An update from Cllr Maddie Henson (Ashburton Ward) on the Ashburton Park re-development.
When Labour won Ashburton for the first time in 2014 we promised that we would regenerate Ashburton Park and in particular the Old Convent (Library Building). This has necessitated putting hoarding around the building whilst substantial works are completed, so we can reopen it next year for everyone to enjoy – a project which by the way we are happy to say we are delivering on. This work is essential, however in the meantime I felt that bright purple hoarding did nothing for the look of the park so began to source a way to make it look nicer.
Since taking control of the council we have developed a Ward budget system where each ward is given a budget of £6,000 to spend on projects to improve the area. This has been a huge success and is set to rise to £12,000 next year, really allowing us to put life in to our community projects! Using this fund I have come up with the idea of the ‘Ashburton Park Mural’.
Looking around the borough it is not difficult to spot the amazing street art done on the hoarding near Queen’s gardens so this made a good starting point. But this alone did not directly allow the community to have a say in what was in the park – the cornerstone of the project. So with the help of the Council’s excellent Regeneration team we came up with a brilliant idea…
That the Regeneration team would visit all of the schools in and surrounding Ashburton – including for example Woodside School and Oasis Shirley Park and create an art competition for the pupils. The winners would then have their work weather proofed and displayed for all to see on the hoarding!
I am pleased to say that this week this wonderful idea was given the go ahead and so watch out everyone for the fantastic work by Ashburton’s young talented artists coming to a park near you!
This is just one example of the big difference the revolutionary Ward budget policy has been able to achieve. If you are interested in the other projects which we have been able to support or better still have idea for next year’s budget send us an email and we would be happy to chat with you.
Cllr Maddie Henson
If you want to get in touch with Maddie about the Ashburton Park Library, or any other local issues in Ashburton ward please email email@example.com.
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