St James Residents' Association

For The Residents And Workers Of St James

Monday, 28 November 2011

Down Your Way

The planning committee last week voted unanimously to approve the planning application to demolish the old St. James Church School and replace it with 14 houses. That’s 145 years of Jimmy’s End History that will now be swept away! It seems the council can only use fine words when it comes to saving our heritage but has little in the way of tools to save anything, unless it is in the town centre! It’s a developers world, where everything is stacked in their favour and the councilors seem unwilling to challenge it. So much for listening to communities!. In return for destroying our heritage the developer is only going to contribute some money towards provision of “local schooling” which could go to either Lyncrest, the new St. James school or Spring Lane, my money is on Spring Lane, everything goes there! That is of course if it is not swallowed up by next years round of budget cuts!  So, from consulting with the community, putting money towards Victoria Park, converting the front building to community use, the developer got away with not doing any of it because they say it would make the scheme unviable, so what? Then bring in a developer who can make it viable. The real worry is now that in this current economic climate that there will be no interest in these properties and we will have a situation similar to the “The Maltings” on Westbridge; a fine building will be demolished and the site will lay derelict, there is a very real possibility of that happening. One thing the councilllors did agree on was that the some of the school building materials should be incorporated, somehow, into the new development and a plaque erected to inform people of what used to stand there and the new road into the development be named to reflect that, the only crumb of comfort from a lack lustre planning committee, with the exception of some notable contributions, who in the main just waited to see how everyone else is voting. It is ok to vote no! A sad day for St. James.

Now for some good news to brighten the day! The Doddridge Centre is hosting its annual Christmas Lunch on Thursday 8th December at 12.30pm. On offer is a traditional Christmas lunch, including a vegetarian option, and entertainment provided by the choir of St. James primary school and local singer Mark Harris. Tickets cost £12.00 and more details are available by calling the Doddridge centre on 01604 586384 or e-mail . Tickets are available until 30th November on a first come first served basis.

The Environmental Warden has been busy trying to tackle the problem of black bag rubbish being dumped on the streets well before collection day. The warden has already been busy in the area in Ambush Street and has helped improve the situation. However, some residents in Greenwood Road, Althorp Road and Wimbledon Street are being irresponsible by dumping their rubbish on the streets and the SJRA has been reporting the ongoing problem to the council. Residents are asked to be responsible in disposing of household waste as the dumping is bringing the area down and posing a health hazard. A regular dumping spot is at the junction of Greenwood Road and Wimbledon Street where all manner of rubbish is being dumped, despite the efforts of the Environmental Warden, and is attracting rats to the area. Residents can report fly tipping and dumped bags by calling 01604 838000.

Residents are also expressing concern at the lack of policing in Victoria Park, where groups of males are gathering to drink alcohol and intimidating other park users. In addition they are seen regularly urinating and leaving their rubbish. Already, one person has been assaulted and racially abused but the Police seem reluctant to intervene. The normally efficient PCSO’s are already stretched as they now have larger areas to Police. The situation can only get worse when the County Council reduce their funding for Community support officers.

People who shop on-line can now give financial help to the residents association. Once you have registered online to help the SJRA at You can then shop online at your favourite retailers and whatever you purchase a percentage is given to the SJRA. You can also use the easysearch option to search for websites and by doing so each search generates a small donation to the SJRA. It doesn't cost you anything extra but will help the SJRA pay for associated costs of running an association.  Everyone is a winner! Find out more at and follow the links.

Residents of the "shoe" flats are being asked to return the questionnaire from the council asking them about new metal fencing for the green spaces outside the flats. The fencing was promised a long time ago but the funding money disappeared. The SJRA has been asking the council for some time to erect the low green fences to give some protection to the grass areas outside the flats and therefore increase security and enhance the area. This has now come to fruition thanks to the intervention from councillor Wire who has been working to help make this a reality. However, the tenants will have to decide whether they want the fence. We are told by the council that if you do not reply that will be assumed to be that you are in favour of the proposal. The closing date is 30th November.

No comments:

St James End before 1965

St James End before 1965


Either reply to a post here or email us at : Remember, Your Problem is Our Priority