In March 2005 a group of friends, neighbours and some of the traders started the St Margarets Community Web Site (www.stmgrts.org.uk). Since then we have continued to grow and grow. Every week increasing the number of readers and hits on the site. Since May 1st we have had over 1000 unique visitors to the site. The election coverage and the wine bar proposals have shown that the commnuity is interested and does want to come together to discuss our local issues online. We felt that the website was able to facilitate these discussions and to provide access to a lot of information so that individuals could make their own informed decisions.
In the new year the feedback from our online survey was that people liked the website and liked the way it was set out. There was no real criticism (thanks!) but the single most comon comment was that you, the readers, would like more people to comment. We were not sure what to do about that!
The election discussion has thrown up the possibility of us creating an online local community plan for St Margarets. Everybody could contribute, everybody can take part. Why not join in. Leave your party politics at the door. Come with an open mind and be prepared to learn something new. Will you show your support for this idea? Will you join in and help to be part of something new that creates an independent vibrant, local identity for our neighbourhood?
This idea was picked up on by Judy Maciejowska who has taken this idea a step futher and set up a meeting to go beyond what can happen in an online forum and create a working group of local residents, traders, schools, etc… to feed into the ‘Local Development Framework’.
“Following an idea started on this site during the election campaign I would like to make progress on a strategic plan for St. Margarets. This would bring together the views and needs of all the local residents’ associations, the St Margarets Traders Association, PTAs, allotment associations, St Margarets’ Fair and any other representative group who has an interest in the community and wellbeing of St Margarets.
It would address many of the current issues of, for instance, parking in Crown Road, the Tesco problem, support for local shops and businesses, public transport, cycle lanes, home zones in residential areas, trees and other plants in our streets, housing and planning, schools, policing etc…
This would then feed into the ‘Local Development Framework’, or simply provide a guideline for our new councillors to promote on our behalf. I’m sure other people will have more ideas. The problem may only be knowing where to stop!
Winchester Hall, by the Turks Head, has been booked for Tuesday 6th June, from 7.30-9.00 p.m. for an initial meeting, as I think that’s after half term and doesn’t clash with Council meetings. So let’s get the debate started here to give us a good idea of how to move forward at the meeting.”
We hope that you will join us. How do you feel this could be done? What sort of things do you want it to include. This is your opportuniy to be involved if you don’t contribute what you can, how will it ever happen?
Now we are waiting to hear from you onilne and hopefully see you at Winchester Hall!
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