Hello, my name is Councillor Vinay Manro. I am the Vice Chair at Haydon Wick Parish Council, and lead on the Community Engagement Working Party. The working group is responsible for engaging with residents of the parish.
Over the last 2 years the parish have been looking at ways to improve our engagement with residents. Every aspect of what the parish do should be in tune with what residents would like to see. You may think that with COVID-19 and lockdowns the parish would not have been able to deliver much, but this could not be further from the truth. Whilst there have been some delays, the parish have continued to evolve and increase engagement with residents.
The Parish magazine has continued throughout the last 12 months both printed and electronic. Surveys on what new things residents would like to see in some of our open spaces saw some really good results, with lots of ideas. A new website was built and has gone live, coupled with improved social media activity to further engage with residents.
The new skatepark was opened in the middle of the pandemic, with lots of good discussions with users once it opened. From girls only sessions, sessions for younger children, scooters only sessions and others have been trialled to help ensure everyone can make use of the facility. As lockdown restrictions ease the skatepark will re-open again. King George the 5th playpark underwent refurbishment in the last few weeks following engagement with residents and has seen accessible equipment installed to help those with disabilities to have better access.
Councillors, Staff and volunteers have been able to talk to more residents as they have helped out with shopping and prescription deliveries for some of the more vulnerable in the parish. Just being able to talk to someone has been a much needed outlet for those who have been shielding or isolating.
Late last year the parish were involved with supporting residents whose homes were flooded following a burst water main, and we had the opportunity to engage with some residents who really needed some help, support and someone to talk to alongside Swindon Fire service, Morrisons and Swindon Borough Council.
Some of the other discussions and plans coming to fruition are dementia cafes, increased discussions with youths to find out what they would like to see, community litter picking, school engagement projects and lots more.
If you would like to learn more about our community engagement efforts then please check our website, join one of our meetings, or contact our office.
Finally I would like to thank everyone for their input into our projects, and I look forward to hearing and speaking to more residents in the coming year.