To receive updates from ward councillors from Wales, Wath and Wickersley on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough
Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19th November, 2018, consideration was given to the annual Ward Updates for Wales, Wath and Wickersley as part of the Thriving Neighbourhoods Strategy.
The Strategy signalled a new way of working for the Council both for Members and for staff and covered every ward in the borough and would be delivered through ward plans developed with residents to address local issues and opportunities. Ward Members would be supported by the neighbourhood team and would work with officers and residents from a range of organisations to respond to residents.
Councillor Read, on behalf of the Wickersley Ward, gave an update on ward priorities, which were based on proposals from an extensive residents’ survey with emphasis on young people. The Ward was able to join up estate regeneration within Flanderwell Park and with funding from the Housing Revenue Account with Ward Members’ own delegated budget the unsafe play area was developed with young people engaged on the design.
In addition, sessions were also arranged to engage some extra youth work to engage young people in diversion activities at certain times of the year.
Speeding came through in the survey much more and certainly work had taken place on Brook Lane and on the road between Bramley and Ravenfield to try and get speed reduced. Reference was also made to litter and a number of schemes like community clean ups had been undertaken. Good progress had been made, but this was plenty more challenges within this process which would be taken forward.
Councillor Hoddinott confirmed a lot of work had been taken place and reported on other activities such as the work on Markfield Drive with physical improvements to the estate and she thanked Councillor Beck for his support. The community centre was now back up and running regular coffee morning and craft workshops which sat alongside the surgeries and the annual Christmas singalong which would take place in the next few days. One of the highlights was the school council elections at Flanderwell School and the environmental projects they were undertaking.
The community speed watch on Brook Lane would be established as a regular occurrence with the local police and a further one would take place with Bramley Sunnyside School in the new year.
There were still many challenges with anti-social behaviour and criminal damage and a plea was made for residents to work with Ward Members to pass on information and look at solutions. Solar lighting had been purchased and erected on footpaths to deter criminal damage and anti-social behaviour. In last few weeks the Police had also been visiting houses to talk to families who were causing a nuisance.
Councillor Beck, on behalf of the Wales Ward, confirmed a key priority had been community safety and engaging vulnerable parts of the community.
Key projects had also been undertaken with local schools, raising environmental awareness of litter and making sure people took greater responsibility for keeping areas clean.
Ward Members also worked with agencies, neighbourhood watch and youth groups with a community safety event in September, 2017 engaging residents with advice and equipment to help them feel safer in their homes.
A piece of work on Alders Way had also taken place following the congregation of youths in a dark alley way which was resolved with the erection of a solar powered lamp-post to illuminate the alley way resolving a particular problem for residents in the area.
A community safety initiative on Peregrine Way, Harthill highlighted the need for keeping elderly homes safe and a number of safety devices were fitted to homes free of charge.
Flagship projects over the last year had been the Wales High School pedestrian safety scheme involving work with local neighbours, residents and the school for safer pedestrianised areas and widened footways.
Billy and Belinda Bollards, following on from other success in the borough, were also erected at some primary schools. These bollards were designed to look like small young children to assist with slowing down traffic. It was the intention for these to be erected outside all primary schools in the ward this financial year.
Ward Members were committed to taking forward serious issues whilst also making it fun for the people involved.
Councillor Atkin, on behalf of the Wath Ward, referred to neighbourhood working activity at the flagship community facility, run by local people, Montgomery Hall.
The three Ward Councillors along with other Council colleagues in areas such as Housing, Libraries, Streetpride, Green Spaces and the Police worked effectively together successfully, along with various sports clubs and volunteers. Wath Rugby Club’s achievement was also being recognised and they had been invited by the Mayor to the Town Hall.
Volunteers played an important role in the community and a cross ward litter picking group had been formed with the Hoober Ward. Ward Councillors had provided litter pick equipment. The group were hoping to fill their 3000th bag by Christmas.
Lynn Cadman was singled out for her volunteering efforts with turning Montgomery Hall into a thriving and well managed asset. It was thanks to her that the Hall provided a much needed community facility being used by the community most days.
Special recognition also needed to be given to Lucy Reeder, Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, shared with Swinton. Ward Members were concerned they were to lose her support, but lobbied officers to ensure her work could continue and that her work in the ward was recognised.
Councillor Elliot spoke positively about Wath Gala and the Christmas Festival which was becoming increasingly popular in the community supported by local businesses. These events provided opportunities for local charities and small businesses along with the community in engaging together and empowering volunteers. Events such as these created a better community and it was so humbling and proud to see members of the ward volunteer their time to move forward with things they wanted to do. Wath was a great place to live and was improving all the time.
Councillor Steele, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, welcomed the opportunity for these ward reports to be considered by Council and for what worked and did not work to be shared. As indicated by a member of the public it was not felt appropriate for these reports to be considered by Scrutiny.
Resolved:- That the ward updates be received and the contents noted.