BLSW11 – Chair’s Report
This is my last briefing as Chair, so I will keep it short, by summarising what I said at the BLSW11 Annual General Meeting at York Gardens on the 6th July.
I have three phrases: Battersea Together, Battersea Voices, and Battersea Forwards.
I love working in Battersea. I love this part of Battersea, and I have lived or worked here for over 40 years. Acting as Chair for Big Local SW11 these past 4 years has given me the thrill of seeing Battersea together on many occasions:
* in events that we have organised – whether with hundreds of local people at the recent Falcon Road Heritage Festival, or at smaller focus group happenings, or the consortium of reps from over 30 community organisations that we held in February.
* in the networking that we have been privileged to be a part of – whether by working alongside Battersea Fire Station, or local youth clubs, or local schools.
* in the community groups we have been able to support with small grants every year since we started.
* in the partnership committee that has brought together a group of people from widely diverse backgrounds to discuss and argue, think and plan our way forward.
But we have such a long way to go. Our words at times have run ahead of our actions, and things have taken far longer than we had hoped.
The mission of Big Local is to enable residents to make their communities and their areas even better places in which to live. It is to give people in BLSW11 a voice. It is to be a listener.
We have laid some of the groundwork, the idea and image of Big Local SW11 is taking some shape, and the next phase of the project will be to grow the engagement and the outreach and for there to be more hearing and seeing and speaking in this community
It has been said that if we spend too much time looking into the past we will inhibit the plans for the future.
Big Local SW11 is about looking forward.
We are one year into a ten year plan. We are about one twentieth into one million pounds.
The role of the new committee, led by the wisdom of a new Chair, will be to take us forwards for the next three years, bringing more people on board, showing more visible signs of action, building for the future.
Battersea together, with Battersea voices, we will take our part of Battersea forward.
Robert Musgrave MBE