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Agenda item

THRIVING NEIGHBOURHOODS - UPDATES FROM WARD COUNCILLORS

 

To receive updates from ward councillors from Brinsworth and Catcliffe, Hoober and Keppel on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough.

Minutes:

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 Brinsworth and Catcliffe, Hoober and Keppel 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 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.

 

Councillors Buckley, Carter and Simpson, on behalf of the Brinsworth and Catcliffe Ward, gave an update on their ward priorities.

 

Councillor Carter described how he and his Ward Councillors had consulted on proposals on which to use their core budget and the many events that had been attended.  He was proud of the agreed priorities which residents had identified such as fly tipping hotspots and litter around the villages.

 

As a result anti-fly tipping cameras had been purchased through the Ward budgets and they were proving to be successful.

 

The Ward was also working with partner organisations such as the friends of St George’s Churchyard, which had been so overgrown and neglected and had fallen into disrepair.

 

Councillor Carter particularly enjoyed the local Remembrance Day service and as a junior doctor himself he was proud to have been involved with partnership proposals to bring forward the installation of a new defibrillator that was installed in Catcliffe, which may help save someone’s life.

 

The Ward had fantastic heritage and was home to the Kiln amongst other things and Members were encouraging collaboration with the Area Housing Panel to look at match funding to provide a power supply, both inside and outside of the Kiln to host community events such as the Christmas nativity.

 

Councillor Simpson described the fantastic local knowledge for local needs and the important community work that Councillors were involved in, such as voluntary work, listening to lonely people, suicide support and help with youth work.

 

He was proud to be involved in the suggested enhancements in and around the town centre along with tourism possibilities of leisure cycling and family walks to and from Rother Valley Country Park. 

 

Councillor Buckley echoed the comments of his Ward colleagues and referred Members to the Ward Plan that had been circulated with the agenda.  The Plan was succinct and was aspirational.  It outlined some of the current achievements, but he wanted to reflect on the process which was working well.

 

Having been involved in the initial Working Party it was rewarding to hear over this year so many positive reports from Ward Members and how they were engaging more with their local communities.  However, there was still room for development.

 

His own Ward had proactive Parish Councils, which had been welcome in moving forward a number of joint working projects.  However, this had also created a number of problems as the lines of responsibility had become blurred.  He wished to point out that whilst Ward Members were active they could not always take the credit for projects such as the new centre or the proposed new library.  These had been led by the Parish Councils over  number of years.

 

Councillor Buckley liked to think that as Ward Councillors he and his colleagues could continue to address and improve conditions for constituents when it came to deciding on annual budgets.

 

Councillors Lelliott Roche and Steele, on behalf of the Hoober Ward, gave an update on their Ward Plan.

 

Councillor Lelliott referred Members back to the Plan in the agenda pack and the good work that was taking place in the Ward and the art of being a good Ward Councillor was actually about being a representative to the community and working closely, the links and partnerships that were built.  Nothing could be achieved in isolation.

 

Councillor Lelliott described the excellent work and the mapping that had taken place with individuals and community groups during surgeries and coffee mornings.  The Ward was clearly benefitting from the litter picking and the collaboration with Wath, West Melton and Brampton litter picking group who had come together as volunteers to tackle litter in both Hoober Ward and Wath Ward. Hoober Ward Councillors have funded litter picking equipment for the group. The group regularly carry out litter picks in the areas of Brampton, West Melton and Upper Haugh.  Consideration was also being given as to whether to take this a little further into Swinton.

 

Volunteers in the area were commended for the individual work they were doing and how they were making a difference to people’s lives.  It was not just about giving young people opportunities it was providing the community with places to tackle issues like senior citizens’ loneliness.

 

Councillor Lelliott was privileged and proud to have made a difference in her Ward.

 

 Councillor Roche described his Labour Ward as diverse, but stressed the importance of consulting with local organisations and people.  He was pleased to have been involved with general issues like traffic problems and the school park.

 

The Ward had concentrated on particular areas and consulted the community and the Parish Council to ensure issues were dealt with effectively and quickly brought to attention so support could be given wherever possible.

