I went along to the Coley street party yesterday and it was great to see a real mixture of young and old coming out to enjoy the weather - the marquee was only needed for shade!
It was the day of voting for the community projects that residents wanted to see in their local area under Labour's 'your community your cash' programme, a pilot scheme I've introduced this year. There were some really good proposals all suggested by local residents and 99 people took the opportunity to vote on what they wanted to see.
There were 2 joint winning bids and we were also able to award the runner-up with funding so there will now be an art project, a regular bingo night and improved street lighting in a dingy corner.
The funding for this comes from the council's decent neighbourhoods fund which is paid for by tenants rents. By pooling this money and then giving local residents the chance both suggest ideas and then collectively decide which area it's spent on it means we are able to really know what residents want - working with people not just for them.
This is practical stuff, and I'm really pleased by how it is going. I'm hoping we will be able to expand this to the entire decent neighbourhoods fund from next year.