Monday, March 28, 2011

Vision and Reality

The last Western Area Partnership meeting tonight before the election, and very poorly attended it was too.  A shame because there were some very interesting things on the agenda.
The vision for Stockton Town Centre was first up, and provoked lots of questions and comment from people representing an area which has "become cynical about Stockton High Street" in the words of one.  If you want to see for yourself the proposals are on the council's website and there's the opportunity to comment on them too.  It's far too complicated to go into here but for those who say that they never go because it's got nothing to offer them, here's the chance to say what you'd like to see there.  Of course it all depends on money, and cooperation and partnership etc etc but the vision is a starting point.
The next item was one of much more solid realism.  Some time ago the Western Area board was asked to spend some money (not very much) on improving the chances of people looking for jobs.  A large part of what we decided was to work with Tees Achieve and Tristar Homes to get some taster sessions for adult learning and to find out what courses people would like to help them develop skills and confidence to help in job hunting.  Tonight we had a report on progress, and very heartening it was too.  Several people had done basic IT courses and there are more on offer.  Some have done food hygiene and first aid, while others are tackling confidence building and now we have a request for sign language.  At the same time as helping people develop the skills these courses have opened up a small community centre to a wider community and broadened its use, thus supporting a community resource which is sorely needed in the area.  Maybe a little oak tree is starting to grow from the acorn that funding provided.
And it was really good to leave the meeting in daylight and go back up to join the campaign team who'd been slogging round the streets while I attended the meeting so that we could all enjoy a delicious meal together.  The icing on the proverbial cake!

1 comment:

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