Archive Page 2

21
Jan
10

Relevant BBC news article

As residents of the area are aware, in 2000 the government declaired that all social housing must meet a decent homes standard by 2010. Now here we are in 2010 still living in cold houses riddled with damp. So it might surprise some of us that a government spokesperson has today declared the project a success!

Perhaps we should invite this spokesperson to our next meeting so that he/she can explain to us exactly how the scheme is a success.

Also despite this alleged success, there are still 305,000 houses nation wide that do not meet these standards. But it’s okay, the problem will be resolved by 2018/19. NINE YEARS AFTER they were supposed to be finished. Now I don’t know about you, but in my line of work if I said that a project was going to miss it’s deadline by nine years, I don’t think I would have a job the next day!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8471597.stm

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13
Jan
10

next meeting and event at landmark

Just a quick reminder that our next meeting is on Monday (18th). Also, I have just been informed that the developer selection workshop that was supposed to be tomorrow (14th), has been postponed due to the weather, and will now be held on the 21st of January at 5pm. Please pass on this information to anyone else you can.

07
Jan
10

Just A quick update.

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last moth or so, it has been a very busy time for me with Christmas and the birth of my new son.

Firstly, MDC have a news article on their site about one of our local residents who has recently been re-homed.

http://www.mansfield.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3342

I would also Like to remind everyone about MVMP’s developer selection workshop on the 14th of January, and our own Meeting (that will include representatives of MVMP and MDC) on the 18th of January.

10
Dec
09

Next meeting.

Just a reminder that there is a meeting this coming Monday (14th December)  at 7:15.  The meeting will be at Hillmoor Street Community Centre as usual.

This week MVMP, MDC and local councillors have been invited. In addition, Andy Perry has contacted me to put in apologies for not making this next meeting, and to re-affirm that he is committed to helping the people of the area.

I would also like to apologise for the lack of updates to this site over the last couple of weeks. Our new baby is due any day now, and work has been busy in the run up to Christmas. I have also been putting a little time in to building a better website for this information, and hopefully should be able to make it live in the new year.

Hopefully I will be at the next meeting, but If not and I don’t see some of you before the holidays, I would just like to thank everyone for the support this year in starting this new group, and wish everyone a merry Christmas.

08
Nov
09

With more information, you always get more questions.

Bear with me because this is going to be a long post.

Despite recent cynicism on this blog, it seems as though we are indeed getting somewhere on the housing issue. Now we can’t take credit for this, it was going to happen anyway, I think we just came along at the right time. But on Friday, MVMP delivered a letter to the residents of our area, that has started the ball rolling on the redevelopment. This has been received as good news by the few residents I have seen up until now.

So far it seems that MVMP are doing what they said they would. They had promised to get the ball rolling soon, and have. I should also apologise for not mentioning the climbing wall they brought to the area a couple of weeks ago. It was well received, and I know the people of the area would like to see it return.  I can only hope now that they are able to deliver what they promise. In particular the promise that they will listen to the community. I will however come back to MVMP in a moment.

The letter delivered on Friday describes 7 phases for re-housing residents, based on 7 geographic sections of the area. The first being Clarence Street and the first block of Chesterfield Road. These residents are now expecting to be contacted within the next month, and have been told that they have priority status regarding rehousing. The question is though, does priority status also negate the requirement for some residents to move into much smaller properties? If not it would seem that the best option for people in this situation is to simply stay put, and refuse to move until suitable accommodation is found. When the first blocks of Chesterfield Road were demolished to make way for the MARR road, this worked quite well for one resident. It is after all MDC / MVMP that want people out, and some of us have everything to lose being asked to move from 3 bed houses to flats.

I think many people in the area will be glad to find out that they can now find their own alternative accommodation, but still receive the compensation for having to move. I know that recent commentators on this blog have expressed that they just want to move out of the area, and I hope this goes some way towards satisfying that desire.

The letter from MVMP goes on to talk about what parts of the area will be emptied, and in what order. It doesn’t say where the community centre fits in to the plan though. Hopefully this is good news in that they haven’t decided yet. And perhaps with the news that we collected our first names on our petition to save or replace the community centre at the bonfire party, we may not lose yet another community resource.

I would hope with the announcement of these 7 phases, that this is an indication that there is now a master plan for the area? If so, with all the talk of involving the community, I would expect it to be available to us. What would be wrong with publishing it on the internet, or hosting it on some sort of collaboration software to allow residents to truly get involved? And we have good reason to want to know what is planned. Especially with the retention of the first two blocks of Hillmoor Street.

Part of the reason that MVMP want to move people out blocks at a time is to prevent people being alone in blocks of houses, at higher risk of crime. What about the 26 houses on Hillmoor Street when the rest of the area is completely empty?

