Column: Cllr Lizzie Deane

Shortly after I moved to West Hill, and before I became a councillor, I went along to a community meeting organised by the local police, to discuss neighbourhood issues. A huge map was laid out and residents invited to name and locate problems in the area. We had to scratch our heads for a bit, because there weren’t any, and we eventually decided the most serious local issue was dog poo.

How times have changed, and over the past few years my inbox has received increasing reports of other issues, most notably graffiti and drug-related antisocial behaviour. Some spots are worse than others, and the area around St Nicholas Churchyard seems particularly prone. All is not lost though, as the police are being particularly active on our behalf, both overtly and covertly, as both both methods work best in their different ways.

There have been calls for, and offers to help with, a mural or other form of painting along the twitten that runs between Centurion Road and Church Street, and our local PCSO Kevin Creasey organised a meeting to discuss this and other issues and, in addition, has put in an application for CCTV coverage along there.

On the upside, a spate of nasty tagging often results in bringing the community together. I spent a great day a couple of years ago with residents around Clifton Street Passage, and we managed to transform a graffiti-ridden passageway into gleaming white walls, which actually stayed that way for a good few weeks before the taggers came back. And likewise, when a kindly soul single-handedly removed all the graffiti at the top of West Hill Road (big Thank You here) it has acted as a successful deterrent.

The North Laine has an active anti-tagging group which gets together regularly to get on top of this perpetual blight as soon as it appears. Although it’s not nearly as bad here in West HilI, I know that when it does happen it’s both unsightly and annoying, and the first tag invariably encourages more. So why don’t we form an anti-tagging group here too? 

If you’re interested and would like to get involved just drop me an email on 

and we can take it from there.

Cllr Lizzie Deane

Green Party member for St Peter’s and North Laine ward

l Do you have any questions for Lizzie? Write in and we’ll see what we can do.