September 2013 Update
A brilliant July evening at York Library and York Gardens itself, bristling with people of every age, and from all over Battersea, capped a full year of BigLocalSW11 activities.
With young people performing, from Falconbrook Primary School Steel Band and from Cauis House Youth Club, and local DJ’s keeping up the musical background throughout the evening, there were plenty of activities to observe or participate in, from athletics coaching run by Battersea athlete, Birhan Dagne, to children’s football organised by Providence House and St Peter’s; from the ever popular smoothie bike to Tony Hersey’s even more popular candy floss machine. WOW mums and BigLocal committee members were busy with non-stop face painting, while York Library main hall was filled with local community groups advertising their services. Burgers supplied by local tradesmen, D.Brown, teas by Battersea Chapel kept people re-fuelled, the return of the storyteller entertained children and parents, and the bouncy castle occupied the energetic.
BigLocal committee members and volunteers held lively focus groups during the early evening or took the discussion out to impromptu groups of people in the park to elicit the broad range of views about improving our BigLocal area. In tandem with our busy consultation, Wandsworth Council planning group held non-stop discussions about the local regeneration plans.
It has been just over a year now since the inaugural visioning event took place, and we first began to debate how a millions pounds could help our area.
So what has happened since? A Planning Group was fairly quickly established, made up of local residents and community workers. And questionnaires, community events around the area, a community audit, public meetings, school assemblies have all run on one after the other to record, gauge and analyse local opinion. In the summer set up a Quick Wins Grants Panel and were able to award small amounts to several local projects, with some success. We have a logo, a website and facebook page, and a representative and hardworking Planning Committee. But where do we go from here?
We have identified 6 key areas where people want to see improvements: Supporting Families, Supporting older people and intergenerational activities, Opportunities for People with disability, Improving Physical Spaces, Improving Opportunities for Young People & Employment, Training and Opportunities for Volunteering.
Over the autumn we will hold focus groups to explore these issues and come up with plans for spending the money.
Over the autumn we will put together a partnership that can deliver on these promises.
Over the autumn we will hold public meetings to discuss and approve the plans.
And most importantly, if you live or work or study in BigLocalSW11, we want your input.
So please get in touch