News and Events - Have your say! Readers Letters
Here you have the chance to air you views.  If there are several views on the same subject I shall forward them to the appropriate authorities and see if we can get some answers.  So whether you just want to share some interesting information, or really let off steam, let's hear from you.
Kevin writes:

Just to let you know I am fed up with living in the dump that Swanscombe has become. AND nobody in the council, Swanscombe, Dartford or Kent, seems to care, the Police claim they can't do anything because there is not enough of them. I have recently bought and fitted a new garage door, costing me over £400, within 4 days it was grafittied, same time as a van in Eglington Road, and most of the shops at The Parade, in the High Street, strangely enough NOT the CYA. This happened on Saturday 30th March between 9.30 and 10.30 pm. I managed to get it off my door before it dried, next time I won't be so lucky. Why can't we have CCTV in Swanscombe?????? Why can't the funds earmarked for the CYA pay for this??????? I called the police, no-one available to come up, perhaps I should organise a vigilantly squad and break a few arms and legs, see what happens then???? Sorry to get like this but Swanscombe is a dump, and unless the people of Swanscombe and their elected leaders get off their backsides and do something, legal or otherwise, it will get worse. I have a few pictures of the recent graffiti, it's the same tag as most of the rest, I can email them to you. Thanks.

Dixie writes:

I read various readers comments & do agree mostly with what has been said. I too am an 'outsider' we moved here over a year ago and have found the area quite friendly and with little worry of coming to harm walking to the shops etc. However, it really is such a shame that there isn't anything for the youngsters to do which is what I believe causes their boredom to result in vandalisim etc. When I was a youngster we had not much by way of facilities either but there was a local council run youth club that provided various activities (cheaply!). There was a big gym area that was made to resemble a 'disco type hang out' music playing, bean bags, just somewhere to chat with mates & have a laugh out of the weather & out of earshot. Upstairs was the activity area, A craft room to make things (not toddler type stuff, teenage stuff), A games room that had table tennis, snooker table, couple of arcade computer games. Lastly there was the food area, nothing much just a l!
ittle counter that sold sweets, crisps, drinks etc with a tv and some tables & chairs. I truly feel that havng different options all at one place is what made it work. It cost a small entrance fee & obviously activities thereafter inside were charged at a good rate as well. The youth club was open every night but the 'disco type thing' was only on for 2 nights a week so that planned activities could also take place in the hall/gym part. But again the activties that went on were interesting things that you could participate in etc. I just think the kids need something. Local leisure centres provide certain sports etc but not all youngsters are into certain sports (maybe they should be but it's up to them). Maybe the kids need to be asked themselves, what they want. Someone suggested a skating park but not all kids are into that either! You need to cater for all interests and maybe develope some along the way by motivating them to begin with....

sorry about rambling on a bit there buti feel better having expressed my view (maybe thats all the kids want to do as well.....

Alan&Sarah write:

Has anyone else come across the problem with parking in our area. When I say parking I don't mean getting spaces but how far up onto the pavement people park to avoid getting their car mirrors knocked. All well and good unless you happen to try and get a pushchair out of your gate or try and walk along the pavement. More often than not we have to either lock our son in the house so that we can unfold the buggy out on the pavement because a car has parked so close to the gate that we are unable to get the buggy out of the garden, or trust that he will do as he is told whilst we lift the buggy over the garden wall with baby on board!!!
Please motorists have a little thought for those that have to use the pavement for what it was designed for, walking on!!!

Lisa writes:

I have been reading the comments from the local residents that have been emailed and would like to stick up for Swanscombe, I am an 'outsider' having just brought my first house after living in the Eltham area all my life. I am very impressed by Swanscombe and its residents so far, I have found them all to be friendly and to say hello on the street (which is somehting that did not happen in my old area). I admit I was worried at first as I am only 21 and my partner is 25, what would the neightbours be like?, would they like us?, are there any couples around of the same age?, and I must say that these are probably worries that you have no matter what age but I have found them to be completely unfounded. I am enjoying living here and my neightbours are fantastic, the travelling knackered me out at first! (I work in London) but even that is no longer a problem. I would like to say that every area has its good and bad points but Swanscombe is doing okay at the minute!

Richard writes:

On the 1st of Sept at craylands lane sports centre there will be a tae kwon do demonstration amongst other activities that the sports centre has to offer , Please come along and support your local centre it would be sad to see something there for everybodies benefit not used to the full benefit of all in the area. Thanks.

Richard writes:

I train in Taekwondo at Swanscombe leisure centre Tuesday 7.30-9.30,Thursday same times and Saturday morning 10.00 til 12.00. I have found that this martial art boosts self confidence,fitness which are the two main factors.However it also teaches discipline and to be courtious and respectful to other people.
Not only do you get a good sense of your own achievement but you also learn a very effective method of self defence.
I will not ramble on,I will say that everybody is welcome the first lesson is free and everybody can be assured that all the Instructors have been trained by Grand Master Rhee .
(The man that introduced Taekwondo to this country in 1967).
Come and join in the fun or just come and see if you or your children could benefit as i did.

