Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Circus Street Graffiti Update

Well those of you who read my previous post on the future of council housing in the Circus Street market area are probably pining for an update.

Circus Street is due to be redeveloped into new homes, office space and creative work spaces. However this may take a number of years. Since the market has closed the area has become a hotspot for graffiti tags and residents have said they don’t feel very safe in the area because it doesn’t look cared for.

The Tarner Community Safety Action Group together with the property developer Cathedral and City Clean have put some funding together to commission a well known graffiti artist to spray one continuous piece of graffiti art along the entire length of the shutters. The artist is responsible for the graffiti art in the North Laine area (see pix at previous post) which has become a popular tourist attraction and has prevented unsightly tagging.

Of course the bigger issue for many is whether or not the Kingswood and Milner blocks will be included in the development. Residents are effectively being forced to consider whether they want to transfer the ownership of their homes from Brighton and Hove City Council to a Housing Association, just months after they voted resoundingly against such a stock transfer. But despite formal and informal requests for council leader Mary Mears to make a statement about how and when the council will bring the flats' standards into the 21st Century, she is yet to do so to residents' satisfaction. How can residents be expected to decide where their interests best lie if the administration insists on keeping them in the dark about future plans for their homes? The frustration was palpable at last week's Annual General Meeting of the Tarner Area Partnership. We'll keep asking, and until the answers are forthcoming, argue that any decisions about the future of Kingswood and Milner should be, regrettably, put on hold.

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