Dear editor, on October 17 members of the Mencap Day Centre in Portswood wrote to their MP and to Southampton City Council. 

The subject of their letter was the condition of the access road to the centre, which runs parallel to Portswood Road starting behind October Books up to Highfield Lane.

Here are just a few of the comments offered by the Mencap members: The main problem is that the lane is unadopted by the council.

READ MORE: Southampton Mencap: Road full of potholes 'is discrimination'

…the lane is filthy dirty, a horrible mess, and a total disgrace.

We LOVE coming to Southampton Mencap, but we hate having to go down that lane.

Its horrible and even harder for our friends that need to use walkers.

…children come to Mencap at the weekends and in school holidays. It makes us really, really sad that they and their parents have to go down this disgusting smelly lane. It’s embarrassing.

Not only is it disgusting to look at, it’s a big HEALTH Hazzard.

The members go on to describe what they’ve found in the lane: used needles, dirty clothes, broken beer, and vodka bottles, used nappies, rotting food and feeding rats.

They also ask council officers how they would feel about walking down such a lane in order to get to their offices.

They even offer some solutions like the city adopting the lane, or putting more bins in place, or real cameras that actually work.

The members of the Mencap Day Centre have put a good deal of thought and effort into their appeal to the city and we in Portswood Ward Green Party insist they deserve a pragmatic and positive result.

The members have told us they are affronted by the money being spent on the Portswood Broadway bus gate alterations and they are opposed to the project.

May we offer our own suggestion to Southampton City Council: as Balfour Beatty are turning over substantial profits from their contract with taxpayers in our city why not ask them to allocate a sum from their social contract budget to resurface this lane – make it a point of pride for Portswood.

Yours faithfully

Katherine Barbour
Green Party Councillor for Portswood
Neil Kelly
Green Party local government candidate for Portswood