Making a pact to improve life
THERE has lately been a fair amount of reporting of the efforts of Tamworth Borough Council to improve the borough and the funding made available from various sources to facilitate these improvements, and our thanks go out to them.
But there are some unsung heroes out there doing sterling work for their local community.
Being a longstanding (albeit absent due to work commitments) lay member of my local (Mercian) PACT (Partners and Communities Together) group I am sometimes dismayed at the reaction I receive from local and not so local folk when I raise the subject of people involvement; the reaction is often negative, along the lines of 'what good does it do?'
Well I'd like to take the opportunity to let folk know, through these pages, of some of the good works our group has been involved in.
The first and most obvious benefit of the group and of you taking an active interest is the invaluable information gathered by the police and street wardens about crime and anti-social behaviour at these meetings.
One does not have to report a specific incident; the officers that attend are just as interested in general disruption and behaviour, based not just on who is involved, but where the problems are; they can than target these areas and make the 'who' their focus.
But aside from this obvious benefit, there are the local and county councillors who attend when their official duties permit.
You can bring issues to them ranging from planning to street cleaning, gardens to unruly tenants – and can, outside the confines of the meeting, remain anonymous.
In fact, the chair and vice-chair would respect your anonymity and report your issues on your behalf.
You only need attend and say hello, report your issues and hopefully stay to see the meeting proceed and a resolution of your problem over the coming weeks. (I have to admit; sometimes it is months – red tape ties us all in knots!)
And then there is the unaccredited charitable work done by or facilitated by the chair, vice chair, local and county councillors and lay members, whose fund raising efforts have seen, over the years thousands of underprivileged children attend the pantomime at Christmas, children who in all probability might not have gone without the sterling efforts of these faceless volunteers who want no recognition and find the smiling faces of hundreds of children each year reward enough; there are the food hampers sent to the old folk at the Good Companions, the children from the St Andrews and St Francis churches moms and toddlers groups who have benefited from funds raised for the purpose of helping others; thank you letters were sent to county councillor Ben Adams from these three groups.
Plants were supplied and planted for the old folk at Ankermoor sheltered housing all done through charitable donations of time and money through our Mercian PACT.
We are also open to new ideas. What else can we do? What would you like to see happen around your estate?
Should we replace the play equipment removed from Corona Park some years ago because of safety issues?
Maybe rather than separate street parties, you'd like to see one big communal 'Party on Wiggy Park' for the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee; enough attendees saying 'yes' might move local and county councillors to a bit of funding – and occasionally they don't need a lot of moving, evidenced by the kind donation from Staffordshire County Council of £500 via the efforts of Cllr Ben Adams towards last year's pantomime extravaganza.
So a big thank you to the councillors and lay members who helped to make these things happen. But the biggest thanks must go to our chair; many of you will already know Mr Graham Houghton, whose tireless efforts are the mechanism through which the donations are motivated, received and distributed.
So come on, get to your local PACT meeting on the first Tuesday of each month, at 7pm, at the Leyfields Community Centre, and help make a difference.
Paul Higgins, via email.