Darren Cowell

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance Independent, Shiphay Ward

Back in 2011 when I was first elected as a councillor, I indicated to officers that the Melville area will be a priority and ultimately, with the support of Kevin Dixon and Healthwatch, the Making Melville Marvellous report was published in 2013. Regrettably, despite the then Mayor backing the launch, the report was left on a shelf!

Roll forward to 2020 and the Partnership administration took the report off the shelf and pledged to update the finding and recommendations, only to be thwarted by the pandemic.

A year later £100,000 was allocated to deliver real change. I am beyond delighted at the transformation we have witnessed in recent months, it’s not just the CCTV and wonderful mural, but the sense of community well-being that has developed.

A renewed Community Group is now focussing on positive activities and there is a real buzz from the volunteers, while still keeping the pressure on to address the issues that exist in the area.

I genuinely feel that this positive drive will continue the social improvements that local people deserve. Melville has for too long been associated with the negative, but is now emerging as an example of what can be done if communities come together supported by the council and other agencies.

The project to improve the ‘place’ to address long-standing issues such as parking and being used as a rat run as well as how the area can be landscaped will be a major piece of work and I encourage you all to get involved.

It’s YOUR community.

I am proud of my involvement, but recognise it is you – the Community – that are driving the change!

t: @darrencowell
f: darrencowell

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