The scale of legalised vandalism being committed by Boston Borough Council in the name of preventing anti-social behaviour is disclosed in a report to tomorrow’s meeting of the Boston Town Area Committee.
At its meeting in June, the committee heard that more and more amenity benches were being occupied by people boozing around the clock – mostly along the river banks and residential areas of the town centre – with accompanying issues of urination, defecation, litter, noise disturbance, and intimidation.
Today’s report discloses that at least twenty benches have been removed, and a lot of shrubbery cut down.
Members of the committee have declared themselves “happy” with this anti-social behaviour “approach and consultation” – although the minutes add: “However, applying this policy, then all benches subject to complaint could be removed and an alternative relocation site investigated.”
All of this begs the question as to whether this it is the proper solution to the problem.
One area that Boston Eye knows very well appears in our photo montage at the top of the page – Windsor Bank south of Vauxhall Bridge.
On the BTAC list, one bench was listed for removal after a complaint by a resident – but a second has also vanished without any consultation with people living nearby.
This area could become a magnet for visitors – even though the council and other organisations clearly regard it as a "poor quality" neighbourhood unworthy of improvement.
It is possible to walk from the Maud Foster Windmill, down Willoughby Road, along Queen’s Road and Windsor Bank, all the way to the River Haven and then to St Nicholas Church with a waterway alongside you all the way – and there are very few places in the country that can boast such an attraction.
Instead, amenity seating has been removed and the litter bins – which no-one ever seems to use – remain. The grass on the bank is seldom cut.
Litter abounds, as does dog fouling, and dangerous cycling in an area where it is prohibited.
We mention this area specifically - but the situation is the same across the borough.
Removing benches and destroying plantings that bring colour and freshness to an otherwise dismal urban landscape symbolise defeat … and are a sign that the council – which let’s not forget boasts a dedicated anti-social behaviour team – and the police are failing in their duties to the local citizenry.
They have let the lunatics take over the asylum , and bent the knee in a cowardly genuflection that sends the message – you win, we’ve given up the fight.
Let’s not waste any more time debating the extension of Designated Public Place Orders to curb drinking and the accompanying behaviour that so many people find so offensive.
There is clear evidence that the authorities already turn a blind eye to the booze-a-thon around the Ingram Memorial as just one example – so don’t try to con us into believing that you really want to do something - when the reverse is true.
Amusingly, the council is setting much store in a video entitled Nottingham in Bloom in our Communities – which is an impressive example of how things can be made much better for that city’s residents through thoughtful planning and ingenious use of flowers, shrubs and street furniture.
According to the BTAC minutes, this “illustrated a similar approach to that which the council was moving towards.”
But if you view the video by clicking here, we think you will agree that the chance of anything like this ever being seen in Boston are as great as ending the anti-social behaviour that has the town in its thrall.
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