Our Homes and Communities Committee (HCC) visited Sirhowy, in Tredegar for an estate walk, providing insights into the neighbourhood’s dynamics, issues, and aspirations.

 Led by Ellen Jones, a respected Council and Board Member and longtime resident of Sirhowy, along with Simon Deneen, the Senior Community Housing Officer for the area, the walk commenced despite challenging weather conditions.

Throughout the estate walk, Ellen and Simon shared invaluable insights, identifying areas for improvement and showcasing ongoing initiatives to enhance residents’ quality of life.

Despite the wind and rain, Ellen highlighted the neighbourhood’s issues, offering a glimpse into the challenges faced by its residents. The estate walk was more than a stroll; it immersed the Committee into the neighbourhood, allowing everyone to witness its struggles and triumphs firsthand, from meticulously tended gardens to community spaces.

Joined by Councillor Tommy Smith, whose presence added depth to their discussions, we convened at the STAR Centre, where tenants graciously welcomed us. Over refreshments, ideas were exchanged, and perspectives were given on improving the community.

The Homes and Communities Committee Meeting proved to be lively with new board members Gavin Sargent as the new Co-opted Board Member, Lindsay Murphy as the new HCC Independent Committee Member, and Sian Nicholas as the new Independent Board Member (formerly HCC Independent Committee Member) warmly embraced in their new roles.

We reaffirmed our commitment to engaging in genuine community conversations and collaboration by bringing the committee meeting out of the Board Room.

This format not only fosters greater transparency and accessibility but also empowers residents to actively participate in shaping the future of their neighbourhood and sets a precedent for ways of engaging in the future.