Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Contents

Page

Mission Statement

3

The Partnership

3

Map of the Arches Big Local Area

4

Introduction & Content Key

5

Creating Local Change

6 – 31

Open Day Meeting - Dec 2015

6

Luton Millennium Green Pocket Park

7 – 12

Luton Arches Regeneration

13 –18

Summer Event - July 2016

19 – 22

Community Bench

23 – 26

Sports Dome

27

Luton Shoppers Carpark – Market

28 – 29

Luton Road “Pig Alley” Section 215

29 - 31

Supporting Local Change

31 – 36

Arches Local Funding Panel

31

Summer Splurge

32

Cream Tea and Strawberries

32

Magpie Growers

33

Medway Plus

33

New Horizons

34

Copperhouse Adventure Training

35

Lego Club

36

Too many to mention

38 - 40

That’s all folks

40

Creating Local Change

2

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Our Mission Statement
“Creating Local Change” Raising aspirations together making where we live even
better.

The Arches Local Partnership – In full swing
We are really proud of our steering group and the diverse range of people we have attracted and
maintained at the table. Though mindful that to be truly reflective of the diversity present in our area
we still have work to do in reaching out to certain communities.
Over the year through our engagement with the Arches Local community the number of residents
involved with the partnership has increased. Not only has our number grown but also the age gaps
between us with one member recently celebrating their 90th birthday and the return of our youngest
member who is 17.
We are really grateful for the support given from the local organizations that are members most notably
mhs homes, Medway Youth Trust and All Saints Community Project Trust. We always insure that with
decision making it is democratic with everyone votes being equal but insure that all decisions have a
majority resident vote.
Building up to our first year plan and during its delivery we trained up local people to be community
researchers with Roger Newton from 3PS who was interviewed by residents to do the job. The
community researchers have become an invaluable resource recording people’s thoughts, opinions and
aspirations at our engagement events throughout the year.
There are some official positions we have a chair of the partnership, and a fulltime worker who is a
resident and previous chair of the partnership. After recently restructuring our locally trusted
organization (LTO) setup we hired an additional worker part-time. We have received excellent support
and advice over the year from our LTO Red Zebra and Big Local Rep Carl. We also welcomed Medway
Plus as a LTO who we have worked in partnership with in developing the pocket park at Luton
Millennium Green and they also manage our newly appointed part time worker.

Creating Local Change

3

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Map of the Arches Local Area

Creating Local Change

4

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

The Journey
Our planned was endorsed in July 2015 and has run just over a year to October 2016 in the spirit of our
strap line creating local change we have put together some of place and areas during the plans delivery
where we have invoked change. The 1st year plan hoped to affect key areas around; social investment,
open spaces and the environment, private rented sector housing, activities for young people,
community cohesion, partnership development and communication.
In the below key we have created different colored Arches for the main key areas of our plan. They then
appear throughout to denote where we feel each piece of work we have delivered has encompassed
them. Though undoubtedly we have not been able to capture everything that has been done over our
1st year. We hope that you enjoy reading about them as we have in delivering them to the Arches Local
area.

Content Key
Social Investment
Open Spaces & the Environment
Private Rented Sector Housing
Activities for Young People
Community Cohesion and Partnership Development & Delivery
Communication

Creating Local Change

5

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Creating Local Change
Open Day Meeting Dec 2015
We organised an open day event in December 2015 at the newly opened Magpie Centre Community
Cafe to raise awareness, share our plans and have fun together. In partnership with other local
stakeholders including Men in Shed, Groundworks, Kent Wild Life Trust and Medway Council Green
Spaces Team, they all spoke about what they were doing in the area and provided activities. Medway
Council Green Spaces teams were asking the residents about local greenspaces.

It got very warm in the café because it was so busy, it was great to see so many of the community
together sharing ideas and getting involved in the activities together.
We also had our own Arches Local stand where we presented the plan, what we had being doing locally
and also asked residents about the area. We had great feedback:

The bridge needs painting to
make the Arches more
welcoming

Could we have another park
in a safe area

A junior gardening club
Wednesday after school and I
would like to help run it

Creating Local Change

6

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Luton Millennium Green Pocket Park.
Luton Millennium Green was a park that had recently been taken back under control by Medway Council
it was a site of antisocial behaviour and known to be the only park in Medway to have a risk assessment
in place that if you worked for Medway Council you were not allowed be there on your own. The park
has large parts blanketed by brambles interspersed with hawthorn and blackthorn scrub. Though it sits
on the outskirts of the Arches Local area it is are largest accessible green space.
The plans and ideas for the pocket park were formed by discussions with the local community at the
open day held at the Magpie Community Centre Café in December 2015. Things discussed included
developing a community orchard, a bug ‘hotel’ area, some robust train sleeper type seating, rustic
boundary fencing and some natural play. We believed that this park with further investment, and
continued community engagement, would ensure its legacy as a community asset.

