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Moveable Feast harvest

Moveable Feast harvest

Fresh Veg and New Bins

Fresh veg and new bins feature in the ‘way forward’ for Central St Leonards, residents heard last Thursday September 27. Over 50 people gathered at The Magnet, London Road, to hear a number of presentations under the banner of The Way Forward Group, writes Richard Hull.

News about the desperately needed regeneration of Central St Leonards has been very thin on the ground since the failure of the bid to the Portas Pilot competition. Indeed, some residents have privately suggested that the elaborately organised workshops earlier this year (extensively reported in HOT here, here and here) have so far yielded very little fruit.

One initiative has, however, literally born both fruit and vegetables. The meeting started with an extremely eloquent, scholarly and passionate description of the Moveable Feast’s rationale and progress to date. This was then topped off with a flourishing display of the most recent harvest from this innovative community fruit and veg garden, which is currently located on a vacant plot on Western Road kindly donated temporarily by Roost Housing Association.

Artist's impression of new OSCAR bins in situ, courtesy of HBC

Artist's impression of new OSCAR bins in situ, courtesy of HBC

At the other end of the life-cycle, rubbish on the streets has long been one of the most obvious reminders of the area’s problems. As many residents have noted, it is perhaps fortunate that there were so few extended hot periods this summer, as the stench of rotting food surrounding some of the on-street bins was bad enough without additional heating. Acknowledging the severity and significance of this problem, the meeting was addressed by HBC’s Head of

Artist's impression of new OSCAR bin housing

Artist's impression of new OSCAR bin housing, courtesy of HBCEnvironmental Services Mike Hepworth who announced forthcoming improvements to the area’s On Street Collection and Recycling (OSCAR). Commencing in two to three months the current OSCAR bins (the source of many complaints) will be replaced by new decorated bins placed on built out and disguised standings.

Environmental Services, Mike Hepworth, who announced forthcoming improvements to the area’s On Street Collection and Recycling (OSCAR).  Commencing in two to three months, the current OSCAR bins (the source of many complaints) will be replaced by new decorated bins placed on built out and disguised standings.

The meeting also heard that the Central St Leonards Town Team, formed to take forward the work put into the Portas Pilot bid, is shortly to receive £10,000 from the Government as compensation for the Portas bid. Seeking to attract local businesses and retailers as well as community representatives, they are holding a drop-in consultation to gather views on priorities for the town centre. This is on Wednesday October 10 between 10 am and 7 pm at 45 London Road (the old dry-cleaning shop).

One of the key drivers of local regeneration at the start of the year had been the housing association, Local Space and the meeting heard that work should be starting in early 2013 on their second acquisition, the old St Mary’s nursing home on Carisbrooke Road. News of further acquisitions and renovations will, however, have to wait until Local Space obtain agreement for their financial plans.

Finally, Sylvia Bennett of the Gensing and Central St Leonards Community Forum (GCSL) brought the meeting to a close and by popular vote announced that the next meeting of the Way Forward Group will be in three months time. She also reminded the audience that GCSL’s Annual General Meeting will be on Wednesday October 6, 6.30 pm at the Information Centre, Silchester Road.

For more information contact the GCSL http://gcsl.org.uk/index.php

Posted 07:33 Wednesday, Oct 3, 2012 In: Home Ground

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