Written on March 27, 2009
For too long now the houses in the street next to where my Mom lives (in Alum Rock, East Birmingham) have been boarded up ready for demolition. Some have gone but others remain. In fact they’ve remained that way for several years now. I don’t actually know what the plans for them are but I seem to recall that subsidence issues meant most of the street had to go.
I’ve been cross about this situation for a long time. These are the streets I grew up in after all – a proud working class neighbourhood, once predominantly Irish, now largely Asian. The gradually neglect of these streets is a disgrace and I wrote a letter to my Mom’s councillors about it a few months ago to little effect (a response from one of them promising to look into it). I pointed out that if this was a more middle-class area the situation simply wouldn’t be tolerated.
I had been meaning to bring my camera along to take some pics but with the beauty of Street View I don’t have to. There’s the whole street in its neglected glory set out for anyone to see. Have a look around. Go to Farndon road as well, that’s the same. Admire the boarded up house that confronts my Mom every time she goes to the shops.
So having grabbed a few stills from Street View I’ve now used them to make a submission to Fix My Street (or rather, Fix My Mom’s Street, that’s a website waiting to happen isn’t it?)
To give my Mom some credit she doesn’t seem too bothered about it. I’m not sure she knows how to cause a fuss but even if she knew I doubt she would. Clearly I’ve developed some kind of middle-class angst about it but if this was your Mom’s street wouldn’t you try to do something? She’s lived in this house since 1967 and she’ll probably stay in it for many years to come so the bottom line is it isn’t something she should have to tolerate. I’ll report back on progress; should there be any…..