NORTH HUDDERSFIELD has seen many achievements in 2012 including the new community centre in Brackenhall, a major facelift to shops in Sheepridge centre and a new schools trust set up. Here Examiner reporter LOUISE COOPER asks Ashbrow Ward councilors Ken Smith, Jean Calvert and Cath Harris to review the highlights of 2012:
Q. What do you think are the most notable achievements for the ward this year?
A. “We are most proud of the completion of Northfield Hall at Brackenhall. It is a fantastic facility and is proving successful in attracting a wide range of local people to use the facilities, including the playgym and café.
“In Sheepridge works have continued to make it smart and attractive, including the effect on greatly reducing anti-social behaviour.
“Meanwhile in Bradley the tenants’ and residents’ association (TRA) has proved instrumental in introducing a text messaging service, which links between Bradley and Netherwood Close TRAs.
“The elderly continue to be represented in the ward through the sterling work done by Agewell for older people in the Fartown area.
“For the younger generations the positive work in schools serving the area, including the coming together of the two Ashbrow schools to create an all-through primary school, will give children much greater continuity and chance of success.
“North Huddersfield Trust School has made excellent progress in its first year and made a valuable contribution with the local community and the primary schools across the whole area.
“This has been further enhanced through the launch of the North Huddersfield Learning Community.
Q. What are the most challenging issue/s facing North Huddersfield over the next 12 months?
A. “In the wake of reduced budgets we are continually challenged to make improvements with fewer resources.
“We are also tasked with explaining to local people the choices we have to make – after trying to inform them as much as possible what those decisions are based on.
“It is also important to make sure that residents are informed about all the changes to the welfare system and health service, and letting people know how this could affect them.”
Q.What are you looking forward to for 2013 in terms of community projects/ initiatives?
A. “We are looking to further developing projects with local groups, small or large, to get the best for our area by working together on activities for younger and older people, environmental projects, supporting people to be able to get work.
Q. If you had to pick one community area to focus on for 2013 what would it be and why?
A. “There are a growing number of older people and that is expected to carry on rising over the next decade so our area of focus is supporting and developing more activities as cost effectively as possible while making them accessible for all.
“By engaging with older people we can try and ensure their lives are as fulfilled as possible.
“We will also be building on the good work that’s already going on to bring different sections of the community together so that common interests can grow and strengthen – eg between older and younger people, across school communities, and in different parts of the ward.”
New Year greetings!
“We wish everyone in the Ashbrow ward a Happy New Year and remind you that in these hard times we are here to help. If we can’t help we usually know someone who can. Please keep in touch.”