There’s been much talk of Armley being ‘on the up’ recently – injunctions issued to tackle street drinkers, new community groups formed and plans put in place for festivals, flower groups and a whole host of community orientated stuff. There’s even talk of Armley becoming the new Chapel Allerton.
But Burnsall Grange resident Elaine Holdsworth tells the Dispatch that the area’s problems are yet to be tackled …
I don’t want to be negative – I love Armley – but the truth is I am disillusioned.
I moved here to Burnsall Grange just off Town Street seven years ago and slowly, over the years, the anti-social behaviour has grown worse, both on Town Street and within the block.
At first I wasn’t sure what we should do about it. I always thought if you found the right person and complained in the right way the problems would be sorted out.
We contacted the Housing Office, the local councillors, the anti-social behaviour team, spoke to the police, went to the Armley Forum meetings … but as yet nothing has improved.
There’s been a lot of publicity regarding Town Street, mainly the six injunction orders to stop individuals street drinking on Town Street and how this is turning things around. The truth is though this isn’t the case, and I want the general public to see beyond the spin you see in the papers.
The point is the injunctions are clearly not working, at least three of them come and go as they please. I see them on a daily basis. One of them urinates in frount of the flats, we have even seen him deficate.
I felt I needed to do something if I was going to criticise, so I contacted the anti-social behaviour team. I now understand that with the exception of one, these injunctions come with no power of arrest. To help them take further action I have kept diaries, been happy to give evidence and sworn affidavits, all with the hope that we can improve Town Street.
The anti-social behaviour team can spend months putting cases together, but then it all depends on the magistrate on the day.
The truth is the magistrates are often too lenient. If the enforement isn’t there from them, how do we solve the problems on Town Street?
I know the street drinkers need help, but I also know that at least one has refused all offers of help.
However the underlying problem of anti-social behaviour remains,and from where I stand despite the spin, nobody seem to have the power to do anything about it.
The truth is Armley still has a long way to go…
What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.