Only 87 out of 1,000 respond to revamp of east side plan

Ryan McCormack (10), Chris McCarthy (11), Lauren McLoughlin (13), Jack Miladinovic (13), Youth worker Charlotte Brittain and Ross McCormack (7) working on the Eastside Masterplan model''w121422a
Ryan McCormack (10), Chris McCarthy (11), Lauren McLoughlin (13), Jack Miladinovic (13), Youth worker Charlotte Brittain and Ross McCormack (7) working on the Eastside Masterplan model''w121422a
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Out of more than a thousand questionnaires sent to residents on the east side of Whitby consulting on a major revamp of the area, only 87 have been returned.

Groups behind the East Side action plan to rejuvenate that side of town – from Church Street and the old town up to Larpool Lane – had hand delivered the surveys in a bid to increase public participation in the project.

But out of the people that did respond 76% said they were satisfied with the area as a place to live and 42% said the best thing about the east side was the people and the community.

Feedback will form the next steps for the East side masterplan which, with Groundwork and Scarborough Borough Council (SBC), is intended to revitalise the east side after complaints from residents over the years about lack of investment and facilities.

When asked if there were enough activities for children and families, 85%said no, for young people 84% said no and 75% added there wasn’t enough for older people.

There was a significant request (74%) for support in finding work and improving skills and when asked what they wanted to see improved people said open spaces, play and environment (33%); community centre activities (18%); employment skills (14%); transport (12%); young persons activities (10%); retail/banks/fast food (5%); community safety and lighting (5%); housing (3%).

When asked to expand on what they liked about the area comments included “special character, lovely harbour view, super little shops and historical buildings”, “abbey, east pier and lighthouse”, “born and bred residents”, “quiet, peaceful, do like to be able to shut noise out – good community spirit, people talk to you, more friendly.”

As well as more for young people to do, bins and cash facilities other ideas for improvement include “more investment in training for school leavers and affordable housing”, “crossing the road without risk to life and limb”, “evening bin collections to stop seagulls scavenging and to “have a scheme to help elderly and disabled people with gardens.”

The feedback from the questionnaire will be discussed at the next steering group meeting being held at Eastside Community Centre on Thursday, 7pm.

Tom Mutton local manager for Groundwork North Yorkshire, said “Thank you to everyone who completed a questionnaire and gave their views.

“The results showed a real pride in the Eastside and its community and gave lots of ideas for improvements and projects.

“These ideas will now form the basis of the action plan that will be developed over the next few months, starting with the meeting on 2 August.

“Many of the suggestions can be implemented quite quickly and work has started on some already, such as the resurfacing of the ball courts, the Growing IT project linking young and old with computer training and food growing, and plans for improvements to the open space and play area around Eastside Community Centre, which will also be discussed on Thursday.”