Each week we are asking one member from each Working Group to share what they discussed at each meeting and plan to do for the next session. Here is the third Home Working Group overview:
Why does one community seem to have a stronger spirit and sense of unity than the next? In our week 3 session we started to look at HOW small (or large) changes could be made in a neighbourhood – and a lot of these seemed to rest or rely on the viability, sustainability, happiness and harmony of the place itself.
Various factors seemed to have a bearing on the ‘strength’ of the community, such as:
Older neighbourhoods would have a better chance of more established local networks, would have a welcome and homely familiarity, could have aged gracefully (or not) so that a pleasing patina had evolved. It is likely it would also include households who had lived there a long time.
Places that had a distinctive story or stories could have a collective memory that would be told and retold, polished until it was the strongest neighbourhood story in town. The houses built by local tradespeople overseen by local officials maybe, or the park with the best Sunday league football pitches, or the pub where Jack Dee started out.
Neighbourhoods built in one or two styles can feel more cohesive, as can those with a clear geography (eg. between XX road and YY street and the river),
The socio-ethnic-economic mix may have a positive influence, but not always. A diverse community can appear disparate but can work well together, perhaps in pursuit of a common cause – save the post office/park/parking for instance. Equally a community of people with similar backgrounds can find it easier to relate to, and work with, each other, but not always. The combination most difficult to make succeed would appear to be the community comprising two very different groups of people.
Can take many forms from a single individual to one or a number of local groups it is difficult to conceive of a really successful and strong community without volunteers (normally) willing to do the things others would like done.
What else is important?
Which are the strongest neighbourhoods in Winchester? And which need the most support?
Share your views on what you might like to see for Winchester in the comments box below and stay tuned for the next update from the Home Working Group next week! Don’t forget you can also join the conversation on social media, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram