The Grove Residents Group & Gardening Club Meeting to discuss the Carnival
Lesley Brett – Group Deputy Chair
Stephen Johnson – Discussion Group Member / Practical Gardener
Patricia Gani – Discussion Group Member
Sandra Francourt – Arts & Photographic Director
Ali Mantache – Group IT Development Offier
Sean Sibley – Housing Officer/ Advisor to the Group
Round the table discussion:
Sandra said that she has not yet had experience of the carnival.
Patricia – said that the floats come down St Helen’s Gardens with music full blast. That they also go down Oxford Gardens. That in 2008 a car outside was covered with chocolate source and flour.
…..The sound system is always directly outside 43 Oxford Gardens.
A group member mentioned that people urinate in the basements of Oxford Gardens and in the past they have had to throw water from above to deter them.
Sean said that these people are trespassing and raised the question whether the police have a responsibility to protect private property from trespass and criminal damage.
It was stated by a group member that you cannot clean up the soil when someone uses the garden as a toilet.
Another commented that their friends cat is scared for 2 days.
Stephen – Explained that he usually goes away for the weekend. On his return he said that his flags are gone, that flower pots are smashed..
..that a black lady was racially abused one year trying to stop 2 guys dragging down a flag because they believed it was racist. He said that they threatened the lady and that when the police were informed they would not do anything.
Stephen said that on another occaision they ran through his garden.
Stephen said that he confronted them and they invited him to fight. Stephen approached a policeman just 5 metres away and was told that the pc had been told to keep a low profile and that Stephen should call 999.
Stephen – said there should be a referendum on the carnival and said that his neighbours feel the same.
Patricia – Agreed that there should be a referendum.
Lesley- said he is fed up with the trespassing and the noise caused by the behaviour at carnival.
Stephen – There is open drug dealing and the police do nothing….Oxford Gardens between St Marks Road and Laadbroke Grove is too dark and a muggers paradise.
Sandra – said they should have police onsite and on these roads.
Lesley explained that they are there but that they do not do anything.
Stephen- said that we must demand a referendum of residents that live in the affected wards.
Sandra – Said there should be a mechanism of compensating those affected by the carnival….and that once it starts costing money to compensate, something might happen.
Patrica – suggested, why don’t they use the Mall.
Stephen – suggested Bayswater Road as an alternative location for the carnival procession.
Lesley – stated that it had been discussed in some circles to move it to Wormwood Scrubbs or Hyde Park.
Patricia – said that in 1968 it was a small local event, it was not threatening. She said that it is now too big (2 million people) and too dangerous..
Suggestions for the way forward
Patricia said that there should be a referendum as stated by her and Stephen earlier and that it could contain these questions;
1. Should the carnival be discontinued ?
2. Should the carnival be moved to a wide open space ?
3. Are you in favour of the carnival as it is staged now ?
Lesley said that the council should be asked to send out a feedback form to all within the wards affected by the carnival.
Mr Mantache said that his house shakes for 2 days.
Sean said that the police should protect private property from trespass and prosecute.
Patricia – said that the police told her that the music is too loud legally but that they would not do anything about it…
..also as a representative of Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea she must point out that disabled people are unable to get in and out at the carnival time. She said that the police should walk up and down and that the Human Rights Act gives all the right to privacy and to access to house and to safety.