Level Communities Forum
Date: 5th/12th December
- λ Decoration Making & Christmas Tree Light Switch-On
After numerous issues with the Council regarding both the purchasing of the tree and the lights to decorate it, it was eventually put in place and decorated in time for the official switch-on 10th December.
The decoration making was well received and saw many children come into the MacLaren Pavilion and make Christmas cards and decorations with Carol Patten and Roz Reyburn.
The turn out for the light switch-on was a little lower than we would have liked but it was still an enjoyable event with the Lord Lieutenant and his wife in attendance to “press the button” and turn the tree lights on.
Unfortunately, just a few hours later the tree lights had been vandalised and part of the wire severed rendering them unusable. This is yet more evidence of the anti-social behaviour that is very obviously increasing within the park and is especially disappointing after all the effort that went into making the tree and lights a special part of our community park – not least from Maureen Winder who worked incredibly hard to make it all happen.
- λ Cuts to Park Funding & Working Together of Community Groups
A lot of discussion regarding the very significant funding cuts that are potentially being faced by all of the green spaces in the City over the next few years and the effects that this will have on the Level in the future.
One of the aspects being discussed by the Council is putting out to tender the running of the two Pavilions on the Level. The Council are finding them difficult/expensive/time consuming to manage and are looking to outsource the management of them. This could be either to a private company or potentially to a local Community group. The worst case scenario alternative is that the two rooms get boarded up and taken out of use. This would raise serious questions about the future of the LCF; it’s function and purpose.
A proposal was put forward that we create a Community Interest Company (CIC) or Community Incorporated Organisation (CIO) that could put in a bid for running this area of the Level.
This could be an over-arching Community group that would incorporate numerous other local groups eg: Hanover, North Laine, Coombe Road, Roundhill, The Triangle, The Greenway, Elm Grove amongst others.
More information is needed from the Council so that an informed decision can be made eg: what are the current/potential revenue streams, potential earnings, current regular uses/users, expectations regarding the future of the Pavilions, clarification of responsibilities of any new Management and the Council.
It is also necessary to include the Tomato Cafe and Loving Hut in any and all future discussions as any change of usage may have a significant effect on their futures.
Before formally approaching other Community groups a structure for any potential CIC/CIO will need to be developed so that they know what it is they’re being asked to join:
Type of organisation that we envision?
Commitment Requirement – possible subscription/membership fee either for individual or organisation?
There is an awful lot more to discuss on this matter before official interest is given to the Council and as such a few extra meetings are needed to get ideas together and discuss how to progress.
- λ Meeting Schedule
A number of meetings have been scheduled to be split between regular LCF meetings for Forum members and Community Interest meetings which will hopefully include interested parties from other local Community groups.
LCF Meetings – Forum members
MacLaren Pavilion; 6 – 7.30pm
Community Interest Meetings – wider community group members
MacLaren Pavilion; 6 – 7.30pm
Next Meeting: 9th January – MacLaren Room 6pm