Clare writes:

I've just read the letters section of this site and find myself agreeing with almost all of it. My family have lived in Swanscombe for 4 generations and up until a couple of years ago I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. But the years have brought many changes and none of them seem to be good ones. It no longer feels like a friendly community and its beginning to look like a run down council estate. Does nobody care anymore? The new road bumps have done nothing to slow the "boy racers" down. The pavements are a disgrace. The dustman throw the wheelie bins in any direction when they've emptied them and you're left to try and find yours when you get home from work. You can rarely park outside your own house. Burnt out cars are a regular feature now and are just left where they've been dumped. The train station is a disgrace and the police seem to not give a damn. Perhaps a regular police presence would cut down on the crime? I sympathise with the youngsters as there is practically nowhere for them to go, but when I was growing up we didn't have much more but we didn't pass our time vandalising other people's property, we used our brains and found something constructive and fun to do. I took my 1 year old son to the park last week and couldn't let him walk around as there was so much broken glass in it. What on earth will Swanscombe have to offer him when he has grown up? Answer: Nothing! And judging by some of the graffiti around, the local schools wont even be able to teach him to spell!

Brian writes:

In reply to Dan: Your comments are interesting.  As the author of the questionnaire I had originally drafted a questionnaire for teenagers as well but this was withdrawn because the community forum felt it might be overkill.  In the end it was decided to send one leaflet per household only.  I think the skate park would be a great idea.  Definitely get people to sign A4 pages and attach it to a leaflet or let me know and I will pick it up from you.  We need more input like this.

There is an ambition locally to get the views of the ordinary people of Swanscombe, not just the young mums or teenagers with nothing to do, about the future and what we need to do to improve what we have got.  The key to getting improvements is the amount of proposed development planned for the area.  Over 30 000 new homes are planned to be built between Swanscombe and Greenhithe over the next 10 years so now is the time to tell the planners and politicians what we need, both to right the wrongs of the current situation ie the lack of investment in existing facilities, and to install
brand new ones by allocating enough space for those facilities.  At present the only people who stand to benefit from the developments are the developers.  They will argue about the new jobs being created and this was argued with Bluewater, but where are the physical improvements to the area from that?

A united community, representing all, including businesses and groups who do not usually get represented because they might be argued to be successful, would be a powerful argument for positive change and investment in Swanscombe and Greenhithe.  This group, non political, has circulated a questionnaire to all households. If we get enough returns we can then use this as an example of the mandate we have to argue for change.  At the end of the day we will get what we deserve so let's argue for change, in the way that they will take notice of.

I believe this is a real opportunity.  If graffiti is the problem then say so on the form, how to resolve that might well be the  re institution of clubs, swimming pools, cinemas etc.  Not as your correspondent writes by opening a greengrocers with 'counsellors' for young people.  I would personally prefer protected green spaces and playing fields as well.  We need to protect these and any other ambitions WITHIN the plans being drawn up for the area by the Council and the developers, currently they are nowhere to be seen.

Dan writes:

There is not a lot for the younger people to do in swanscombe and there was a leaflet given out to the adults to think of what we need. I think that a skate park would be a good idea to keep people busy and not get bored. there was meant to be a swimming pool but that isn't built. There is enough room to put a skate park in down by the leisure center to keep us happy and not bored. If I was to get a large group of people to sign that it was a good idea do you no how to get in touch with the council
Sarah writes

Dear all I completely and utterly agree with Jessica. I use to live in Swanscombe and grew up there.  When I was younger the only place for youngsters to go and meet up under the supervision of adults was club 84.  What has happened to it now? like every thing else a block of flats has been built. So they came up with the idea of the CYA. What GOOD is that for all the respectable youngsters? When there was the club 84 OK it had its fair bit of trouble but that's nothing compared to the troubles now.  All the CYA has to offer is a place where all the YOUNG MUM'S, (who are  bearing in mind only still children themselves,) There is no basket ball court, snooker or pool table, no gym for rainy day's no disco area, NOTHING! OK they have they have got a basket ball court built on Broomfield Park but its not actually on premise. All the CYA has to offer is day trips in the summer for youngsters, which club 84 already did.  The DIFFERENCE: CYA has had funding from the lottery!
What use did the money go to apart from converting a pokey little shop in the high street and got MORE funding to convert an old greengrocers into something called the fun station.  They have a mini bus with the saying "Who Killed Kenny?" I'll tell you, the people who tore down club 84 just to build some flats and sell them on just to make some extra money in their pockets, GREEDY SODS!
So what have the youngsters got now? Spray paint blank walls and time to kill as there nothing else to do.
Now all what Swanscombe is looking like, a rough estate situated in inner London. Know what they look like???
Whoever reads this may think that I'm an old funny duddy, but I'm not I'm ONLY 21 years old.  I may live out of the area but I think Swanscombe should have the respect that it did when I was younger and the only people who can do that is it residents!!!
Jill writes

