I read your piece in the Middy on 10th January with a sinking feeling….! Not, I must stress, at the quality of your piece of course, but at the negative image of Bentswood that it inevitably portrayed.
As you will probably know, Bentswood has had a shocking reputation over the years and probably deservedly so.
But in the past few years, a number of people and agencies have been working incredibly hard, mostly but not exclusively through the BCP (Bentswood Community Partnership), to reverse this and engineer a sense of pride in our community. For example, there are now youth activities available on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings – probably more than in most places. But, understandably, you would have no way of knowing this. I would also challenge that ‘vandalism has become rife’ but I guess it’s about perspective.
This is definitely not a complaint about your writing but simply a concern that the portrayal of the area is unfair.
Stephen R Hillier
County Councillor for Bentswood & Franklands Wards (Haywards Heath East), Town Councillor for Bentswood, Chairperson of Bentswood Community Partnership, Bentswood Crescent, Haywards Heath