Tai Calon Community Housing is spending £111 million by the end of 2015 to bring your homes up to Welsh Housing Quality Standard. Part of it involves a commitment to improve the environment in your community. The Environmental Improvement Programme, known as Your Neighbourhood, Your Choice, will cost more than £14 million.
It is about creating neighbourhoods where people want to live and visit. However, it is important that tenants and residents have their say in deciding what work is carried out in their community.
Project manager, Andy MacDougall, said, “We know that such schemes can only succeed if local people are actively involved in designing and looking after them. This is why we work hard to involve the neighbourhood in every aspect of the project.”
Since May, 2013, we have held 24 road shows to ask tenants and residents about the priorities for their neighbourhood. The most popular requests have been for us to:
- provide or improve children’s play areas
- provide better car parking
- solve problems caused by dog mess, litter and the dumping of rubbish
- improve boundaries and fencing.
Once we have put together a scheme we use local suppliers and contractors where ever possible, creating job and training opportunities in Blaenau Gwent.
The first to be completed was at St James Way in Tredegar. Tenants and residents had asked for better car parking. The existing car park didn’t have enough spaces, however it was adjacent to a patch of derelict land.
In consultation with local people we provided extra places, landscaped the area and erected new fencing around it.
This is what a tenant said: “We put in the petition, but didn’t expect anything to come of it. Luckily it did and we are over the moon with the scheme.
It really looks nice now. It’s a lot better, cleaner and people have more space to park. It’s great, everyone did a fantastic job. We are really pleased that we have been listened to. It has made a real difference.”
If you would like more information about Your Neighbourhood, Your Choice, please contact Andy MacDougall on 0300 303 1717, Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
Tai Calon wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Arts Council of Wales who have provided a major Ideas, People & Places grant of circa £350,000 to fund Arts+Minds, an innovative arts and regeneration programme supporting Tai Calon’s £14M Environmental Improvement Programme, centred on Tai Calon neighbourhoods in Blaenau Gwent.