Feedback from the Public Meeting held at the Emsworth Community Association 3rd June 2015
We had a lively and inspiring public meeting last Wednesday attended by the heads of both primary schools in Emsworth, local youth group leaders, ward councillors, community organisations and local parents. We asked people what they thought children and young people in Emsworth need now and in the future.
Issues and needs that we identified included;
- having enough affordable nursery, pre-school and primary places for the growing child population;
- provision for school-leavers who have not done so well in the school system;
- provision for adults with literacy problems;
- provision of mental health services for children and young people;
- improving road safety – particularly near schools;
- e-safety for children;
- children and young people having access to the numerous sporting facilities in the town – perhaps without needing their parents to be club members;
- poor transport links between the Emsworth area settlements and school;
- poor lighting in some areas e.g. Horndean Road;
- poor drainage around the parks;
- dog mess on the beach and in parks making it unsafe for children to play.
There were also some great ideas generated including;
- a children’s centre and Homestart Service (there used to have one but it has been cut);
- an outreach service for disaffected youth, perhaps with a shop front or youth cafe;
- a youth council for Emsworth;
- a youth festival;
- young people having a page in a local newspaper and local online site;
- a young Emsworth Facebook site;
- intergenerational mentoring of young people by older ones;
- local businesses could offer work experience, internships and apprenticeships for young people – perhaps an apprentice week;
- improving the advertising of the very active youth groups that exist in the town;
- existing youth groups to organise themselves to meet on different nights (they all meet on Fridays currently);
- an affordable swimming pool in the town;
- a local circular bus route to link schools to residential areas around the town, including Thorney, Southbourne & Westbourne;
- better transport infrastructure around schools: e.g. safe cycle/foot paths, crossing patrols, speed bumps, walking buses, extra crossings, reduce speeds from 30 to 20 mph in school areas;
- fencing around playgrounds to prevent dogs entering and more bins for dog mess, especially on the shoreline;
- pop-up activities for children, e.g. taster sessions for youth clubs, sporting weeks, holiday clubs, a sports equipment library.
It was suggested that the Forum uses the Emsworth Mums Facebook page to involve more parents in working on these issues – and we will.
We will also be asking local schools and youth organisations to work with us to make sure children have their voice heard in the neighbourhood planning process as none were present at the meeting.
We will also discuss all these issues and ideas with local schools, youth groups, our local Councillors, the Business Association, the Community Association and the Residents Association to see what is currently being done on these issues and ideas for what can be done. Of course many of these ideas require funding which it was acknowledged is scarce in the current economic climate and may take time to obtain. However, we have to start somewhere and we will all need to work together to make these things happen.
If you would like to help please do get in touch with the Forum or one of the organisations mentioned above.