We also need to know what will happen once everyone is gone. As it stands people that remain on Hillmoor Street will have their routes to every major facility disrupted. The people I know currently either walk across the park, or up Clarence Street to access the school, the shops, the bus stops, playing fields and much more. When that entire area is a building site, how are these people to cope? How long will this go on for? Has all this been planned for? If so can we be told about it?

And what comes at the end of all this? I, for one, moved into my house on Hillmoor Street on the understanding that when the new homes were built we, the people in the retained housing, would be offered one of the new houses, paving the way for the remainder of Hillmoor Street to be replaced. To me this also seems to make sense as a long term plan. I also think that after who knows how long of a disruption, these people will deserve some sort of reward. And if there are going to be so many new social houses owned by South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA), and the current houses on Hillmoor Street are also owned by SYHA, then what is the problem? Simply move the people over to the new houses, knock down the old ones, and build some more social housing as the final phase.

MDC have said this is to be the gateway into Mansfield. That it is supposed to be pleasing to the eye and so on. In the plans I have seem, from Chesterfield Road, you will look across a nice green open space, right at the old houses of Hillmoor Street? Is this the ultimate plan for the “Gateway to Mansfield”’s aesthetically pleasing look?

What kind of houses are the 5 developers thinking about now? Who are these 5 developers? Are the houses going to live up to what the council asked to be considered (http://www.mansfield.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=2090&p=0 )? Will this be a low carbon development? Will the houses be designed in such a way as to have minimal impact on the environment? Will there be pre-planned cycle paths throughout?  Or is the good old credit crunch going to scupper the plans? Because if it is not low carbon with all the bells and whistles, what is the point? We should consider the future of our species over how much money who will make out of building a new, richer community.

There have also been people who have said that they do not want to move out of the area. Will these people be given priority on the new houses at nearby New Terrace? I believe this is also an MVMP development, and I would assume that it has social housing. And will these people also get the opportunity to come back to the area?

Many people who live here, have done so all their lives. Some for multiple generations. If these people are not offered the opportunity to come back, then it shows that for MDC this project is not about helping a community, but by sweeping it away and building a new one.

MVMP are simply puppets in this. Doing what MDC could not be bothered to do/was not capable of doing (or whatever their excuse is). And while I understand they feel they are doing good work and “revitalising communities”, I can’t help but wonder how building (much needed) new houses can make up for the dispersal of friends, family and shared history? A community is not just the bricks and mortar, it is the tangled web of peoples lives over a long period of time in a single place.

And why do we need to bring in MVMP? Are they not just doing what MDC should have done? And isn’t it a bit weird that Mansfield Mayor Tony Egginton is on the board of directors for MVMP?

For me, this community activism is new. I have done what I have done because I was fed up with the problems of the area. For a long time I didn’t feel I was a part of the area, but after ten years and a child I realised I was wrong. The point is, I have not taken an interest in local politics until now. And everything I see makes me question things. If some people think that I am naïve to wider issues in the area, this is why.

With this in mind, it is important to realise that this project in Pleasley Hill is part of a much wider plan for Mansfield. All over the place there are new developments, and they are all in some way linked to the new MARR road:

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/Thousands-of-new-houses-planned.5759713.jp

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/MARR-has-brought-the-area.4046105.jp

http://www.chad.co.uk/Register.aspx?ReturnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chad.co.uk%2Fnews%2FMARR-homes-closer-as-greenfield.4497416.jp

http://www.chad.co.uk/Register.aspx?ReturnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chad.co.uk%2Fashfieldnews%2FMARR-30m-technology-park-will.4701336.jp

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/College-looks-for-new-home.1788581.jp

http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/home/traffic_and_travel/roadschemes/marr.htm

Now from what little I know, it seems that the people in overall charge of this are the Sherwood Growth Zone Partnership (SGZP). And, to the layman like me, to see once again Tony Egginton’s name on the board of directors, fills me with questions. I do not know him, or anything about him, but it seems like it’s about time that I did.

I hope you got to the end of that, I know it was long. But there was a lot to say. Hopefully I have pictures coming of our recent events, so I will make sure the next post is a positive one!

02
Nov
09

Keeping on community building

This past Saturday saw Hillmoor Street Community Centre invaded by all manner of vampires daemons and spooks for PHPN’s Halloween Party.

Everyone Involved in organising this event deserves congratulating for a first class job, and I for one would like to convey my thanks. It was well organised with plenty of food, activities and prises.  I am also pleased to say it was very well attended, and everyone seemed to have a thoroughly good time.

But of course it doesn’t end there. As a group were are still in our infancy, and now we have put on a couple of events, we have the taste for it. There are now plans afoot for a Christmas party, as well as further workswaps on a variety of subjects.

See you all at tonight’s meeting.

29
Oct
09

Next Meeting and other events

aposter2




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