. Talk about treating the symptoms, and not the disease!
Yep, I heard that the improvement is only regarded as a temporary measure, I think getting the street drinkers to move on is tricky, spoke to someone who works with homeless recently and he told me that the corner there has been used as a meeting place for 30 years.
WATERLOO STREETS DRINKING CONTROL AREA
Peter Sheppard, Streetcare Manager, addressed the Committee.
Peter referred to the circulated map that outlined the preferred area for the introduction of a Drinking Control Area in Waterloo, pursuant to powers contained in chapter 2 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
The Act did not cover licensed premises or registered clubs; ...etc.
Members made the following points:
• Officers should consider the provision of a safe drinking area where street drinkers could consume alcohol free from harassment by the authorities. A similar scheme operated in Vauxhall.
• Officers should liaise with St Mungos to help street drinkers.
• Displacement would be a problem for surrounding areas, particularly Vauxhall.
In response officers made the following points:
• The success of the scheme depended on the involvement and support of the Police.
• The Brixton Town Centre controlled drinking zone had been introduced without the support of the local police and under bye law legislation.
• The police and Street Care were already working closely with the St Mungos on this and related matters.
• Displacement would be a sign that the scheme had been successful. But any new areas of concern would be reviewed with members and the police.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Peter Truesdale, stated that the Council needed to do everything it could to help the street drinkers in terms of rehabilitation but also had to ensure that the lives of local residents were not further blighted by the anti social behaviour of street drinking. He added that displacement would be a sign that the scheme had been successful.
That the report be noted.