ST GEORGE’S, PRESTON
The area: St George’s is a built-up area close to Preston City Centre that has few open spaces within its boundaries and so the quality of the street environment and back alleys has a big impact on residents when they are playing or travelling around the area.
Who we are: The Neighbourhood Resilience Programme (NRP) in the St George’s neighbourhood is being run by a local group including residents, a third sector organisation called Community Futures and staff at Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council. Preston Muslim Forum and Let’s Grow Preston are also involved.
What we have done so far: We are aiming to identify, implement and evaluate locally-tailored action to improve the living environment.
We have held events between March 2017 and February 2018 when residents talked about positive aspects of living in the area and identified concerns they wanted to address. Positive things included a sense of community, good transport links and the proximity of the city centre. Concerns revolved around the physical environment including play spaces for children, personal safety, dog fouling, car parking, safe road crossings and the appearance of roads and alleys.
The local events led to an enquiry, conducted by the Resident Advisers. The Advisers have spoken to people who live in St George’s about two things – play spaces and local journeys. Information has been collected about where 117 children living in the area play and about 53 journeys.
Since the resident led enquiry, the Local Oversight Group has made links with Preston City Council and a local residents’ association to do more to address littering and fly tipping in the area. A community clean-up took place as well. More than 25 residents, working with Let’s Grow Preston and other stakeholders, have also transformed one of the alleyways. The Local Oversight Group has chosen the title of ‘Alley Proud’ for this work and have produced a ‘how to do it’ booklet and poster with a local artist to help other residents to transform their alley.
Resilience enhancing emerging actions:
Residents have been encouraged to be more proactive in addressing longstanding concerns:
- Information on how to report issues including hazardous pavements and fly tipping has been circulated.
- People involved in the local enquiry have made contact with neighbours with whom they had not previously spoken.
- Community clean-ups have improved the local environment and resulted in the removal of fly-tipped items.
- Through the alley transformation work, people living locally are gaining a welcoming space to socialise with their neighbours, building links with local agencies, developing their interest in growing flowers, fruit and herbs and enhancing play spaces for their children.
- Taking part in the Cleaner Greaner Spaces Learning Exchange event enabled residents and local organisations to share their work and build links with other initiatives.
- Organisations have made new contacts and have started to talk about how they can maximise the use of local resources and bring together residents from different parts of the community.
- Newsletters reporting on the local work, can be downloaded as PDF documents below:
Neighbourhood Academic Lead: Fiona Ward; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org