Thursday, September 01, 2011

Perivale in social decline

Our part of Perivale was built in the thirties with houses in four dwelling terraces on parallel roads Between these are pedestrian alleyways. Some are accessible, some have been gated and others blocked by unrestrained vegetation or dumping of waste  - household rubbish or by builders economising on proper clearance of debris. Such dumping is against the law and can be reported to the Local Authority.

This morning our alley has, I see, in part been in part cleared by a neighbour who I presume, is about to start some building. Or perhaps they just want rear access. They have chopped down the blocking vegetation, dumped rubbish by my back fence and removed our old garage door. I had put this in the alley having failed to find an interested scrap metal merchant or other taker. It seems these people have better scrap metal contacts than I do.

The locality is not what it was. When we came in 1984 there were still a few old folks who were among the original owners. It was originally all owner occupier and British. Now the world is here - Irish, Caribbean, Polish, Lebanese, Indian, Pakistani, Iraqi, Iranian etc. The diversity is not a problem except for the late night bangs at Diwali. What is a problem is absentee landlords who have bought to rent and whose tenants, as tenants invariably do, care not for the appearance of their rented accommodation. We are also blighted by sheds with beds. Owners can cover a third of rear gardens with buildings without planning permission. It is illegal to live in these bungalows but getting the local Council to enforce this is not easy. Some landlords are, I am sure, getting rents for these illegally as extra housing. This is doubly galling if the illegal tenants are having rents subsidised by the tax payer, me.

Housing costs are prohibitive. I estimate the increase in house prices locally to be ten fold in the 27 years we have lived here.

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