It’s noisy and messy – so why the safe city award, asks councillor

Vandalism and graffiti are persistent problems in Canterbury

A prominent councillor is questioning the decision to award Canterbury a safe city award when it is plagued by graffiti and “threatening” at night.

Lib Dem Nick Eden-Green made the comments after the Business Improvement District (BID) team announced that the city had received a Purple Flag.

Canterbury has “a safe, diverse, entertaining and enjoyable” night time economy, according to BID.

Cllr Nick Eden-Green

But Cllr Eden-Green said: “I do find this award strange when there are residents and residents’ associations who are concerned about the fact that parts of the city feel threatening at night.

“There is still a lot of anti-social behaviour, which people tend to notice a lot more in the summer when they have their windows open.

“We have also recently witnessed an outbreak of graffiti. All of these are things which are not being tackled.”

The former Lord Mayor of Canterbury, who represents Wincheap, lives in the Dane John Gardens where residents last summer repeatedly raised concerns about noise and mess in the park.

They urged police to patrol the gardens more. The city council has also been asked to consider locking the park at night as happens at the Westgate Gardens.

Cllr Eden-Green is calling on the authorities to do more to deter anti-social behaviour and keep the city tidy.

Dane John Gardens. Picture: John Hippisley

“These are things which are 100% within the control of the council,” he said.

“What we find instead is generally a lack of good housekeeping. The council is responsible for licensing matters, keeping the streets clean and picking up litter. It needs to do more to tackle these issues.”

After receiving the award, BID chief executive Lisa Carlson said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Canterbury city centre and we’re immensely proud to have successfully driven the bid for Purple Flag status.

“It is testament to the efforts of so many individuals, organisations and businesses who work hard every day to ensure visitors to Canterbury can experience a safe, diverse, entertaining and enjoyable night out.”



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