One of my photos

Canvassing in the Courts

September 24th, 2005 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

This morning we were out doing voter ID in the area of Broadfield known as ‘the Courts’. Its a large council-built estate in the 70’s style of having entirely pedestrian areas in front of all the houses with parking areas and garages behind.

It gets its name from the fact that, apart from the odd ‘walk’ nearly all the roads are called Something Court. On the whole it is not a bad area, far better than it could be given the design. Most of the courts are pleasant enough, and this morning it was very quiet, but it does have its low points.

The whole estate is right next to the shopping parade, connected by a footbridge. While this is very convenient for the residents, it does have its drawbacks – namely shopping trolleys.

We only went through a part of the courts but saw at least 25 trolleys littering the place. Some were dumped in the garage blocks, but others were left outside houses. I suspect that most of these are from people bringing their shopping home and then leaving the trolley outside their house. Local kids will then redistribute them around the estate.

The other problems with the estate are the street lighting and the pavements. Unfortunately the telephone and cable companies have dug up every single court to install their services so every single path bears the mark of their trenches down the middle. Any maintenence done now is almost a waste of time as it will still look untidy. The only option is complete re-surfacing, which is unlikely to happen.

In spite of all this, the estate is not bad at all. My colleagues from other parts of town had not really been to Broadfield much and found it a lot better than they had expected from its reputation.

There are a few high points to the courts as well. My favourite is this area. It is a grass bank, leading up to a wooded area which runs through the centre of the courts. Someone living nearby has planted flowers and shrubs in this space, and it looks like they have been cutting the grass too as its much shorter than everywhere else. Behind it are the trunks of large beech (?) trees which are now more like sculpture than anything else.

Although recruiting new members was not the purpose of this morning, we may have picked up one, and identified a lot of Labour voters we had not known about before, it was good exercise and I got to try out the new camera, so all together it was worth giving up my traditional lay-in.

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