Southgate Labour councillor Mike Pickett, supported by his fellow Labour councillor Raj Sharma, are pressing Crawley Borough Council to install door entry systems to give extra security to hard-pressed residents in Barley Close.
The residents in the flats on Barley Close have been suffering from a high number of anti-social behaviour incidents and criminal activity. Complaints to Labour councillors from residents are that this includes drug dealing taking place, and abuse from those concerned when challenged, hallways being used as lavatories by people in an intoxicated state, sexual encounters, rough sleeping and even fly tipping.
- The Labour Southgate councillors are arguing that the installation of door entry phones for each residence would give greater security to residents, whose communal hallways could then no longer be so easy to access.
- All floors can currently be readily accessed at all times, just by pushing the main communal front doors on each block.
- Of the 37 properties contacted by Cllr Pickett, in total well over half of the residents (57%) were in favour of having entry phones installed, with no residents objecting.
- The majority of the homes in the blocks of flats in Barley Close are owned by Crawley Borough Council.
- Cllr Pickett is therefore formally presenting the request, together with the forms requesting this from residents, to the Cabinet Member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council Michael Jones (Lab, Bewbush) at the Town Hall.
- The Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Jones will consider the requests with council officers and then give a response shortly.
Councillor Pickett said, “It’s not an earth shattering request. These unfortunate residents have put up with a lot in Barley Close and I think this is very important for them for their peace of mind. I hope the council will consider this favourably.
“We have to go down this route, sadly, because it appears that despite many complaints, including whenever a Police officer has attended the Southgate Forum, that this behaviour is continuing. As a result we are forced to ask for more security for these residents, because this cannot continue.
“Certainly other flats further out of town have benefited from this sort of investment, yet here we have flats very close to the centre which seem to have been left. That’s got to change.”
Supporting Cllr Pickett’s comments, Cllr Raj Sharma said: “I was pleased to support the residents in their request and think Mike Pickett has done a great job championing their cause. I feel sure that we will get a good result on this, this Labour council is one that listens to the people’s concerns and I too hope that action can be taken quickly.”