Led by Arches Local Big Local in partnership with Medway Plus, Medway Council, and Magpie Growers a
bid was made to the Pocket Park Programme from DCLG on the 11th December 2015. We were
successful with the bid to transform an untended area of the park in to a pocket park. This brought
£15,000.00 of funds to invest in the park, with Arches Local matching the capital element of £10,000.00
raising the total to £25,000.00. But little did we know at the time this was only the beginning of securing
more inward investment to develop the park.

Creating Local Change

7

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Work began to strip back the area with the
Magpie Growers carrying out a lot of the work.
We also worked in consultation with Medway
Council green spaces team, and Kent Wildlife
Trust insuring we did not damage the parks eco
system.
Medway Council had indicated that the general
maintenance would be carried out by Medway
Norse, though we had planned to have the
community lead on many elements of the
maintenance. Managed by the main local
contractor who had been hired to develop the
pocket park Tony Palmer, using the Magpie
Growers a local community gardening project
we had sponsored.

Many other local organizations asked to be
involved in helping create the pocket park
including the Princes Trust though this did lead
to people locally and Medway Council contacting
us as they had heard that Prince Charles was
coming to open the park. Unfortunately he did
turn up to open it or help out.
But more and more people from the community
were coming out to us and offering help.
With the resounding success with the pocket
park so far, people inside and outside the area
began to think more positively about the park
and the community surrounding it. We were able
to encourage our partners together to put in
more bids to develop further the park.

Creating Local Change

8

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

We soon learned that we had been successful in securing funds
from the Tesco “Bags of Help” Scheme and that we would receive
an additional £8,000.00 to help develop the park.
Work continued on the pocket park throughout the year we had
Luton Junior school children being the closest local school to the
park down planting trees, and herb gardens. They were given a
master class on tree planting by Tony Palmer.

The Magpie Growers who had received funding from Arches Local were
instrumental in getting the pocket park ready in time for the official
DCLG opening! Tony Palmer repaid our trust in going local and went
above and beyond and was happy to adapt and change things when the
community asked or if things planned did not look right.
The park was officially opened by Tracy Crouch MP on 30th March 2016 with members of the Local
Community, Magpie Growers, Luton Junior School in attendance. It was a great day the weather was
kind to us and it was great to see the Magpie Growers, the local kids working together and learning
about nature. We still knew that there was still a lot of work ahead to ensure the park future.

Creating Local Change

9

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

“This is the best thing I
have ever done in my
life” said a Magpie
Grower participant.

Luton Junior School continued to help us at the pocket park together with the Magpie Growers planted
our mini wild flower meadow. The school told us that the children have not stopped mentioning their
visits and were constantly asking are they going back up there.

Above is the area before and after which was cleared by the Magpie Growers. Luton Junior School
children returned to the park together with Arches Local, and GrowWild national campaign that kindly
provided us lots of seeds which we made into clay seed bombs and littered the area.

Creating Local Change

10

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

“I am not worried sir as I already been
with my dad with a bottle of water to
feed my tree yesterday” said a Luton
Junior School Child when told by the
teacher that they would be going back
to Luton Millennium Green

The pocket park had not only improved the park visibly it was bring more activity. The positivity of the
community could be felt when you visited where previously it had felt uncared and forgotten about.
We put in a last minute bid to the Peoples Postcode Lottery for the park. We had
to wait a while but yet again we had been successful! With this additional
funding we had brought in investment to Luton Millennium Green of £58,000.
This amount included £20,000 from Arches Local match funding of elements in
effect tripling our money.
Part 2 would focus more on the outer arc of the pocket
park to include plans for feature play equipment, more
trees planted and a wildflower meadow.

