Monday, July 23, 2007

Every neighbourhood matters

I spent last Wednesday at Blackburne House on Hope Street. This wonderful centre used to be a school where two dear friends, Sara and Sandra used to be school-girls, I bet they gave their teachers a real runaround, but I digress

We were there as community members, representatives and partner agencies of the City and North neighbourhood to discuss how local people can get involved with the decision making in the area.

I was pleased to see some of the K&F resident groups in attendance as I had particularly asked that they be invited.

We talked about the neighbourhood charters, about different ways of sourcing funding for small local projects, about the different ways that residents can be involved in their area and about the way forward. There will be a meeting just for K&F people in October when we will be able to get into the detail.

It was good to see a more ethnically diverse group of residents than we usually see, perhaps because of the involvement of the Toxteth area in this meeting. Our BRM community in K&F is still finding its feet in community work as most have only been in the country, let alone the city for a few years.

As is usual, most of the residents attending were women (with a few exceptions of course), the men present tended to be from partner agencies, the police and some of the council staff for instance, but the real unpaid heroes who roll up their sleeves for their area are nearly always women. I see this a lot as I go round the different Tenants and Residents Associations. The lead presenters were women too. Someone should write a thesis on the role of women in community development, probably they already have, the men are great of course but the women are even better, seeing that most of them have not been key players in the world of work but do play huge parts in their community.

A very enjoyable day.

1 comment:

JB said...

There is much truth in this - look at the wonderful women leading the campaigns against council demolition schemes in the Welsh Streets and Edge Lane

(though the equally valiant Picton and Lodge Lane regeneration refugees are led by blokes!).

This meeting sounds positive but has to be seen as lip service - our Friends Group has been banging on the door to get involved in Newsham Park improvements, but is continually stone-walled or fobbed off by the council's delay and decay tactics.

Still, we ain't going away...