OUR WEEKLY SCHEDULE IN CONJUNCTION WITH CREst
WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
We are building a new organisation to increase community spirit in Norbiton. If successful this will help deal with some of the problems due to stress and isolation that are so prevalent in most cities across the world.
How did One Norbiton start?
We were originally set up in 2011 by Central Government (the DCLG and the Cabinet)to develope a local “bottom-down” organisation that could scrutinise and control the way our public money is being spent locally. Their hope was that this would lead to communnities controlling a local (NCB) “Notional Community Budget”.
At the same time we were asked to pilot RBK’s “One Kingston policy” devolving some of their funding decisions to Ward level. Also we were a little involved in a Locally Integrated Services (LIS) policy.
Lastly we decided to gain some funding by participating in the “Community Development Foundation” scheme. (In this our volunteer hours were matched by government and funds then allocated by us to support local initiatives.)
What happened Next?
In 2012 we set up a Community Working Group (CWG) and this set up a Company Limited by Guarantee also called “One Norbiton” so that we could have a bank account to handle our finances. Then we decided to inform HMG and RBK that we were far from ready to control a big budget without being offered any administrative resourcing nor indeed did we yet want to get involved with the other acronymic schemes. We were, however, keen to see if we could develop a more active and supportive community as Norbiton is an unusually economically challenged part of Kingston and is in the bottom 10% in the country. Our inspiration came from Dr Dick Atkinson in Balsall Heath and his excellent book “Nourishing Social Renewal”
Since then we have developed the following aims.
-To improve the Democratic engagement of all
-To develop creative Partnerships between Age-groups, Religions, Political Parties, Cultures, Social Classes and between our local Residents, Students and Workers and between our Charities, Businesses and Public Services.
-To improve our Environment-
-To reclaim unused or underused land and improve public facilities.
-To improve the quality of life for all in Norbiton
-To make our own local plans and then to merge these with the existing RBK plans and play a future role in the borough’s planning process. And
-To promulgate successful ideas for how to do this elsewhere.
We have kept going for 5 years and after three years succeeded in acquiring control of the remaining third of the grant originally given to RBK by central government. Although still not promised local funds we should soon have our own office space courtesy of RBK Housing.
Priority areas we’ve identified so far.
- Housing Issues – Now acute with Regeneration of Cambridge Rd Estate being proposed
- Policing and Safety – Particular concerns with drug abuse and Street drinking
- Employment Support and Income Maximisation – We run a a local Credit Union branch
- Maintenance and condition of Public Areas – We have set up gardening schemes and protected Madingley Green
- Youth Activities – We have set up first Norbiteens and now NY@PH for 13 to 17 yr olds
- Diversity, Inclusion and Community Spirit -we have sponsored LEAH (Learn English at home) and this Website has multilingual translation
- Information and Advice- We provide local advice on finance and man a branch of the Food bank
- Affordable Exercise- We have been supporting “Sustrans’ a a charity promoting exercise
- Mental Health Improvement and Reducing Isolation – We are piloting Post Code Street parties and a sort phone App for Addiction
- Parenting Skills and Support
- Healthy Eating and Affordable Healthy Food
A lot remains to be done and hopefully all concerned Norbitonians will spare a few minutes to vote for these or help us formulate even better priorities-click here to