It has not all been plain sailing there has been some
damaged to the fencing and some of the trees but on a
positive note it generated lots of conversation leading to
local people rallying around the pocket park. Many of the
trees were replanted by people visiting the park and the
fence made safe by volunteers until repairs were carried
out. We had unorganized impromptu litter picks where
whoever was in the park when were repairs where being

Creating Local Change

11

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

carried out helped clear the area of litter, it was unusual in the area for strangers to band together and
do something positive.
Work has and will continue at the pocket park through to next year though we had some damage early
on things have settled down and the area is beginning to flourish.
Some of the natural play has been installed.

The wild flower and the herbs that the school children had planted at the official opening earlier in the
year had bloomed. We hope to share even more success at the park in our next review.

“I have never
seen so many
faces smiling at
me”

Creating Local Change

12

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Luton Arches Regeneration
Luton Arches are situated approximately in the centre of our map and act as the inspiration for the
name of our Big Local group. Unfortunately like many parts of our area they appear uncared for and not
included in any conversations around regeneration by Medway Council. Whenever we discussed them
locally it always generates large amounts of opinions and reminiscing on how the area use to look and
feel.

At a partnership meeting it was decided to try and capture using a landscape architect how the Arches
could look from the discussions we had locally and with some investment. We could then share the
images with the Arches Local residents to spark more interest and further discussions. We could also use
the images and findings recorded by the landscape architects in meeting with stakeholders responsible
for regeneration, and the maintenance of the area.

Creating Local Change

13

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

The sketch was shared on social media it created a large amount of comments and generated lots of
new ideas from the Arches Local community and wider. The partnership decided that we should look to
identify the stakeholders of land in that area and engage with them and work together to solve the
issues present. The main stakeholders identified were Network Rail and Medway Council.
Network rail asked to meet with us after we started an online petition registering all the issues the local
community had raised via their complaints portal, including the failed pigeons netting, the state of the
bridge brick work and metal work, the drainage, the huge amount of litter, the overgrown ivy ridden
trees and vegetation.
https://www.change.org/p/network-rail-medway-council-clean-up-luton-arches-lutonarches

We met with Network Rail representative Eddie Burton in November 2015 and did a tour of the area
surrounding the Arches highlighting the issues raised. When we arrived under the metal underbridge
Eddie said with regard to the pigeon dropping and general environment that “it was the worse I have
ever seen”. We discussed what Arches Local was looking to do in the area around creating change and
discussions were positive Eddie even added that it could be possible to paint murals using paint that
washed off in the arches i.e “healthy living recipes”. Network Rail left promising some immediate action
with regard to some of the issues they had seen on their tour.
Network Rail returned the following month in December 2015 and removed a large amount of litter and
waste by the footbridge.

They also soon after closed the road in the evening and removed all the dead pigeon carcases
that were hanging in the netting which made that area look a lot better which is not hard to imagine

Creating Local Change

14

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

It had made a real difference to the area but did highlight those other areas that were the responsibility
of Medway Council did not look that great.
We had meetings with Medway Council and discussed the great work that had been done in partnership
with Network Rail. They promised to act and in January 2016 works began with trees being pruned back
and also a large amount of litter and waste being removed from the immediate base of the footbridge.

The area was starting to look and feel different it had changed but there still a lot of work to be done.
The landscape architects had finished the final sketches from all the feedback we had received from the
Arches Local community.

Creating Local Change

15

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Day

Night
Armed with the sketches and the work that had been done the Co-ordinator and Big Local Rep met with
Medway Council cabinet members and the council officer director of regeneration to present the Arches
Local plans and to investigate gaining inward investment to regenerate the area. The meeting was really
positive with an action for us to get a costing on what it would approximately cost to transform the area
to something similar in the sketches.
The partnership agreed to get costings drawn up after contacting a number of organisations we chose
Pellings Consultancy . We met with their representative spoke about Arches Local and gave them a tour

Creating Local Change

16

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

of the area around the Arches. Their quote which was a lumps sum fee for the service of £2,590 (+ VAT),
inclusive of disbursements.
We soon received a draft estimate for the works associated with the Luton Arches/Driver Fountain
Public Realm Improvements. We were really pleased that they were so impressed with our plans that
they provided their work to date for free. Their figures together with the sketches carried out by the
landscape architects give us a good base to start seeking inward investment into the area.
Martin and I were impressed with your commitment to this
charitable community project and we have both decided not to
charge a fee for our time to date. Should funding become available
we would be delighted to be involved as part of the project team
going forward. (Pellings)

Though we have made great strides in regenerating that area in
partnership with other organisations notably Network Rail and
“Arches Local had success in
Medway Council it has not always been positive. The issue
making connections with the
with the pigeons got worse under the arch due to an
local authority, politicians,
increase in there population in part because of damage
schools and other
done to the netting and the improved environment when
organisations which have led
Network Rail removed the dead pigeon’s earlier. We had
to support for major
reached a stalemate with regard to that problem, Network
regeneration
projects within
Rail repeatedly stated that “In simple terms, before Network
the area” said the
Rail are required to take any action, a Local
coordinator.
Authority/Council needs to demonstrate that a public nuisance
exists and also that it emanates from a Network Rail-owned
structure, building or property. Where it is demonstrated that a
public nuisance exists and that Network Rail are responsible for dealing
with
the problem, Network Rail will co-operate with the Local Authority/Council to implement measures to
mitigate the nuisance to an acceptable level.” Medway Council In reply said that it was not there
responsibility as the netting was the responsibility of Network Rail.
We arranged a meeting with Kelly Tolhurst MP to talk about Arches Local and our plan where it
was indicated she would contact the council re the pigeon problem. Below is the response from
the meeting with Network Rail and Medway Council facilitate by Kelly’s intervention (excerpt
taken from the letter issued to Kelly Tolhurst MP)
An officer from Environmental Protection arranged a site meeting with Arches Local and an official from
Network Rail on 31st March 2016, whereby Network Rail confirmed responsibility for the bridge and the
pigeon netting in place.
Network Rail have provided the Council with a schedule of proposed improvement works for each section
of the bridge at Luton Arches, which will include the necessary repairs to be made to the pigeon netting

Creating Local Change

17

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

and the cutting back of vegetation in this location. Their representative has also agreed to liaise with Mr
Perez regarding his idea of painting the bridge to improve its overall appearance.
Medway Council will be pressure washing the footpath under the bridge on a weekly basis to remove any
pigeon faeces until the necessary repairs have been made.
Officers will continue to liaise with Arches Local regarding the matter.
This was major milestone in our regeneration journey we have in place roles, responsibility and a road
Map though of course far from being the end It was still a major shift in the right direction.
Over the summer we had meeting with Medway Council to discuss further improvements at the Arches
things discussed included decluttering, removal of railing, jet washing of the entire area, painting the
footbridge, clearing and planting the flower beds. We continue to keep dialogue open and fresh with the
goal of continued wider regeneration of that area for the next year.

More work has been carried out around clearing under the
footbridge by Kent Surrey Sussex CRC (probation service
community payback).

Jet Washing under the Arch by Medway Council

A new bin and
Jet Washing by
the Footbridge

Creating Local Change

18

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Summer Event - July 2016
We held an open Fun day on
Saturday 9th July for the
community to come together
and for the price of
answering
some
simple
questions people got to eat
and take part in all the Arches
Local activities and more.
We started to get ready early
in the day to be honest we
were a little nervous thinking
would anyone turn up with so
much else going on at the
weekend with the Kent Show
and River Festival!
All Saints Community Project
kindly provided us their
tables for the day for the stalls and lots of volunteers helped us to set up and tidy up after the event. It
was great to see what a community can achieve working together.

We should not have worried earlier as it got really busy quick and the everyone enjoyed each other
company over the entire day, children played, weather was great, and the whole day had such a relaxed
feel to it. We estimate from the number of tickets we gave out for the hog roast that we had well over
200 people attend on the day, we managed to totally devour a 68 kilo pig in under 4 hours!

Creating Local Change

19

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Other things going on during the day included
Medway Council offering free dog chipping, Kent
police and the Community Safety Partnership
Team offering advice, the kids enjoyed getting in
the police car and turning on the Lights.
Charlotte Turner “Had a fantastic time,
Thank you for putting on a brilliant event for
the local community.”

