Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kensington Regeneration Succession Strategy

An interesting workshop tonight at the wonderful Foresight Centre on London Road.

We were discussing the succession strategy for Kensington Regeneration, the partnership that has been managing the Kensington New Deal for Communities project for the last 8 years. It comes to an end in April 2010 so we need to decide whether there should be a successor organisation and what its priorities should be given that it cannot deliver the whole of the programme it currently does with no revenue.

There have been a number of workshops I understand but at ours today it was our settled view that there should be a successor organisation and the CIC which has been set up for this purpose should be supported.

We felt it should concentrate on two main areas:

Securing funding for the continuation of the award-winning Community Wardens scheme who can work on what I am loosely calling "the people's priority" - that of environmental issues, street cleansing, fly-tipping, graffiti, along with supporting vulnerable residents and acting as a link on the street between residents and service deliverers.

Economic development and local enterprise - jobs and income basically.

I was very struck by a contribution from Cllr Malcolm Kennedy at a recent Joint Neighbourhood committee where he said that despite wonderful improvements in the housing stock and the general environment in a part of his ward, in Vauxhall, the indicators on health, income, quality of life were still very poor. The massive physical improvements did not affect how much money families had to live on or make them any more healthy.

They have come there to the realisation that true regeneration has to come from an improvement in income. Which of course has to come from the provision of jobs/better paid jobs.

So we need the successor company to concentrate on getting businesses to come to Kensington and surrounds, and to provide good quality jobs for local people - who need to be skilled up in good time to fill the posts.

So that was our workshops findings, I will be interested to see what other workshops thought, and of course to your comments and views here on the blog too.

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