On this page... Southern Maltings, 5 September... Police Community Day, 3 October... U3A Monthly Meeting, 10 November... Eco aWare Day, 13 November... scroll down to find out more about what we've been up to around town...
Public update event, 5 September, Southern Maltings
A huge thank you to everyone who came along - especially those who took part in one of our polls or left comments on our post-it note board.
143 people took part in our survey, using tokens to indicate their support for the various goals outlined in our Draft Plan. A total of 429 votes were cast, as follows:
Improving community facilities 54
An attractive town centre 76
Having a sustainable transport network 74
Supporting a vibrant economy 54
An attractive place to live - where the natural environment is valued and safeguarded 124
Valuing our heritage 47
POST-IT NOTE COMMENTS, GROUPED BY THEME
Community facilities: There were 6 comments asking for better quality of play equipment, particularly in King George’s Park and the one near Priors Wood. There was also a plea for water and power on King George’s to enable more community events to take place. 3 comments asking for more events/markets in Tudor Square, 2 complaints about Tudor Square being taken over by the restaurant.
Sustainable Transport: Lots of interest in cycling and safe route to schools. 8 parents raised concerns about children crossing the road at the bottom of Wadesmill Road (particularly from the The Bourne and crossing the roundabout at Baldock Street) to get to Chauncy and St Catherine’s Schools. 2 comments about the lack of direct buses to Lister Hospital and the QE2. 3 people wanted more trains to London. 1 complaint about people cycling on the pavement and 3 about the danger of electric scooters on the pavement in the town centre.
Vibrant economy: 8 complaints about the lack of banks in town. 2 people suggested a banking hub. 3 people asked for more workshop type spaces, easy-in/easy or hourly hire of office and meeting space with facilities such as coffee and printing.
Police Community Day, Ware Priory, 3 October
It was extremely busy from 11am right through to 3.15pm, when it started to rain. It is estimated that the whole event attracted in excess of 2000 people.
I used the same display as we had at the Maltings in September, augmented by two flipcharts; one for the map and one for comments. I was positioned opposite the bouncy castle and sandwiched between the
craft tent, hair braiding and the ice cream van, which meant I was able to “nobble” a whole range of people, including lots of families, 23 member of the Youth Choir and 8 young people with special needs and their carers.
My pitch was along the lines of “have we got the right objectives” and “what’s missing”.
614 people took part in the ballot. There was a huge amount of interest in safeguarding the natural environment, sustainable transport and community facilities. I think this reflects the age range of the people at the event:
Improving community facilities 314
An attractive town centre 196
Having a sustainable transport network 411
Supporting a vibrant economy 153
An attractive place to live, where the natural environment is valued and safeguarded 688
Valuing our heritage 80
Eco aWare Community Day, Ware Priory, 13 November
Though general footfall was lower than at our previous two open event roadshows, our stand here had a steady stream of visitors, levels of engagement
were encouraging (a majority already had a good basic understanding of what we’re up to), and 133 votes were cast in our “tokens in jars” poll.
There were lots of post-it note comments – and as you might expect from attendees at a sustainability event, green concerns were very much to the fore. For instance, we had several comments suggesting that there should be a lot more rubbish bins across town, particularly along the river.
Transport issues were again prominent too. Several comments cited “a sustainable transport network" as a prime aspiration and there were many detailed suggestions – “double yellow lines
outside Sainsbury’s” … “speed restrictions, improved pavements and safer crossing at Amwell End” … “a better cycle network” … “speed calming measures on Star Street” … “more communal and shared parking spaces in residential areas.”
There was also evidence of a growing demand for more car charging points.
Lastly, the character of the town centre remains a dominant issue for many – and the future of Tudor Square seems to be an emergent theme. Three respondents expressed a view that more could be made of the square as a vibrant focus for the community, perhaps by allowing it to host more market stall events.
And yet again we recorded evidence of a (now perennial) complaint: the lack of a bank in what claims to be a market town...
Improving community facilities 28
An attractive town centre 13
Having a sustainable transport network 20
Supporting a vibrant economy 14
An attractive place to live, where the natural environment is valued and safeguarded 40
Valuing our heritage 18
Ware U3A Presentation, Wodson Park, 10 November
The display boards were set up for November's Monthly Meeting of the U3A at Wodson and Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group member Peter Radley gave a brief introduction - what the Plan's for, where we are in the process - before inviting people, having engaged with the boards, to write their comments on post-it notes. There were about 150 people at the meeting - more than half engaged with the boards and more than a fifth submitted their thoughts, covering a wide range of topics:-
Town Centre - People stressed the need for diversity in the town centre (several expressed a view that three nail bars is too many!) - too many estate agents and coffee shops. Important not to use HIgh Street commercial premises for housing. Many highlighted the lack of banking - several strongly welcomed the idea of a banking hub. Several picked up the idea of space for "hybrid working" in the town centre - also the Food Bank. Many stressed the need for a good, regular market, Indoor or outdoor? Farm shop? - one idea: small shops inside the older vacant buildings on the High Street. Interesting point - Ebike insurance needs bikes to be secured to fixed posts/bike racks. Free parking for three hours like Sudbury which is thriving? Charging points are important. More toilets in the town centre - particularly disabled.
Many comments on the impact of the new development - "improve the infrastructure before building." What effect on water and sewage? Solve the problem of "de facto" one way traffic because of parking. What will be the impact on the town centre? Cycle track proposals are welcome. Use small buses to serve the town centre. Need more parking because of new development.
Maintenance of green spaces is important - both larger like football pitches (used for dog walkers as well as football) and smaller pockets for Ware in Bloom.