Wednesday, December 13, 2000
LET’S CREATE STRONG AND ACTIVE RESIDENTS' AND TENANTS' GROUPS IN EVERY STREET, BLOCK, SCHEME AND NEIGHBOURHOOD!
Local community action
- What we can do as residents and tenants -
A DIY GUIDE
· Would you like to meet people, and to share ideas, local information and experiences?
· Would you like to see people supporting each other, and more community spirit in your block or neighbourhood?
· Do you want to see a safer and better environment, better conditions, more facilities and social justice for you and all your neighbours?
· Do you believe people should speak up for themselves about what they need and want?
If so, why not set up a residents and tenants group in your street, block of flats, scheme or local area - or join one that’s already active?
How can we, as local residents, make a real difference to our communities and neighbourhoods?
In any community a whole range of positive, practical things can be organised and encouraged which bring people together, build up community spirit and improve our local neighbourhoods.
Some examples of things you could do that are already going on in local areas around the city:
· encourage informal discussion and communication in your street, block and neighbourhood
· do local door-to-door leaflets and newsletters about local issues
· hold public meetings on topical local issues
· organise street parties and other social events
· set up skills and resources sharing schemes
· campaign for play and youth facilities and activities
· demand traffic calming
· take up people’s housing problems and conditions
· resist obnoxious or inappropriate development schemes
· defend useful community facilities threatened with closure
· make sure communal areas and streets are kept clean, and pavements and lights are repaired
· promote recycling projects
· get the council to plant more trees in local streets
· organise picnics and other activities in local parks
· start a ‘park friends’ group, and protect and improve all local green spaces
· set up and support parents’ groups in schools and playcentres
· do local residents’ opinion surveys
· organise local art and creativity exhibitions - and plan community murals
· find positive ways of reducing anti-social behaviour
· make sure local historical sites and buildings etc are protected
· support and set up local clubs / interest groups (gardening, music, sports, local history)
The possibilities are endless… with an active residents association you could start to do them all!
Kicking things off
The trick is to get organised and active. By encouraging neighbours to get involved, and being as positive and friendly as possible with everyone, it is amazing what people can achieve.
Why not get together with two or three neighbours you know and start meeting regularly in each other’s homes or in a friendly local community hall? Give yourselves a name. Call a meeting of local residents to publicly launch a residents group..
Discuss what people feel are the important issues, and things you can start to do together - deliver reports of these discussions to all interested neighbours. Contact the authorities to find out what’s going on about various issues - when ready, lobby them and take action for the improvements your community wants. It’s all about taking ‘ownership’ of our own neighbourhoods and our own lives.
Stick at it!
Encourage local initiative. Gradually build up a list of more and more members/contacts. Organise public meetings and events, local campaigns and so on. Leaflet door-to-door. Start an e-list for members. Most importantly, stick at it and you and your community will be stronger for it
You’re not alone!
There are many residents' and tenants' groups in local areas around Glasgow. We can share our news and experiences, discuss and pursue issues of common concern and support each other.