Historic clock tower graffitied and fly tipped


RESIDENTS were stunned by the latest antics of the historic Thornton Heath Clock Tower, which was graffiti and made into their home by the last group to meet there.

Even by Thornton Heath’s standards, the odd trail of clothes, shoes, toolbox, swivel chair, coffeemaker, and hob was a surprising addition to the regeneration. of the region by the council.

Worse still for days, the council seemed unable to remove what was being flagged as a fly-tip by several residents, which meant it should have been removed within 48 hours.

A large boulder which was placed at the Clocktower by the council was smeared with the words “Shan” while the benches installed as part of the regeneration were graffiti with the words: “SAS Clocktower” although this may have been a spelling mistake and should have read ‘SOS’.

Even the poor old bell tower which has stood there since 1900 has not escaped the graffiti.

As the council prepares to make even more cuts, including cutting other neighborhood security guard jobs, a councilor told The Chronicle that the council is now “non-functional”.

Many of the reported situations are no longer staffed.

Councilor Karen Jewitt, responding to complaints, has repeatedly brought the issue to the attention of council officers, but it is not clear if council is removing the items or if others are just added to the tower trail. clock.

At one point, a council execution van arrived to observe the situation, but the officer did not come out to challenge the behavior.

Ultimately, the Street brothers who run We Clean Windows Ltd set out to eliminate the mess. Unfortunately, the graffiti will not be removed because since shutting down its anti-graffiti team, the council only removes “offensive” graffiti.

In recent years, the Clock Tower has become a magnet for anti-social behavior with alcohol, shouting and brawling. At one point, a group of 16 met regularly to drink throughout the day. Last May, during a one-day session, the door of the Clock Tower was set on fire. The area was in a non-potable zone, but last year the council consulted on the future of public space protection ordinances (PSPOs) in the borough.

Hamida Ali, now head of the council, previously said: “Public space protection orders are an important tool to help the council and the police tackle anti-social behavior and improve public spaces for everyone. “

It is not known what the outcome of the consultation was or whether it has already been implemented. Police have also repeatedly asked the council to remove the chairs, but this has fallen on deaf ears.

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