Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

North East Hastings Big Local area

Big Local’s Big Bang!

The first North East Hastings Big Local Group annual meeting will be held on Thursday 12 December at 7.30pm in The Bridge Community Centre, Priory Road, Hastings TN34 3NW, writes Graham Hodgson.

At the meeting they will complete the formation of the Resident-led Partnership to take over from the Interim Steering Group, agree the terms of reference to guide the Big Local Group and Resident-led Partnership over the next few months, and follow-up any issues arising out of the meeting on Saturday 16 November.

How you can get involved

The numbers who can join the formal Partnership are limited to 20 members and the majority have to live in the Big Local area (see above). Other members can represent a local group, organisation or business based in or providing services to the Big Local area. This group will meet monthly to start with. To be eligible to vote at the meeting on 12 December you will need to be a registered member of the Big Local Group. Forms will be available at the meeting.

What is Big Local?

Big Local gives residents £1m, expert support, flexibility to decide how the money is spent, and 10 or more years in which to make a massive, lasting and positive difference to our community. Big Local is administered by Local Trust on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.

Big Local will:

1. Help  to identify our neighbourhoods’ needs and do something about them
2. Help  to increase  skills and confidence  to identify and respond to needs in the future
3. Help  to prioritise needs
4. Help us to make the area an even better place to live.

Some of what they have done so far:

Sep 2012 First Steering Group meeting.
Jan 2013 Steering group received £18,000 from Local Trust to raise awareness of Big Local and find out what residents want to keep, change or improve.
May 2013 Steering Group appointed consortium led by Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA) to carry out a three-month campaign to raise awareness of Big Local and find out what people liked and disliked about the area, and what could be done to improve it.
Oct 2013 HVA report back their findings to residents and stakeholders at the Ore Centre. Steering Group receive £22,000 from Local Trust to pay for part-time community development worker (for 6 months), more awareness raising events, publicity, a small grants programme to fund some ‘quick wins’ and preparation of vision and action plan to draw down £1m.
Dec 2013 Steering Group dissolved. New Big Local Group and (resident-led) North East Hastings Partnership formed.

What you said you wanted changed or improved

Over the summer a team of people went out into the community to ask residents:
1. What do you like about the area now?
2. What are your neighbourhood’s greatest problems/what don’t you like about your neighbourhood?

What should be done about it?

Based on the responses, the following needs or priorities have been identified:
• There is not enough to do, particularly volunteering and training opportunities.
• A youth café for 11+
• Football and basket-ball areas
• Save Sandown pool
• Continue improvements to Speckled Wood and the adventure playground
• New cycle paths and a village green
• Investment in community centres and existing groups
• Better ‘what’s on’ information
• Improve and extend (hours) for public transport
• Better access to debt advice and credit union
• Reducing anti-social behaviour and vandalism by gating alleyways, improving parenting skills and tackling drugs and alcohol
• Improve physical and mental health of residents, support vulnerable and isolated people and reduce teenage pregnancies
• Support existing independent shops and increase footfall through appropriate development
• Less litter and dogs’ mess.

Want to know more or get involved?

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Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 10:05 Monday, Dec 9, 2013 In: Home Ground

Also in: Home Ground

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