I enjoyed Gail’s annual Garden Party, hosted in Hampstead village’s Oriel Place by Gail’s bakery, this afternoon. The event is now in its tenth year and is a lovely attraction for residents and visitors alike.
It does bring into sad relief the absurdity of Camden keeping neighbouring Oriel Place Gardens derelict and locked up.
It’s owned by Camden’s Housing department, as it’s opposite Well House sheltered accommodation. However, Camden is selling Wells House, and residents are being moved to alternative accommodation, removing this pretext.
I’ve met with Camden and spoken to a number of local residents and businesses, who would be only too happy to play a part in maintaining the Gardens and locking them at night to prevent anti-social behaviour.
Not only would reduce the costs to Camden to virtually nothing, but it would actually raise money by increasing the value of the land at Wells House, which they’re due to put on the market.
It is therefore a shame that Camden Labour oppose reopening the Gardens. I’ll keep fighting for them to be opened and restored – hopefully by this time next year, so we can enjoy Gail’s Garden Party in the actual garden!
For more about my campaign for a greener Hampstead, click here.