Medway Youth Trust New Horizons project did a popular penalty shootout competition with prizes.
Aspire parent group (Surestart) had a children clothes and toy stall, All Saints Community Project sold
crafted jewelry, Naomi a local resident was selling glitter glasses and photo frames, homemade hair
bands, and lots more. Turning Point had a stand giving advice on drinking; Hogs and Kisses provided us
with a delicious hog roast though the pig had to hide inside the van as it was a little
windy!
The Magpie Growers did flower pot planting which people got to take home and made
salad paper face plates, the kids loved it though we were rebuilding a few faces at the
bottom of the hill when children took the cling film off.
Entertainment was from Music for Change, the children tried their skills at circus skills,
and everyone had a go with lots of success.

Creating Local Change

20

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Not forgetting our wonderful Face
Painter who worked tirelessly
throughout the day with smiling
faces on show including Snow
leopards and Batman.

Many commented on how much they liked what we had done with
the pocket park and some took time to try out the new natural play
equipment we had just installed. Our community researchers
reported at our washing line we gathered more information than
any other event we had held or attended before.

We also got lots of great Ideas for the Community Bench we
had planned in August.

Kayleigh Wratten “Thank u so much for a
Katty Rice – Had an awesome time
lovely day. My little boy had so much fun.
I’ve decided… I want to become a
And got some lovely bits for my other little
hog roaster…. So much crackling…
man. It was lovely for our local
What a life rofl !!
community."
Kayleigh Wratten “Thank u so much for a
lovely day. My little boy had so much fun.
And got some lovely bits for my other little
man. It was lovely for Hogs
our & local
Kisses – What great day, what a
community."
great community thank you so much for
inviting us along.
Creating Local Change

21

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Here are some wordle’s created from the questions answered on the day;

What do you like the
about the area?

What do you not like
about the area?

What would you like to
change in the area?

Naomi Lewis – Had a great day at the funday today my two girls have really enjoyed them self
and I also have had an fantastic time doing my stall there to thank you for allowing me to do the
stall, also would like to say how nice and helpful the people from arches local are and done with a
smile on there faces from beginning to end.

Creating Local Change

22

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Community Bench
During fortnight of the 8th-19th August we had Dan the carver at the Pocket Park creating the
community inspired bench! His inspiration was drawn from several events where we captured local
imagination on paper from the community on how it could look. We had some great drawings and ideas.

We had Snails, Giraffes, Lions, Trains, Flowers, Cars, Bees, Ants, etc.

Creating Local Change

23

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Dan arrived with a Large Log which was going to be transformed into our community bench

The log was hoisted on to the ground

The first cuts were made

Creating Local Change

24

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

More cuts with the chain followed from Carver Dan and the bench was starting to take shape we did not
know what the bench was exactly going to be but we started to recognise it from the ideas we had
captured from the community.

Children some who attended the
events, where we asked for ideas
came to help carve their images
on to the bench many from the
drawings that had done for us
earlier.
Francesca - I love our new
bench but carving our
pictures on it was really
hard work!

Creating Local Change

25

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Porshe the girl who picture was the
main inspiration for the bench came
to see it and carved some more
pictures on to it.

With the carvings painted and
the first coat of oiled applied
the bench was finished, we
then cemented it in to place. It
had been a great Journey from
first thinking about it and then
gathering together the ideas
on how it could look. Finally
we were actually able to make
our mark on it and give it a
home, pride of place within
our new pocket park.

Dan - we are all finished, thank you
for this opportunity to create
something for your community. It has
been a hugely rewarding project that
has run very smoothly largely through
your efforts.

Creating Local Change

26

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Sports Dome
We had identified from speaking to people that there is lack of accessible sporting facilities locally and
were made aware of plans to build a sports dome on Luton Junior School playing field.
We looked to support the concept as it linked in well with parts of our plan. We arranged to meet with
MP and Sports Minster Tracy Crouch, Medway Council School Organisation and Capital Programme
Manager Paul Clarke and Sports England all of whom were very supportive of the concept.
We spoke with the head of Luton Junior School Mrs Jandu early in 2016 to discuss the Sports Dome and
Arches Local wider plans. The meeting went really well, we identified issues with the dome and some
solutions i.e to parking by creating more parking spaces at the bottom of the field. It was recognised
that more work was needed around investigating the feasibility of the project.
The partnership agreed to get quotes for a feasibility study. £2,500 - £5,000 budget was agreed for this
purpose. We additionally planned to arrange a visit to a Sports Dome of a similar design.