 I would like to say how absolutely sickened I am at the state of the buildings covered in graffiti in Swanscombe.  I took my daughter to the Park yesterday to be confronted by written obscenities on the Pavillion Wall, Private Fences and Garages.  But to top it all even the slide in the children's playground has been defaced.
I know that the new Garage built from lottery money for the Oast House ambulance, was covered in Graffiti before the cement was dry.  Has anyone any suggestions on how to deal with this problem (Legally).

Tracy writes

I would just like to add my annoyance over the Speed calming bumps. So far this year the afore mentioned bumps have caused damage to my car resulting in a new suspension and shock absorber. When I booked my car into the garage for the repairs,  the first thing the service engineer asked was "do you go over many speed bumps?" So you can imagine my frustration at being asked this.  So I have decided to take action by writing to Dartford Council, Kent County Council and bloody Tony Blair if I have too, for the re-imbursement of the money unjustly spent on my car. I do not approach these bumps at speed and have been vigilant when passing over them and as we all know the initial lay-out for a car will probably be the second most expensive item you will buy so the cost of that in it self is enough, let alone damage caused by these inefficient bumps in the road.

Gin writes

In reference to the comments from Jessica and Sam regarding speed humps...parking restrictions and outsiders, I'd like to point out that YES the speed humps make no difference at all... and NO.. there are not enough policeman patrolling the area, but I have to add to the comments from Jessica about the 'outsiders' being the problem, I think we have to take into account that wherever you go, wherever you live, there are always people ready to cause trouble and being an outsider myself I must add, out of all the places I have lived... I am fairly pleased with swanscombe... most people are friendly (even though a little nosy). The trouble is fairly minimum and you should be grateful to live in a nice place where you can walk to the shops without being concerned for safety. The only problems I have witnessed occurring are by young groups of adolescents... because they have nothing to do with their time.. and most of the groups don't cause trouble.. they just want somewhere to go to see their friends and have a chat out of adult earshot... Doesn't matter where you will find this in every area throughout the world, kids will be kids, maniac drivers will stay the same, and the genuine people will always get the blame for it... I call it sods law!!!

Jessica writes

Hello I would like to point out that there are policeman patrolling the high street, as I know this because my mother got caught. 

I would like to know how many people have had to replace their exhaust systems or springs on their cars since the introduction of speed bumps. I live in Ames Road, and they do NOT stop nutters going fast because if they really work, then why did my cat get run over? Probably mindless thugs they don't care. I do not like the CYA, because all of the"Swanscombe yobs" seem to hang outside the building in the high street.  As to me (being serious again) These groups of boys (about aged 14) seem to create the graffiti problem that we have. And also all of the wrecked cars in the Grove car park. (WHERE ARE THE POLICE?) Sorry I seem to be rambling, but all these problems really get to me. Also when I was younger what happened to when you could walk down the high street, and know everyone you came across. Nowadays, all you seem to meet are complete strangers. I think the yobbish behavior has arisen  because of what I call  "Outsiders". Yes I may seem harsh, and I do apologise for the people who do come  from various areas, and do not cause a problem. But when I was little, Swanscombe  was beautiful. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE? The council I think are trying to turn us into an estate.  WHICH WE ARE NOT. Does anyone agree with me with ANY of the above issues I have just voiced?

Sammy writes:

There's a street light out at the bottom of Park Road (Ames road end) Complaints have been made to the Council  by 3 different people and the response is always 'we will send some someone out' even though  no body has shown up yet. There was a car theft which could have been helped with this light being out. parking problems.... people parking on the school crossing inhibiting traffic flow and causing the lollipop lady a great amount of inconvenience...also people parking in the 'Under one roof' car park.... and although they are out of the way...when driving out of the turning,,,,,it is directly on to school crossing.... causing inconvenience not only to other drivers...but especially to parents collecting their children when trying to cross the road... also people   parking in        Keary  Road causing a back up when others are using the road... therefore inhibiting people crossing. (yes I am  directly involved with this daily and it makes me sooooo mad)               

Also on the subject of parking..... the high street....did they put in restrictions. when they are totally ignored... and you very rarely see traffic wardens or police officers enforcing this. Parking isn't something that overly bothers me... but being 'everybody's friend' I hear the numerous complaints that are made by all ages.... yet I'm surprised people don't join forces to make better what they don't like!!!          











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