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Further cash pledge for Nacton estate community projects following Tavis death

PUBLISHED: 16:44 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 15 August 2018

Police presence on the Nacton estate this summer following the stabbing of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SARAH LUCY  BROWN

Police presence on the Nacton estate this summer following the stabbing of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Community leaders in south east Ipswich have pledged more cash for community groups in the Nacton estate, following community concerns in the wake of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens’ death.

Sarah Barber said it was helping the community take control of its projects Picture: GREGG BROWNSarah Barber said it was helping the community take control of its projects Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Borough Council’s south east area committee has agreed to fund £5,000 a year over the next three years for community groups and projects in the Nacton estate area, with the aim of addressing some of the deprivation issues there.

It follows the stabbing of teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens in June, which prompted a public meeting and calls for action by the community.

Committee bosses have said the £15,000 is on top of the measures already announced.

Sarah Barber, committee chairman, said: “It’s just to help them [projects] and help support the community, so they know that fund is there.

Dozens of people attended public meetings in the Nacton estate Picture: GEMMA MITCHELLDozens of people attended public meetings in the Nacton estate Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

“There’s other funding David Ellesmere has promised but this is more small scale projects, so small groups that want funding or help towards projects.”

She added: “It’s not just about local government saying this is what we are going to do for you, it’s people taking control and helping themselves.”

The borough council’s report said that the challenges facing families in the area were well known and “include deprivation in every domain” with the cash helping to allow a “more collaborative and responsive approach to supporting projects that address those challenges”.

The pot, entitled the Nacton Road Community Fund, will feature councillors consulting with the community when projects want a grant, without the need for having to return to the entire committee.

Youngsters in Ipswich will get a free iCard for the duration of the six week holidays Picture: JASON NOBLEYoungsters in Ipswich will get a free iCard for the duration of the six week holidays Picture: JASON NOBLE

A host of measures were announced following public meetings with the community after Tavis’ death, which included a pledge to keep the Murrayside Centre open, and leaving street lights on all night around Queen’s Way.

A community garden has been proposed and a new CCTV camera was installed at the St Augustine’s recreation ground.

The borough council also offered free iCards to Ipswich youngsters for the six week school holidays in a bid to help keep teenagers entertained and prevent them falling in with gangs.

It meant they have been able to enjoy dozens of activities laid on at the council’s gyms and parks without cost.

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