Tuesday, 10 March 2009

North Road Community Partnership AGM

This evening was the North Road Ward Community Partnership AGM. It was good to be able to get to this meeting because I've had to miss a few recently: Tuesday seems to be my busiest day of the week for meetings. The usual dedicated members were present, with one sad exception: vice-chair Sandy Moore died a couple of weeks ago, and his cheerful ruddy face was missed.

Jenny Chapman, the cabinet member with responsibilty for community engagement, attended as guest speaker. Ever the consummate politician, Jenny avoided the thankless task of trying to make pro-Labour political statements and instead gave an interesting presentation about the socio-economic make-up of the ward. Even so, our always-vocal residents gave her a testing time, which she dealt with in good humour.

As I've said before, and as those present themselves now seemed to be agreeing, as they were unable to fill the committee places with North Road residents, the CP needs to find ways to engage and involve more local people. There were only four hard-working residents from North Road ward present. The Partnerships were set up to benefit the residents of the most deprived wards in town and we need to get more people from North Road ward involved. But I said that at the first meeting I attended almost two years ago, and we haven't managed it yet.

And although the Partnership does a lot of good work, I also think it needs to spend less time concentrating on youth issues and anti-social behaviour and look at other groups within the community, such as the isolated elderly, or the newly and long-term unemployed, who we might reach out to. It also might like to look at minor environmental improvements around the ward, which would be to the benefit of all residents.

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