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Neighbourhood meeting brings the crowds

PUBLISHED: 20:00 29 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

THE MURRAYSIDE Community Centre in Ipswich was a buzz of activity on Saturday as pensioners, families and teenagers gathered to discuss the future of their neighbourhood.

THE MURRAYSIDE Community Centre in Ipswich was a buzz of activity on Saturday as pensioners, families and teenagers gathered to discuss the future of their neighbourhood.

Some 50 people in the Gainsborough and Priory Heath areas attended a half-day brainstorming session by the just launched South East Ipswich Partnership Forum.

Organisations such as the police, Suffolk Health, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council have already joined the alliance and have asked residents to follow suit.

The event also gave people the chance to see presentations from groups in the area such as the Greenwich Community Association and hear about some of the activities taking place.

Councillor John Mowles was delighted with the response.

He said: "We were very pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

"The whole idea is so people can have a real say and get involved in their community: they tell us what is good about their area, what they would like improved, get involved and take things forward in accordance with that."

The partnership is already looking at different projects, such as a Greenwich Community Centre and neighbourhood wardens for the area.

Although these ideas are in their infancy they offer the chance for residents to be a part of it all.

David Botwright, Ipswich council's head of community involvement who was at the meeting, said: "We wanted to set up a partnership forum and involve local people and local issues.

"It looks at the positives and the negatives … the aim is to build on the positive and improve the negatives."

Soon regular meetings will take place involving organisations providing services and residents.

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