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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 12 June 2008
It’s not the benches causing a nuisance, it’s the people

• NOT long ago some lovely new benches were installed in Fairfax Road in Swiss Cottage by Transport for London.
Benches, as local politicians know, play an important part in making a locality look civilised, places for people to sit and enjoy the sunshine, read the papers, rest their tired feet, as well as sitting-down rescue stations for the old, the sick, the disabled and the physically injured, places for people to park their crutches while recovering their strength.
Benches also, at night especially, attract screaming drunks, drug addicts and nocturnal madmen. British benches, that is. This is why the nice, law-abiding citizens of Swiss Cottage who had just begun telling each other how nice the new benches look, have now received a dire warning from Tory councillors Andrew Marshall, Roger Freeman, and Don Williams about the offending benches.
In their most recent news sheet they first thank us all for voting Boris Johnson, and then tell us of “concerns” about the new benches in Fairfax Road.
In a couple of sentences which ought to exasperate someone with Mr Johnson’s academic training in the tough discipline of Greek logic, they tell us that “consultation with residents was not good”, as if that were our fault.
And then warn that if they, the benches, “are causing a major nuisance”, the councillors will press for their removal.
But it is not the benches which are causing a nuisance – it’s the screaming drunks, drug addicts, madmen etc. And surely these are the creatures who should be removed.
This kind of un-Greek logic is something which the founding members of the UK Noise Association have been investigating for years in connection with the noise made by crooks and criminals, drunks and drug addicts, finding that too often local council officials will turn on the normal, law-abiding citizens, and their benches, but not on the real offenders.
You can find out all about it from: UK Noise Association, 2 Broken Wharf, London EC4V 3DT, or go to
Harben Road, NW6

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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