Not enough shops and too much crime: people in Whitehouse reveal wish-list of changes
- Credit: Staff
More shops, a new ‘central hub’ and a crackdown on crime are among a wish-list of changes being drawn up by people living in one of Ipswich’s largest suburbs.
A survey being carried out by the new Whitehouse Wanderers group - a team of four residents determined to bring about positive change in their area - has found people feel the suburb which is home to 10,000 people "hasn't got what all the other estates in Ipswich have got".
So far they have found there are many positives to living in the area, including its proximity to Ipswich and Anglia Retail Park - but that it is also thought to be lacking in community facilities and activities, particularly for young people.
The grassroots group - set up by Ipswich Community Media and consultancy Voiced, and supported by the Future Female Society - found there are things for people to do but that because of the lack of a simple community noticeboard, many residents are simply unaware of the good things happening on their doorstep.
An online survey still has a number of weeks to run and residents are also encouraged to attend two drop-in sessions to air their views, so a report can be sent to authorities like Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk Constabulary on what people would like change.
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But life-long Whitehouse resident Teresa Andrews, 56 - who is carrying out the survey with neighbours Becca Jackaman, Bernadette Manners and Wendi Keeble - said: "We haven't got what the other estates have got.
What would people in Whitehouse like to see change?
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? More shops
? Crackdown on anti-social behaviour
? Community noticeboard set up
? Introduction of a mobile library
? Improvements to bus service
"I was born and bred in Whitehouse and have seen changes over the years.
"We have a lot of problems with anti-social behaviour and younger people haven't got anything to do. There is quite a big drug-related problem here too.
"I want to see the children have the youth clubs back - again we haven't got those.
"We're lacking in shops, a post office and a bus service.
"People have said the bus service doesn't run very well - they can get to Asda, but the bus doesn't come back through Whitehouse.
"We'd like to see a central hub somewhere where people can come in and find out what is going on.
"We haven't got a noticeboard and would like to have one. People have said they would like a mobile library.
"There are lots of things that we just haven't got."
Have your say at drop-in sessions
People who attend the drop-in sessions at FTC Gym in Whitehouse Road on Thursday, May 23 and at Whitehouse Baptist Church in Waterford Road on Monday, June 3 will get a £5 gift voucher. Both sessions run between 1pm and 6pm.
Once all the data from the surveys has been analysed, a report will be produced and presented at a public meeting - with plans to hold regular public meetings in the future to press for action.
'Great to see people making positive change'
Kim Trotter, founder of the Future Female Society, said: "The aim is to train some of residents who are interested in seeing positive change.
"The hope is that people who have been involved in the survey will be galvanised to do things in the community and start making changes in Whitehouse.
"One of the things coming through is that there are a lot of good things in the community but that people don't know about them. People feel they don't know what's going on.
"It's about how we can connect them so they do know. Where other estates have a bit more of a central area, Whitehouse is a bit more spread out - and that makes it difficult for the community to come together.
"What's great about the Whitehouse Wanderers is that it's a bunch of women who've stepped up to make positive change."