Tinseltown must clean up its act, or face the consequences

Katie Davies s article: Campaigners take camera into own hands (Ham & High 29th January) clearly highlights the atrocious problems that have been prevalent for the last few years and continues to cause distress to nearby residents. All of these issues, of

Katie Davies's article: Campaigners take camera into own hands (Ham & High 29th January) clearly highlights the atrocious problems that have been prevalent for the last few years and continues to cause distress to nearby residents. All of these issues, often running into the early hours of the morning, currently display no sign of abating.

Just how many more times does Camden Council have to be told that enough is enough and the only real solution is to curtail Tinseltown's trading hours once and for all. It is ludicrous that a takeaway adjacent to a residential area in a quiet backwater such as Hampstead is allowed to trade up to 3.00am; it may also help resole the situation if they were stopped serving takeaways after 8.00pm and were then restricted to table service only up to a new terminal hour of 11.00pm. After all, the majority of Hampstead's pubs are unable to trade after that time and this is also the hour upon which both the local McDonald's and the high street creperie closes. (My research has shown that the very few pubs in Hampstead that do trade up to 11.30pm or 12.00am just for a couple of nights a week have been totally incident free and that can positively be put down to effective management and pride in their pub's reputation, something that unfortunately is sadly lacking in the case of Tinseltown).

I often have to pass this establishment on my way home and am far from satisfied with the quality of the door supervisors' presence and attitude to work. The rowdiness of customers on the pavement, often spilling out onto the road waiting to be served also presents an obvious health and safety risk to all who are in the vicinity, either as pedestrians or motorists. Are Tinseltown also unaware that door supervisors have to be licensed by the Security Industry Association and the wearing of clearly-visible ID is mandatory? In Tinseltown's case often this ID is nowhere to be seen; on other occasions the ID badge is back-to-front. What type of ID is that, I ask?

Camden Council's claim that to install fixed CCTV would "raise community concerns about privacy" is absolute folly and laughable. One can hardly walk around the borough without seeing these cameras so what's so different with New End. Could it be, I cannot help feeling, something to do with a rather prominent member of the British judicial system residing in the immediate area? All it would need is a camera at the top of New End to monitor the road and adjacent pavements so that rapid police response could be mustered whenever any inappropriate behaviour occurred. Surely such a simple solution would not invade residents' right to privacy. If this ludicrous statement were to be legally upheld then surely all CCTV cameras throughout the borough would need to be removed!


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In addition, many local residents, myself included, feel that the relocation of this establishment to an area such as Camden Town, Kentish Town or somewhere similar where nightlife is very much de rigour aspect of would benefit all concerted. Not only would this end the distress that we local residents have to incur, for the owner it would also open up a brand new market supported by a much-increased foot flow that would surely lead to greater profits.

Somewhere along the line either Camden Council must clearly understand that time is now of the essence and bring this long ongoing saga to a conclusion or Tinseltown needs to voluntarily clean up its act. Better still this business should seriously consider taking both a moral and commercial decision and move out of Hampstead.

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John Graham

Holford Road

NW3

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