This is a joint statement by Brixton BID and Sleepless Brixton on behalf of businesses and residents living and working in central Brixton.
Brixton needs a thriving economy. The people who live and work here, and owners of local businesses, all need so many of the same things. Brixton has always been a mixed residential, shopping area with restaurants, bars and venues and we all want it to continue that way.
A noisy, ugly, urine-soaked central Brixton would be a horrible place to live and work in and, in the long term, it will not be a place where businesses can prosper.
A Brixton where people feel safe and comfortable, both in their homes and on the streets, will be a destination to which businesses will find it easier to attract customers.
Brixton is known worldwide as a distinctive destination. It is easier to get here than it ever has been. The Victoria Line now runs a record-breaking 36 trains per hour and, at weekends, continues all night, bringing thousands of visitors to enjoy Brixton.
This is a great opportunity for restaurants, bars and clubs to prosper — if we get it right. But at present, there are still things we can do better.
Many visitors come here and have a great time without adversely affecting anybody. But some are different. They urinate and drink in the streets, shout and scream outside people’s homes into the early morning, and sometimes threaten people.
This minority shows no regard for central Brixton’s residents and the people that work here. A lot of the time, this is because they don’t know that people do actually live in Brixton, because no one is telling them.
Residents and businesses in the town centre are facing unprecedented challenges and, sometimes, threats to their safety. Businesses are facing rents and rates increases that even the most successful find challenging.
We are all concerned about unregulated noise throughout the night, rubbish strewn across the streets, public urination and worse. Late-night buskers using amplifiers are keeping residents awake, being aggressive and sometimes drowning out the music being played in venues.
Many local night venues are already good at reminding their patrons to respect local residents, keep the noise down, and take quiet routes home. But others are not, and their customers spill out onto residential streets, shouting and screaming and urinating.
Local MP Helen Hayes with the help of Sleepless Brixton and the Brixton BID (Business Improvement District) set up a meeting with businesses, councilors and officials, Transport for London and the police to find solutions. See previous blog post
We all agreed that central Brixton has always been a lively, mixed-use area of shops, markets and residents. We also agreed that bars, restaurants, clubs and music venues are a vital part of the mix.
Everyone in the meeting welcomed the way that Helen Hayes has brought us together to find solutions to these problems.
Some of the things we have to deal with will need long-term solutions. Other things can be done right away.
- There need to be enough toilets available for visitors to use, both day and night.
- The Council and the Met Police need to work together to properly enforce restrictions on amplified busking and other noise nuisance.
- All town centre businesses need to take some responsibility for how their customers behave, with door staff encouraging customers to leave quietly using routes that avoid residential areas.
Everyone in the meeting agreed that all of us in central Brixton need to work together to make this a great place to do business, visit, work and live. There’s a lot of work to do, but we’ve made a good start.
Previous pieces have had people who have lived in the area for decades quoted, not “gentrifiers”.
Point 2 is the one that matters. A degree of enforcement would be useful, as would a plan for managing the general situation. Most of the problem appears to be the Night Tube opening and the authorities making no effective preparation for that. Hence thousands more people pour into the area with no facilities to support them.
Amsterdam can enforce laws – see today’s BBC News Online post on “Amsterdam bans beer bikes” – so why not London?
This feels like it could be the beginning of the end of Brixton as venues get closed down and licenses are withdrawn or restricted. I don’t want to live in a quiet sanitised Brixton where everyone is tucked up in bed at 9pm. That’s what the suburbs are for. Brixton has always been busy and noisy at all times of night and day.
Why are you publishing this nonsense from gentrifiers moving into an inner city area and whining about the noise. These are the people who routinely get clubs and famous music venues shut down that have historical and cultural importance. This isn’t chelsea. If you don’t like what brixton is RIGHT NOW, feel free to move your privildged asses back to whatever middle class hellhole you crawled out of.
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