How is Coltman St changing?
2003 - November We are winning the battle against 'the board ups'. Coltman street now has only three boarded up houses. Only two of those are long-term (over a year) one is in the process of having an ownership problem clarified. There has been a marked upturn in uptake of tenancies and the north end of the street through an increase in uptake of tenancies from hospital staff. Some asylum tenancies and quite a few new residents from out of town, some of whom have heard of Coltman street through this website. We welcome all new residents and hope you will make the effort to meet and greet your new neighbours and make lasting friendships to the benefit of the whole community. The street is now also improving it's owner-occupier and family to single occupancy tenancy ratios. We are also winning the battle against our former poor image!
We are grateful for the support we have had from the Hull Daily Mail in this. Through a tendancy to more accurate and more uplifting journalism and away from the dire and sensationalist. people are starting to see the true picture. A growing community spirit and a leap in property values that even in recent times can only be described as phenomenal. It is now one of the fastest selling areas in the Hull, with the greatest percentage rise in value. It is now very difficult to buy a property in Coltman Street due to the speed at which the houses are being snapped up. The east end of Hessle road is now looking more healthy with new shops bars and cafes opening up, providing a vibrant new shopping area for the residents of Coltman street, Now one of the most culturally diverse areas of the city.
One of the things which has helped our efforts immensely has been the constant and unstinting support of the community wardens. We have supported them, they have supported us! Problems have been reported to them and they have assisted us to clear them up. They have helped us to organise our annual street party for two years running and continue to be a force for change throughout the Hessle road area. Recently they have started a high-profile campaign simply called the 'Wardens Mural project'. which is much more complex than it sounds and which is sharing the goal of raising awareness of our history and our future aspirations with the people of the Hessle road area, Particularly with people from the two ends of the age spectrum. Helping to restore our pride in the area through the process of putting together a Mural for the end wall of the Premier Army Stores (to whom thanks are also due) at the east end of Hessle road. Help from the Landlords. We have also been supported consistently by several local landlords. 'Virtual bouquets' to local landlady Annabelle Wilson who has supported us consistently and who takes extra special care of her properties and when choosing tenants. To David Wood for continuing support. And a special mention to Brian Abbott who has been renovating a few properties to exacting (and Historically sympathetic) standards and who has taken to the street so much that he has bought himself a house here! Also to C&T lettings who are renovating flats, mostly for medical staff from overseas. Virtual brickbats to those absentee landlords who continue to prey on the weaker members of society. Taking the money (most often paid by the state-regardless of the standard of maintainance and safety) These landlords are getting their 'cumuppance' as their flats are often trashed by tenants who learn the degree of respect they are shown. Please note:-We would very much like to make it clear that not ALL out-of-town landlords fall into this category.
2002 -There is a real will for change at the moment. This change is community lead, infact it is demanded. We have had real support from the Council, the police and the landlords and, by and large from the whole community who are thoroughly sick of the reputation of the street becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.That is to say that because of the tendency of people to think of the street as a 'bad area' in the past not many people wanted to live here who had any options. Therefore there was a low uptake even of council housing. As a result the street became unbalanced towards people who were deprived either financially or socially. This is not to say that the street is solely peopled by down and outs, just that there has been an unequal balance towards people with problems. This was compounded during the '80s by the conversion of many of the victorian houses into single occupancy units thus encouraging an unstable and itinerant population instead of using the opportunity to develop a more stable population. This stability is what is now needed. This is the long term goal of the 'Village' project. (part of the Coltman St Neighbourhood Watch)
Our attitude to the current problems
We already have in our midst a few residents with problems from single parenthood and financial problems through alcoholism to drug dependancy. However we can only support a limited number of these problems and we need to keep the balance right for the long term health of our community
To this end we have to say NO TOLERANCE OF DRUG DEALING.
On the plus side we already have many residents who have been in the street around a decade, some much longer. Mostly these long term residents are in private housing or larger rented houses and flats. We hope to be able to support those who are already resident through their problems but can only do this if the balance is improved so that we are not overwhelmed. To do this we have to persuade more people to join us as residents who see the potential of a street which in say central London would be a very desirable place to live. Those people who want to be part of a 'Village' type community. We have therefore begun a positive propaganda campaign. On the one hand letting the drug dealers and their custiomers know that it is no longer going to be 'cool' or even safe for them to trade on our streets. And on the other to encourage the uptake of new tenancies in properties where the landlords have shown a special interest and support of our aims.We hope these landlords will be rewarded by the sort of tenants they deserve and by an improvement in the value of their properties.
This change is now happening, and it is happening quickly. In addition to the support of several landlords:- The police have begun a higher profile policing strategy and have shown that they will support our efforts. The Council have already helped us with environmental days, The parks department have promised to replace the 2 missing trees this autumn (* now replaced) The technical services have pulled out all the stops to repair and replace problems with paving and lighting. In short the support we have recieved has surprised even us (and we're very demanding!)
Thanks are due to the Web factory (ITITC) a community organisation who created the site in the 90s using volunteers learning to make web pages.