TINSELTOWN: Little hope of reaching a resolution

Mr Hasan s remarks, if accurately attributed to him in your article Milk Bar dubs critics the Horlicks gang (Ham and High 12th February 2009) are both emotive and unhelpful. They also betray little insight, on his part, into the problems that his busin

Mr Hassan's remarks, if accurately attributed to him in your article "Milk Bar dubs critics the Horlicks gang" (Ham and High 12th February 2009) are both emotive and unhelpful. They also betray little insight, on his part, into the problems that his business appears to attract. More worrying, they reveal little or no prospect of him seeking to resolve them.

For some years now, since 2005, the late opening of Tinseltown has coincided with regular incidents of litter, noise, illegal parking, vandalism, and violence. Such incidents are more prevalent in the summer months and in the early hours, particularly at weekends, but not exclusively so. Recently, they have escalated to a level where residents in the immediate area are unanimously concerned for their own safety and general well-being. I know of two instances where tenants in nearby properties to the venue have moved from the area disturbed by these events. An incident last January, where a group of males were caught on film repeatedly kicking another while on the ground, is the subject of police investigation.

The above concerns are not as Mr Hassan unattractively suggests, restricted to "the old farts who think they can control Hampstead" and who "want their Horlicks and to be in bed by 9pm", whoever they might be; but embrace residents of all ages with young families from diverse walks of life and backgrounds and who occupy homes of varying tenure. If he were to make polite enquiry, for example, of the occupants of the mixed housing in the area, he would find that there is a deep seated and universal concern regarding the running of his business.

Contrary to his claims, local people do wish to live in a vibrant city that caters for all tastes and needs. Above all they desire to peacefully co-exist with each other. Residents are not, as he implies, against business being run properly within normal hours; as is apparent from their enjoyment of restaurants and public houses in the area. Some in fact are not merely residents but run businesses, or are similarly employed, in Hampstead and nearby. However, they are opposed to the repeated problems that are generated by businesses operating without control and well into the early hours.

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Nor does he assist by his suggestion that Councillor Roberts, for whom some did not vote, is prejudiced against his business. She is a duly democratically elected local government official who is under a duty to seek resolution of problems that blight the lives of the community she and others serve. His attack on her impartiality and integrity has the hallmarks, many will conclude, of a cowardly bully.

All this would become readily apparent if he were to stand for the council, a position for which he now expresses some interest. In the meantime he would be well advised to keep his more trenchant views to himself and instead seek to properly manage his business by, in part, reducing its hours. If he cannot, then I fear that legal redress will be sought to curtail his future business presence in Hampstead.

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Yours faithfully,

Martin Hicks

New End



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