If anyone needed more proof that an effective partnership between the Council and residents can make a difference to a community, then they need look no further than the Kingsway and Cornlands neighbourhoods in the Westfield ward.
For many years the Kingsway residents, acting through the KARA organisation, liaised with local Councillors and officials.
Some three years ago the Council chose to totally ignore the representation that KARA made about a couple of planning applications which not only threatened public service standards in the area but also put the adjacent Hob Moor at risk.
The Council chose to ignore its own draft Local Plan and almost doubled the number of houses being built on the former Our Lady’s school site (now called “Hob Stones – which itself in recent weeks has slowed as one of the contractors went into administration).
Nearby the Council, despite a tangible lack of parking space in the estate, chose to build on a garage site in Newbury Avenue.
Again local representations were largely ignored.
The Residents Association were disgusted and threw in the towel.
Without an active Residents Association the Council then chose to end the regular skip visits to the area.
Fly tipping and dumping increased and a downward spiral began.
The most poignant symptom of the decline is probably the KARA noticeboard which has not been updated for nearly two years.
Fortunately the area now has new Councillors who will no doubt begin to re-establish a working relationship with the local community.
They could make a start by getting the noticeboards updated and the skip service restored.
Ironically a small – but active – residents association, in the adjacent Cornlands area, manages to keep its two noticeboards bang up to date.