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Community group hopes to make Chalvey a better place to live

A community group is hoping to shake off negative perceptions of Chalvey and is campaigning for a Chalvey Railway Station.

Nasir Malik revived the Chalvey Residents Association about six months ago in a bid to lobby Slough Borough Council (SBC) to put a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Chalvey, which was approved in November last year.

“Anti-social behaviour disappeared — those guys who were congregating causing trouble, kicking down bins, all of a sudden they were gone,” said Nasir.

However, he said this only lasted for a few months and that a lack of community wardens in the area has led to a reversion of anti-social behaviour.

The association previously disbanded 15 years ago, but now it is back up and running, Nasir and fellow volunteers want to shake off people’s negative connotations of the area.

“The unfortunate perception is you can come into Chalvey and it’s like a no man’s land, you can dump your car, dump your mattress, nobody cares.”

Nasir thinks that by improving the visual appearance of Chalvey and fostering pride in the community, it will bring about other positive changes.

The group lobbied the council to get rid of a collection point on the corner of Ragstone Road and Chalvey Road East where environmental service staff would leave waste to be picked up by lorries.

The sight of dumped bulky items on the roadside served as an invitation for residents to use it as a fly-tipping site until rubbish-men stopped using the area in November last year.

The group is pushing for the decoration of the railway bridge on that same street corner and the surrounding area which is often seen as a gateway into the area.

A longer term goal of the group, shared by Chalvey ward councillors and SBC leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) is to lobby central government for funding for a Chalvey Railway Station.

The association says this will help reduce traffic after Grove Academy, a 2000 pupil all-through school, opens in central Chalvey in 2020.

Cllr Swindlehurst said the Chalvey Railway Station proposal has been a Slough Labour Group manifesto commitment since 2014.

He said this would depend on the spur line through Chalvey being electrified because heavy diesel trains need too long to speed up or slow down for the sop to be added with the current three trains an hour service.

The Government cancelled electrifying the spur nearly 18 months ago, which resulted in SBC putting in a bid for funding via the Local Economic Partnership to bring in a light rail or tram type option for the spur line which would not need electrification to stop at Chalvey.

The bidding process is ongoing.

On Friday, January 25, SBC chief executive Josie Wragg and Chalvey ward councillors Mohammed Sharif (Lab) and Atiq Sandhu (Lab) were taken on a tour of the area by the association.

Cllr Sharif says he and the three Chalvey councillors are in agreement about spending their portions of the Community Investment Fund — money given to councillors for projects in their ward — on community wardens.

“There’s no point having laws if you can’t implement them,” he added.

Mrs Wragg said: “I loved Chalvey — in many areas it felt like a village and has a rich back story and is seen as the gateway to Slough.

“The residents are passionate about their area and are keen to work in partnership.  I was delighted to have been invited to look round. 

“There is a lot of change and we need to work hard to make sure the communication and engagement is right with residents.” 

Visit www.facebook.com/Chalvey-Residents-Association-522230088216561/ for more information.

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