I have lived here for 10 years and on the whole it is a pleasant place to live. I have never felt threatened when out on the streets at night and, as I am a runner I am out on the streets a lot. The shops in the high street are OK and there’s not much litter but unless you are out to get your nails done, buy charity clothes or you want to risk spending the next couple of days on the loo spewing from both ends and buy a kebab (this shop has 0 stars on the Food Standards Authority’s hygiene scores!) then there is not much to do.
The local youth, the bane of most people around the country, seems pretty harmless, but then there is nothing to do.. really nothing .. if you are a teenager other than sit around and chat to your mates on street corners or in the Snaprails Park underpass. I’ve run past these kids loads of times and they just about manage to cheer me on with a “keep running mate!” – but then they are just so stoned, the poor dears. The main Memorial Park is a good hang out place and looks tidy most of the year as the ground is so waterlogged and muddy nobody can sit down, but when the sun is out, all the local kids descend on the place to picnic and mark their territory with vast amounts of litter all over the football pitches. On the rare occasions when the park-keepers haven’t cleared up all the trash by the next day I have even heard kids complaining about them not doing their job properly! Every group of teenagers should be forced to have one of their mothers along to make sure they play nicely and clean up after themselves – who wants to be a Designated Mother – anyone? Anyone?