 

This had included a recent meeting with three village organisations and local residents to particularly talk about traffic issues in the area.  This was ongoing and comments were awaited back from officers before this could be fed back.

 

The residents of Harley and Wentworth had been engaged with to agree Ward priorities.   Harley Mission Rooms had also recently been acquired and refurbished by a newly established Trust. Ward Councillors were keen to help and funded equipment and fixtures to enable them to set up a new community café which was open to all the community and a variety of community activities were now hosted.

 

Moving forward Ward Members were conscious that due to the diversity and spread in the Ward it was not always possible to come together in a central hub, but consultation events would be spread around the Ward.

 

Hoober Ward was proud that it was improving the local environment, addressing social isolation and loneliness, increasing participation within the local community, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and providing more facilities and activities for young people and families and shared this through a Facebook page.

 

Councillor Steele echoed many of the comments from his colleagues, but described how Ward budgets were being used to support and improve the local area that had been neglected.  This was a rural area, but Members were actively talking about what could be facilitated for the betterment of residents.

 

Traffic congestion was an issue in certain areas and discussions were taking place with the Police to make sure people were safe.

 

It was important to keep communication alive in the Ward and how little support could go a long way.  The word about the small grants available was now spreading.  Councillor Steele was proud of the work taking place.

 

Councillor Clark, on behalf of the Keppel Ward, referred to the Ward priorities, and was proud to present this report as she took full responsibility for its content.  Over the past twelve months she had been extremely busy with more engagement with local groups as well as doing much more joint working with PCSO’s.

 

Initially she had been wary of the new way of neighbourhood working when it was first introduced, but had seen how it had worked for her.

 

She referred to the report attached to the agenda and the content which had seen two Dragons' Dens events; one in Kimberworth Park and one in Thorpe Hesley where local groups pitched for community leadership funding for their projects.   The first Community Awards presentation had also been hosted in this three year term.  All were really well attended by representatives and supporters from the many groups in the area, who were now interacting more with one another.

 

The Ward Plan had supported the Millmoor Junior Football Academy with shelters and kit, which supported many young people across the borough.

 

Residents in a particular area of Thorpe Hesley had also asked if they could have the Father Christmas float visit children in the area.  After discussions if this could be provided by the Ward, Wortley Rotary supported the request and a visit was made on Christmas Eve.

 

Members were also involved and lobbied to keep the redundant Thorpe Hesley aged persons building for community use.  After advertising this twice the community group, Artworks, chose to take over the building.  This not-for-profit creative arts organisation inspired and helped adults with learning difficulties to achieve their potential and develop important life skills through creative workshops and placements.

 

Artworks were an asset to the community and had drawn down grant funding to completely refurbish the property which would soon be available for community use.  The banner downstairs in the John Smith Room was made by Artworks.

 

As a result of better neighbourhood working Ward Members had a faster and more professional way to respond to community concerns and have held a number of community meetings with PCSOs in attendance responding to public requests.

 

A number of Community Speed watch events and traffic counts have been held following on from issues raised by residents and a mobile illuminated speed sign had been purchased which was moved around the area.

 

The other Keppel Ward Members were unable to be present today and they had their own personal problems that had prevented from being as active as they may have liked.   Councillor Clark wanted to pass on her best wishes and hoped they were well.

 

The Mayor opened up meeting to any questions other Members may have on the reports that had been provided.

 

Councillor Hoddinott wished to place on record her thanks actually to Councillor Clark alone and for the work she had done with Artworks reflected in the banner downstairs.  Councillor Clark was a big advocate of women's rights and women Councillors and this came through in the project that was created and brought into the Town Hall with the permanent reminder of 100 years of women getting the first votes.  Councillor Clark was commended for her engagement in the Ward and bringing this back into the Town Hall.

 

In his right to reply Councillor Watson welcomed the excellent neighbourhood working that was taking place in Wards.

 

Resolved:-  That the Ward updates be received and the contents noted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Watson                    Seconder:-  Councillor Read

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