On the evening of 20 July, St George’s Square Gardens was rocked by a spate of vandalism which saw a bin set on fire, park benches pulled up, and a cigarette bin dumped into the fountain.
This wanton destruction comes after months of residents complaining that anti-social behaviour has been on the rise in and around the gardens.
Despite residents’ numerous attempts over the past year to get Westminster City Council and the Police to take the problem seriously, nothing has been done. Because of this lack of intervention, anti-social behaviour in the Garden has now escalated into arson.
Residents have been left wondering whether they should form their own volunteer warden organisation because of the Labour-run council’s unwillingness to act!
This is why local Conservatives, along with Nickie Aiken MP and London Assembly Member Tony Devenish have launched a campaign to get Westminster City Council to fund a permanent park warden for St George’s Square Garden.
The benefits of a permanent park warden would be:
- They would prevent serious cases of anti-social behaviour in the garden such as the vandalism we saw last month as well as people smoking drugs.
- They would be a friendly-face to encourage neighbourly behaviour in the park such as discouraging parents from letting their children pull up plants and dump soil in the fountain.
- They would be a visible presence in the Square and provide the Police with on-the-ground information. This is especially important given the car and catalytic converter thefts we have seen on the Square recently.
James Spencer, former Councillor and local Conservative spokesperson said: “We should not be in a situation where residents are having to consider forming their own voluntary surveillance organisation. The council should be stepping up, realise there is a growing anti-social behaviour problem in the Garden and fund a proper park warden.
“As a resident of St George’s Square, I know how important our beautiful garden is to everyone both inside the Square and across Pimlico. This is why we must do all we can to protect it, and a permanent park warden will do just that!”