Tonight’s meeting of the area forum had an unusually exciting task: to decide how to spend the £10,000 it has been allocated for local projects (which each Camden ward has received).
The debate was heated but friendly, but in the end the decision was quite clear. The allocation ran (with some flexibility still according to actual costs):
* £1,000 to the Reflections community newsletter
* Around £1,500 to put up two new benches in the sheltered housing areas in Monica Shaw Court garden and the Brill Place entrance for the complex “for older people to sit out”.
* About £1,000 to repair broken lights in the pavement and restore the wooden benches in Chalton Street (only if the budget for this can’t be found from other sources).
But the meeting decided to spend the bulk of the money on food-growing projects in the ward. We had before us proposals from the London Wildlife Trust, which runs the Camley Street Natural Park, to install a community food-growing project in a disused playground in Ampthill Square; a call for community orchards to be established on 3-5 estates (with advice to be taken from London Community Orchards) ; and a call to develop a scheme with the Camden Garden Centre to train local children and young people in horticulture.
A small committee was formed to develop the plan (which is going to have to be done quickly, as the money needs to be spent soon), and decide on locations.
We’re glad that this Green Party proposal to give area forums a budget to use as they wish is now in operation.