Houghton Regis Community Support
Why has the Town Council got involved in Community Development & Support?
Recognizing the likely impacts within our community of the cut backs from Central Bedfordshire Council forced on them by Central Government’s austerity agenda, the Town Council have entered into a contract with What About You, a community development organization.
Challenges that have been faced were the loss of the public toilets in Bedford Square, the closure of the leisure centre, threats to the library, losing safety crossing patrols, no more youth service, questions over winter gritting services and closure of neighbourhood groups. Tough times but all of these challenges have been met by different approaches by the Town Council.
What is Community Development?
Community development has an emphasis on self-help, mutual support, the building up of neighbourhoods to work together, the development of neighbourhood capacities for problem-solving and self-representation. It promotes working together to bring the communities preference to political decision makers.
What has happened in Houghton Regis with this additional community support?
Presented with the opportunity to work with a community organiser, the town has been phenomenal with ideas, suggestions and solutions. So far, the community has worked on the leisure centre closure, set up Houghton Regis Helpers, has a strong community network for local organisations, runs a community diary of events, has a couple of social network sites to support the voice of residents and keep them informed, helped clear the quarry, has a Heritage Society, is driving for an adventure playground, loves its new drop in for a coffee and craft activities, has a community safety group working with the police, has a business network group with links to the Chamber of Commerce, supports StreetWatch and NeighbourHood Watch, made a success of National Play Day, made Queens Jubilee celebrations a day to remember and much more.
What is the future looking like?
The future will be exciting and dynamic with the possibility of many new houses, shops and employment opportunities, a larger Town Council, developments to Houghton Hall Park, redevelopment of the Co-Op site, public accessibility to the Houghton Regis Quarry, development of a new cemetery and allotment site and much more.
Last updated about 6 years ago