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Since I've been gone...



...I've been on BBC Radio 4 talking about a really sad thing that happened near my home and started a campaign to stop my neighbour running a business from the house.

The first issue was about the killing of a man in broad daylight on a Sunday morning with a broken bottle. He had just left the venue where he had been singing after a great gig and was on his way to catch a bus home. He crossed the road using a subway where someone was hanging out with a broken bottle. I think subways like that should be used for something positive as there is an enormous space down there, big enough for a building. We could have a local radio station or an internet cafe down there, something that is open 24 hours a day and serves the community. Thanks to the producer I was able to talk to an expert on urban spaces called Henry Shaftoe who thinks it's a good idea and better than CCTV but CCTV is what we're going to get.

As for the second thing, well, my garden shares a border with one belonging to a house that's being used as an office. Nothing wrong with that in itself, it's the great big mixer trucks that park up outside that are causing the problems. Apart from that he's built a small house in his garden, right on our boundary which has made the whole area too shady. No consultation or apologies. Now we're worried that he will build between the house and the new bit. There are a lot of small mammals, frogs and insects here and in the long term they will suffer if this keeps happening. The local council only wrote to a few people asking if they objected so I ended up leafleting the area to alert others and got a good response. Won't know the result for weeks so fingers crossed.


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