Creating Local Change

27

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Luton Shoppers Carpark - Market
Luton Shoppers Car Park is the only free car park provided by Medway Council where people can park
for 23 hours or as we say locally 23 hours or years as no one is checking. It is unfortunately an area of
lawlessness as can be seen below from the various crimes many very serious that have been recorded at
the site in recent years. Many cars are dumped or left there with no Tax, MOT or insurance and the
DVLA are unable to enter the car park because of its design. Medway Council do not enforce the area as
they explained they cannot as no one there works a 23 hour shift.

The partnership wanted to explore how we could change this area with the concept of having a regular
market at the location; it had also been a recurring theme locally. It would be an opportunity to
promote social investment in making space available for Arches Local residents/businesses to have stalls
in helping them start their own businesses. It would create employment, plus keeping local money
within the area.
Other reasons for the market were that it would clear out the car park on a regular basis which is an
anti-social behavior hot spot. We could tie in on market days a skip for locals to dispose of where
appropriate their domestic rubbish, plus the refuse created by
the day, and removed on the day.
Initial discussions with Medway Council parking team and the
community safety partnership had been positive.
We also spoke to other stakeholders locally about Arches Local
plans for a market. Where we told them In light of the
Chatham Tesco closing and the CO-OP on Luton Road that left
on 20th of February 2016 the market could provide an
alternative venue for local people especially the elderly to
purchase produce locally, act as a point where the community
could meet and engage in a positive environment. It could also be used as a mechanism for local people
to gain skills that could improve opportunities for further employment, or lead to new local businesses
occupying the large amount of derelict shops on Luton Road. All we spoke to including the Medway NHS
CCG were supportive of the concept.
We were informed by Medway Council in May 2016 that they plan to dispose of the car park with initial
plans to build new housing. We arranged a meeting with Medway Council Chief Legal Officer and

Creating Local Change

28

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

explained our plans for that site and in general about Arches Local, it was a very positive meeting.
Medway Council is now keen to investigate the viability of a market and the knock on economic
regeneration it could bring to that area. The initial plans around just developing housing on the site are
no longer being pursued and that they are keen to work with us, using Arches Local as a vehicle to
engage with the local community around future use and development of the car park.
We have also found out in August 2016 that we had been accepted on to 2016-17 Community Economic
Development programme around the concept of having a market at the Luton Shoppers Car Park.

Luton Road “Pig Alley” Section 215
A part of the plan was to address issues with private sector housing some of the outcome that we were
seeking were the development of a Medway Council - Private Rented Sector Strategy pilot scheme
which would:



reduces anti-social behaviour;
improves the general environment of the Arches Local area;
improves property conditions and tenancy arrangement of the private rented sector;
Improve relations and cohesion across the area.

To this end we had various meeting with Medway
Council private sector housing department, planning
and the newly appointed Assistant Director of Physical
Regeneration.
From these meetings a strategy was developed to
address issues that were preventing the above
outcomes this was to be applied to a specific part of the
Arches Local area from the Luton Arches along Luton
Road and the adjacent service road known locally as
“pig alley” to the intersection with Castle Road.

Creating Local Change

29

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Permission had been granted from Medway Council to use Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section
215 to enforce property owners to improve the look of their building where they looked run down.
The partnership were conscious that there were vulnerable people living in that area that may own
there property and made sure that Medway Council took this into consideration when engaging with
them.
The key element of the strategy was to have two council officers; a community warden and an
enforcement officer in that location from Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm dealing with issues as they
happened and providing information plus support to residents and the businesses that operate there.
Where appropriate they could issue enforcement notices.

An example was given by a Council
officer where an older lady was being
given support by Medway Council to
source contractors as she was scared or
did not trust anyone do carry out work.

The strategy was very successful where relationships with local residents and business had either been
strained or non-existent working in partnership with Arches Local the officers were able to identify many
issues i.e. with rubbish being put out early on the street from houses of multiple occupancy due to
residents not being aware of arrangements provided by their landlord to store their refuse or the
landlord not providing a location for refuse, businesses that were operating without any agreement for
waste collection, that consequently were provided with the information to set up an agreement etc. The
officers were finding that their efforts were not going unrewarded from the community as local people
were engaging with them in a positive manner, thanking them and providing them with further
intelligence.
Looking at the crime stats for part of that area that had been historically experiencing high crime, we
have seen a dramatic drop month on month since the strategy has been employed in crime reported
related to antisocial behavior on the previous year.

