COMMENT: Residents need to work with council on revamp

News that more than £3.5m is to be spent on revamping a Portsmouth council estate must feel like an extra Christmas present for residents.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 12:00 am

Those living in Crown Court, King Albert Court, Lords Court and Wimpole Court off Lords Street in Fratton have seen the area go downhill, plagued by drug-dealing and anti-social behaviour, including graffiti being daubed on their homes.

The feeling is that the run-down look of the area has fuelled a lack of respect and a general sense of hopelessness.

Many people had given up on improvements ever being made. As a result, apathy had set in with few residents attending public meetings about what needed to be done to turn around the estate's fortunes.

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But today we report how the city council is going to start to transform the estate, with work beginning in 2022 and expected to be completed by 2024.

Above-ground walkways that connect the area's apartment blocks will be removed, a fresh coat of paint will be applied to the buildings and new lighting and CCTV installed.

Listening to the residents, it's obvious that the facelift is badly-needed. We hope it brings back a sense of pride in the community, as well as acting as a deterrent against criminal activity.

According to Hampshire Constabulary data, the wider Charles Dickens and Nelson area of the city is a crime hotspot, with incidents up from 664 in November 2020 to 901 in October 2021.

Residents have a right to expect to feel safe and the improvements should certainly help.

But they do need to find their voice and work with the council to share their insights and get the best results for their area.

This is a great opportunity for them to get involved in a major scheme that sounds like it will really improve their environment.