Thrill of the Chase

Labour councillor Vicki Pite has represented Chase ward since 2014
Labour councillor Vicki Pite has represented Chase ward since 2014

In our latest councillor’s column, Chase ward member Vicki Pite highlights the difficulties facing Enfield’s largest ward

In its diversity, Enfield is a microcosm of London – and Chase is itself a microcosm of Enfield. The most northerly, and enormous, of Enfield’s wards, its geography dictates its many blessings and complexities.

Chase has a Jacobean mansion, a community vineyard, a world-famous horticultural college, a historic garden, three country parks, substantial farmlands, two golf courses, a world-class football academy, a tiny hamlet and a thriving hub of garden centres.

Bounded by major thoroughfares, it’s largely residential and by-passed; but increasingly drivers divert through our quiet residential roads, and lorries are a serious concern. Residents report significant congestion and parking problems, particularly during the school run.

So-called ‘boy racers’ on the A10 are noisy and dangerous. We’re disappointed that Transport for London has reneged on its promise to install average speed cameras, but welcome the recent police crackdown. We actively lobby for better streets and share residents’ increasing disquiet about environmental issues, such as pollution, carbon emissions and waste collections.

On the capital’s outskirts, Chase has its share of London’s overspill but, missing the vibrancy of a high street such as Green Lanes or Hertford Road, it lacks the community infrastructure necessary to support large housing developments.

Extraordinarily, there is no GP or dental surgery in Chase ward; health inequalities are among the worst in Enfield. The prevalence of excess weight and obesity in primary school age children in Chase is more than Enfield’s average of one in three. Almost a third of five-year olds in Enfield also have one or more decayed, missing or filled teeth, exceeding the London average.

Public transport in the north of the ward is inadequate, exacerbating poor access to primary care. Plans for both a GP at Chase Farm Hospital and additional buses have, sadly, fallen through – despite my lobbying efforts since 2014.

Much of our casework relates to repairing our six ageing tower blocks, and residents complain about irresponsible behaviour regarding waste disposal, fly tipping and flooding. Our crime rate is relatively low and community links with the police are effective, but it has been recognised that just one police officer, one police community support officer and a shared police sergeant was insufficient; recently the Mayor of London funded an additional officer for Chase and other wards.

Meeting our diverse community’s needs and maintaining our assets continues to be a challenge after nine years of government cuts affecting Enfield Council.

Cllr Vicki Pite represents Chase along with Dino Lemonides and Hass Yusuf (all Labour). Surgeries are held every Saturday, 10am-11am, at The Lancaster Centre, 53 Lancaster Road, Enfield:
Call 020 8379 2859
Email [email protected]