Creating Local Change

30

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

The council officers were also uncovering where other agencies were not meeting their contractual
obligations most notably that one side of Luton Road had not been swept or cleaned in 6 weeks period
monitored (which in reality was probably years) though it was supposed to happen weekly adding to the
dirty unclean look present in the area.
The strategy has been very successful and created many new
conversations especially a key one around antisocial behaviour
being linked to poor quality private sector housing being
witnessed and recorded by council officers. We hope this will lead
to further discussion in the next year about selective licensing or
better management of the private rented sector.

Medway Council Officer – for the first
time in living memory we have only
had one rubbish bag put out early in
the area this week that is usually
swamped with rubbish

We know that having council officers in the area full time has a
limited time frame but it has demonstrated that if we work in partnership, together we can best identify
and provide the solutions to make our area even better to live in.

Supporting Local Change
Arches Local Funding Panel
It was decided by the partnership to set up a funding panel to enable them make
the best decision on whom to fund. It would meet separately to decide on
funding enquiries that we had received by our simple funding enquiry form on our
website and from conversations we’ve had spreading the message of Arches
Local. All applicants where appropriate were asked to register an enquiry via the
web site or paper version.
The funding panel main role was to administer applications for our fund pots for
community cohesion and things for young people to do.
Please find below some of the highlights from the many local initiatives that we
have part or fully supported.

Creating Local Change

31

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Summer Splurge
Summer Splurge is a fun packed variety of activities
for children to enjoy with their parent or carer over
the school summer holidays. Each week there are
different activities from face painting, badge making,
nail art, laminated artwork placemats, making collage
pictures, various creative arts and crafts, play dough,
snooker.
It is run by All Saints Community Project Trust and All
Saints Sure Start Children's Centre and is supported by
local youth groups. We provided funding for new
equipment to be used at the Summer Splurge events.
The equipment as can be seen was an air hockey
table, indoor/outdoor table tennis table and football
table.

Please find link for the report on Summer
Spurge
Outcomes
&
Impact
https://goo.gl/UMLzIj

Cream Tea and Strawberries
Dolly Morgan the original chair of Arches Local asked
for funding to arrange an afternoon tea event for senior
residents. It was a great day and we got to discuss what
Arches Local had done and future plans with lots of
new people.

Creating Local Change

32

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Magpie Growers
Arches Local Partnership was
approached to support a local
volunteer gardening group
called the Magpie Growers.
They needed help with
equipment and salary costs for
the
group
leader.
The
partnership
unanimously
decided to support the group
on October 2016. The Magpie
Growers with the added
support of Arches Local have
become a real community
asset. They
have been
instrumental in the successful
development of the pocket
park at Luton Millennium Green and its legacy with their weekly trips to help maintain it. They have
attended many of our local awareness events most notably at our summer event where children
enjoyed potting plants and making vegetable faces on plates. Arches Local has helped arrange additional
support and advice to insure their future and looking for opportunities to raise their profile locally.

Medway Plus
As part of our first year plan we planned to support Medway plus a newly setup organization
with a social enterprise loan. They were to work with local and European Partners to secure
additional funding to support a number of discrete European projects in the Arches Local
area. It was agreed with Local Trust to issue a £10,000 grant from the social investment
budget to help start up the organization separate from the social enterprise loan i.e.
premises, increasing the number of trustee, and develop a
business plan. It would also help enable them to support
Arches Local in progressing initiatives and projects to
improve the quality of life for the Arches Local residents.
Medway Plus have been a key partner in many of our
successes most notably they have managed the Pocket Park
project at Luton Millennium Green. They have been a key
partner in helping Arches Local lever in additional funding to
support the area from DCLG and People Post Code Lottery.
Most recently they have become a local trusted organization
for Arches Local and have employed the Arches Local
Assistant Coordinator.
Peter Vogel – without Arches Local
initial funding we would probably
not exist today.
Creating Local Change

33

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

New Horizons
The partnership was approached to support a young boy called Jacob
Clear who lived on Luton Road who wanted to be involved in the New
Horizons project. It was an international social action programme
created and run by Medway Youth Trust to raise the aspirations and
prospects of young people in Medway. The programme supports its
participants through a series of workshops and a night activity
residential (U.K) to prepare them to take part in a three week intensive
volunteering programme in a developing country. While abroad the
group deliver a unique social action project which is designed to not only
improve their individual skills but also benefits the local people and
community where they are based.
Jacob presented his reasons for needing the funding at a
partnership meeting where he told us about himself and how
being involved in the project would benefit the Arches Local
area. The partnership agreed to fund Jacob involvement in the
New Horizons Project. Jacobs’s group lived and worked in rural
Colombia where they spent 3 weeks working on a coffee farm,
dairy production company and teaching English language in a
school. Subsequently Jacob has been more involved with
Arches Local, attending meetings and has asked to join the
partnership.

