Anyone who knows the older parts of Grays will be aware of the number of back alleyways running behind the rows of the older terraced houses. Alleyways whose ownership and maintenance – or lack of – has always been shrouded in doubt. That doubt has led some of them to be forgotten zones that no one really takes responsibility for with the consequences being endemic flytipping as well as providing cover for bouts of anti-social behaviour. Once this is allowed to take hold in an alleyway, then it will inevitably blight the neighbourhood. In these troubled times, that will only worsen community morale which is already under intense pressure.
Back in the ‘before times’, we put up a couple of posts on the now archived South Essex Heckler about efforts being made by local residents to address the issue of neglected alleyways being used as dumping grounds. Here they are:
Owning the back alleys… – May 21, 2019
Plugging the gaps – April 15, 2019
So, it was gratifying to read this piece on Thurrock Nub News about these efforts at cleaning up the back alleyways continuing to take place:
Clean up crew in action again with more volunteers
This is leading by example and hopefully inspiring residents in neighbouring areas to start doing the same. It’s about expressing pride in your neighbourhood and taking a degree of ownership over what happens in it. It’s about building neighbourhood solidarity and cohesion – something that’s absolutely vital in these troubled times. It’s grassroots action that empowers people. If we’re serious about bringing about radical change, this is where it has to start right down at the level of the neighbourhood.