Agenda item

Presentation: Sense of Place Project


50.1.    Mr Swaraj Jeyasingh, local resident and Chair of the Sense of Place community group, provided an overview of the Sense of Place project, with the following points:

·           Many people have lost the sense of belonging to a place and its community, resulting in social isolation, poor mental health, lack of respect for local environment and increased crime levels

·           The local community needed to come together to recreate a sense of place, increase community energy through community engagement and activities, such as:

an organised 3.5mile urban walk around North East Ipswich, taking in local historic assets, such as James Ransome’s former home, remains of Cauldwell Hall and St John’s workhouse

holding a local photo exhibition by encouraging local residents to send in photographs about the area from the last 50 years

setting up a local business/enterprise club to support and promote local businesses and create a ‘shop local’ leaflet

use of public art to attract people to assets in the area, similar to the Pigs Gone Wild/Elmer Parade exhibits

·           The area for consideration would cover one square mile, have clearly defined boundaries and a defined centre that could be walked to in 5-10 minutes

·           The proposed centre would be where Woodbridge Road meets with Cauldwell Hall Road and the area would be bounded by the ring road and the railway line

·           A small pilot was proposed to engage with local residents through a survey and feedback the outcomes

50.2.    Councillor Darwin asked how this project would engage with people, how it could be narrowed down to something more workable and what was the evidence of need for this project, for example, what would make this project different from existing community engagement work, the Urban Characterisation Study and walks offered by the Tourist Information Centre.  If funding was to be requested from the Making a Difference budget, how much would be requested and from which wards.
A very small pilot was proposed, over a few streets, to find out what was people’s current perception of how they identify with their local place and possible outcomes.  The survey would be done using a mixture of reply postcards and online surveys.  As the centre of the proposed area would be where the 3 wards meet, then funding would be sought from all 3 wards.

50.3.    County Councillor West commented that it would be preferable to fund a specific event rather than the overall project; urban walks could be advertised on social media and a photo exhibition could be held to tie in with Heritage Open Days across the town.

50.4.    Councillor Cracknell asked how much research had been, as there were already community groups in the area, and would this be a new group or would it be combined with existing community groups to make a larger community.
There would be some overlap, but the focus would be on a particular place.

50.5.    Councillor Cracknell asked if existing groups had already been contacted to see what they were doing in the proposed place.
Links had been made through Community Action Suffolk.

50.6.    Councillor Gage commented that the local business leaflet produced in 2013 for Woodbridge Road was worth revisiting as it would support local independent businesses; it would be helpful to also include ‘odd job’ tradesmen.