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Developing a Neighbourhood Strategy for the local area

The regeneration of Wornington Green is transforming, and bringing many new people into the neighbourhood.

You have told us that one of the things you really value about the area is “the sense of community”, and we want to ensure that this is both maintained, and strengthened.

We also want to make sure that the area is well managed, stays looking great and provides opportunities for local people to live well. In order to achieve this we are developing a Neighbourhood Strategy that will help to direct the work of Catalyst and other local agencies over the coming years. It will include plans for how we will address issues that are important to residents and will make this a better place to live, both now and in the future.

We have started developing the Neighbourhood Strategy by producing a ‘profile’ of the neighbourhood – using the ‘Community Insight’ software programme – which brings together all publically available data from sources including the census, police, health authority etc. This found that the area has relatively:

  • Low levels of crime
  •  Good levels of school attainment, and
  • Generally good health

The main issues affecting a number of local residents include:Low incomes – nearly half of residents live below the poverty line (compared to 21% across England)

  • Employment – 10% of local people are unemployed
  • Health – there is a higher than average number of people with long-term illnesses that limits their ability to work

We then talked to the Wornington Green Community Group and Residents’ Steering Group, the Golborne Forum, and various groups that meet in the Venture Centre, like the dog walkers group and the sewing club. We’ve been at the Coffee Afternoon for older people and held a drop-in event before a public meeting of the Residents’ Steering Group, asking local people what they thought was great about the area and what the priorities for change should be. The most commonly identified priorities for change and investment were:

  • Young people – providing homes and opportunities as well as activities, support, guidance and mentoring
  • Tackling unemployment – creating links with local businesses and providing help applying for work, preparing CVs, interview skill
  • Older people – tackling isolation, support at home and better access to services for example, assistance with hospital appointments

The next steps towards adopting a comprehensive Neighbourhood Strategy are to prioritise the issues raised (see questionnaire www.yourhereandnow.co.uk/questionnaire) and talk to the other organisations, including the Council, to discuss how they can work with us to help to improve services and opportunities for residents living in the local area.

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