Click here to see New Horizons 2015's incredible journey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNnxlnf7hJ8

Creating Local Change

34

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Copperhouse Adventure Training
Arches Local Funding Panel held its first funding panel meeting on the 7th of
March to discuss applications one was from Copperhouse CIO. Their Charitable
Incorporated Organisation (CIO) was created to provide expeditions and training
to schools and youth groups (centers), as well as developing an ongoing strategy
for outdoor activity/adventure for residents in Medway.
Their funding request was successful for via engagement
events, activities, and away days’ help influence how
local young people and their families, who may not
traditionally access outdoor activities might be actively
encouraged to be involved. With the main focus of
introducing outdoor activities to a large number of young
people, with particular focus on the Duke of Edinburgh
award in Medway. Offering opportunities demonstrating
to both the child and parents that cost should not
preclude any individual from participation.
In September 2016 Copperhouse delivered there first outdoor
activity event for over 160 year 4 and 5 Luton Junior School
children at our pocket park in partnership with Tesco “Farm to
Fork” and Medway Council Public Health. It was fabulous 2 days
activities include map reading, shelter building, team games, and
healthy eating advice. Every
child that attended received
a Bronze National Navigation
Award certificate a national
recognized qualification.

Dann Hutton (Teacher) - just wanted to say a
huge thanks to you and what you have achieved.
The children really enjoyed the day and it was
great to see them just being children for once,
imagination and all.

Creating Local Change

35

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Lego Club
Natasha Steer Arches Local resident contacted us through our
website funding enquiry page for funding of a Lego activity to be
held at the Magpie Community Centre Café or All Saints Church. As
she was only looking for a small amount £450 it was decided at the
July 2016 partnership meeting to agree to the request. Natasha is
also involved locally with Creatabot a project that connects,
promotes and supports creativity. We visited on one of the Lego
activity days the hall was packed with kids and adults enjoying
playing with Lego together.

Creating Local Change

36

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

Too Many to Mention
Spring event @London - 23rd April 2016
Several members from Arches Local attended the Big Local Spring
Events 2016 in London where we delivered a presentation on
Making Connections and Promoting Big Local Opportunities which
was well received. It was a really interesting day where we got to
share with and learn from other Big Local areas that were
showcasing what they had done.

Big-up your high street event @Brighton 20th May 2016
We also attended the Big Local Event; ‘Big-up’ your local high street Local economy and enterprise event
with visit to Brighton. Which linked in well with our plans for a market at the Luton Shoppers Car Park.

Creating Local Change

37

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

We secured the removal of the minibus that was dumped at the bottom of Albany Road.

The Anchorians U7’s Arches Local sponsored team on the back page of the Medway Messenger.

In the Medway Messenger (re the pocket park) and on ITV Meridan news (re reopening of the Magpie)

Creating Local Change

38

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

JCDecaux after we reminded them fixed
the hoardings at the bottom of Castle road
and also got the landowner next door to
tidy up his area.

From requesting pot holes
to be filled and manhole
covers repaired we have
left our mark over the
year.

We celebrated together
Dolly Morgan 90th Birthday

Arches Local has been involved and included in 2 case studies commissioned by Local Trust
MPs and Big Local
Councillors and Big Local

http://localtrust.org.uk/library/case-studies/mps-and-big-local
http://localtrust.org.uk/library/case-studies/councillors-and-big-local

Creating Local Change

39

Arches Local Big Local Year 1 Review

We hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing about our journey so far. We know there will be things
we’ve done that we have forgotten or not had time to share. One thing we must not forget that all our
success was all made possible by working together in partnership and listening to and reflecting the
Arches Local community. The future looks brighter as we look forward to delivering our year 2 plan but
for now;

Creating Local Change

40