Community engagement is at the heart of the Town Deal process. The Government wants to see that the Town Investment Plan has a vision and priorities that have been shaped by both the evidence base and the community.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on how we work with and engage communities. Ideally we would be out and about, visiting schools, youth clubs, community groups and organising coffee mornings among other things but this has not been possible.
We did, however, think that it was really important to have an element of face to face engagement and it was great to meet some of you at our events at Dreamland and the Cliftonville Community Centre.
The conversations we’ve had so far have helped us to understand more about the type of town you want Margate to be and the changes you want to see in the future. We’re also working with existing community groups and organisations to ensure we talk to as many local people as possible.
Review of the drop-in sessions
Three drop-in sessions were held at accessible locations over the course of the weekend 12/13 September and again on Monday 14 September. This session ran until 7pm to give people the best possible opportunity to attend.
In these strange times, we were pleased that nearly 200 members of the community took the time to attend. The verbal and written feedback received indicated that the majority of people left the events feeling better informed about the Town Deal which was encouraging.
We have updated the FAQ section on our website to reflect some of the questions received from the community. We have also uploaded the information that was on display to our website (margatetowndeal.co.uk). I would encourage as many people as possible to view them and leave comments using our online questionnaire.
All the feedback received will be reviewed, coded and analysed to help inform the Town Investment Plan which independent regeneration consultants, PRD, will be developing. This Town Investment Plan will form the basis of the Margate Town Deal.
It’s not too late to have your say
It is unlikely that we will do any more face to face activity for a while but there are lots of ways that you can get involved digitally and I would encourage everyone to do so before Sunday 20 September. The more people we hear from, the more the Deal will reflect the needs and aspirations of the community.
Completing one of our questionnaires will provide important data and insight to help shape the Investment Plan. Please spare a few minutes to fill out one of the below and a big thank you if you have already taken the time to complete them.
- Local person
- Local person aged between 16 and 24
- Local business
- A representative of a third sector organisation or charity
We’ve also been hosting digital coffee mornings to give people a chance to have a more informal and relaxed conversation about the Town Deal and their vision and priorities for Margate. There is one more left – at 11am on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 so if you’re interested, please book a slot.
Working to give the community a voice
We’re setting up a Margate Town Deal People’s Panel to ensure that we have a group of people who live in the town working with the Board throughout the lifetime of the project, sharing ideas and asking questions. To apply, please complete this short form by Sunday 20 September.
There will of course be other opportunities for the wider community to get involved as ideas are worked on and business cases developed to support the Town Investment Plan.
Anyone with enquiries relating to the community engagement can email firstname.lastname@example.org