Reported in this weeks press;
A COFFEE shop owner says it is “absurd” her street was named in the best in the UK because it is plagued by gangs and litter.
Enitan Akinde, who runs Old Station Yard Cafe, in Wood Street, Walthamstow, was left surprised when it won the Academy of Urbanism award.
The 54-year-old mother-of-two, who also lives on the road, says she once found cat litter dumped outside her door.
She said: “This cannot be the best street in the UK. The more I hear of it the more I find it absurd and ridiculous.
“There are people who cause disturbances and there are gangs hanging outside betting shops and I am wary to leave my children out at night.”
The winner was announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, November 16.
The judges praised the street’s efforts to heal the wounds from the 2011 riots in Walthamstow.
Graham Hodgkiss, who is chairman of Wood Street First, said gangs regularly hang outside of betting shops in Wood Street.
He said: “The gangs are a problem for shoppers and local businesses because people are uncomfortable walking down the street and will choose to shop elsewhere.”
Fact finding trip
We undertook an expedition to discover for ourselves what truth lies behind these claims.
Saturday is market day in Walthamstow.
It was widely known in the 1980’s as the longest street market in Europe.
Today the High Street is home to 2 Adult Gaming Centres.
1 branch of Ladbrokes
2 branches of Betfred
3 branches of Paddy Power
To ease the pain of the local community both Coral and William Hill have yet to occupy one of many empty retail units.
There was no disputing the threat of violence is very real, the bookies & gambling centres give the game away themselves.
Disturbingly there was also evidence of extreme poverty in the area.
It’s not often you will see an octogenarian openly begging on the streets of London.
You’ve got to ask yourself one question.
Why are 24 FIXED ODDS BETTING MACHINES situated in an area suffering from obvious financial disadvantage?
That’s £24,000+ weekly taken out of a community that’s struggling.
Plug that drain on resources & the community will recover.
Remove Casino gambling from every street corner.
Allow local economies to survive.