Last night I hosted a public meeting of Copeland Park residents in the Community Room at Skillzone. A number of residents came to talk with myself, and John Gow, the Community Builder for Kingsway. The meeting, inspired by Stuart Mays, a local resident, was aimed to discuss what it is like living in Copeland Park and what they would like to see in the future. The feedback was really positive and there is a strong desire to keep the meetings going and grow a residents group to develop community events and act as a voice for local issues.
Copeland Park is in a bit of a weird situation in terms of location and something that needs sorted out. Its a bit overshadowed in terms of being a new development by Kingsway, yet the two are not really connected. It is on the right had side of the A38 with Kingsway, but while Kingsway is part of Quedgeley Fieldcourt, Copeland Park is part of Quedgeley Severn Vale. Access to Copeland Park is not possible from Quedgeley or Kingsway at all, only from Grange/Tuffley. To cap it off, I found out last night that the actual deeds of the houses actually say Tuffley on them and not Quedgeley. I think this is something that needs addressed and hopefully the City Boundary review will help go someway to do this, if it is done right.
I asked John Gow if he would present the ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) approach, and though his remit doesn’t cover Copeland Park, he was very kind to come along and highlight the approach and how Copeland Park residents can use it to work with each other and grow those community groups and links. This inspired a number of conversations in the meeting which were all around how we can grow these relationships.
In discussing what people liked about Copeland Park it became clear that residents really like the quiet, peaceful environment within the area. The green space is really valued and in the main people feel really safe there.
There are a number of issues to be addresses, including some Speeding, making sure the right services are delivered properly such as public transport and how to better engage the youth. Also a key suggestion was working to develop southbound access to the A38, this would help residents of Copeland Park and Tuffley alike.
In terms of moving forward, residents were keen to have another meeting and keep on the journey of setting up a Residents Group, so the next meeting will be in about a month. The group was also keen to look at organising some social events to encourage the community to come together as well as take the example from Kingsway and have a Litter Pick session. We are also going to organise a Community Speed watch Group to address the speeding issue.
We will need to get some funding too, in order to ensure that all residents know the meetings are happening as I know some people were not aware, so getting some banners for the main entrances to advertise meetings will also be a huge benefit in the future.
Overall it was a really positive and pro active meeting and I hope that as those who attended talk to their friends and neighbours, the group will grow and develop. It has been a while since I ran a Community Meeting like that, and it took me right back to when I was Chair of the Kingsway group and how we developed that group into delivering community cohesion and a positive outlook. It is very exciting to be privileged enough to be at the beginnings of another community organisation.