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Plans to charge for carnival security

Written on October 31, 2011

A housing association has sparked outrage among North Kensington residents over plans to charge for security at next year’s Notting Hill Carnival.

At this year’s event, Catalyst Housing (CH) funded a team of security guards to provide a visible presence on the Wornington Green Estate, and blocked off parts of the estate which are known for antisocial behaviour.

CH is now consulting residents on whether they want similar security arrangements in place next year, to protect residents against potential trouble.

If brought in again, CH is looking at building the cost into residents’ service charges.

Councilor Emma Dent Coad, Labour councillor for the Golborne ward, said:

“”This is outrageous and residents are quite right to be furious. I walked through the estate six times during Carnival. I saw just two guards very briefly the whole time I was there, and they did nothing.There were far more police officers and they were active.Despite three weeks of negotiations, a trouble hot spot at Athlone Gardens was open to all as a toilet.On the whole Wornington Green is a quiet oasis during Carnival, all CH needs to do is fix the broken security gates so only residents can get in.Tenants should not have to pay twice for something as basic as security.”

A spokesman for CH said:

“We take the security of our residents seriously, and we have a number of measures in place to keep the estate safe all year round, which we keep under constant review.This includes the well-regarded P2P program which provides activities and mentoring for young people including a new outreach project on Wornington Green.”

He added:

“Some residents raised concerns about additional antisocial behaviour during the Notting Hill Carnival.
We have recently piloted extra security during the event – at our own cost – and now we want to hear our residents’ feedback on this.We want to know if residents would like this additional service provided for future carnivals.We look forward to hearing the residents’ views on this issue, but for the time being we will not be collecting a charge for this.
The design of an estate has been found to have an impact on antisocial behaviour.
This is one of the key drivers behind our Wornington Green regeneration.”

The spokesman added that CH was aware that some of the doors on the estate were vandalised, but that regular inspections were carried out to ensure the issues were addressed.

Source (Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle)