Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire


Sutton Bridge Community News & Initiatives

Sutton Bridge Placecheck


The opening of the annual Garden Fete at the St. Matthew’s Drive Community Centre was held on a bright and sunny day in August.

Mrs. Pat Haworth, chairman of the St. Matthew’s Drive Comforts Fund, introduced PCSO Ben Harrington, who opened the event, and also Gill Williamson, Community Development Officer, South Lincs CVS, who was launching Placecheck’s new brochure.

PCSO Ben Harrington, Mrs. Pat Haworth and Gill Williamson
PCSO Ben Harrington, Mrs. Pat Haworth and Gill Williamson

In the Community Centre’s hall were stalls selling cakes and bric-a-brac. The ladies manning the raffle stand had a busy time, as did those who served the teas and coffees, Outside, there was Robert Bedford’s fairground organ playing music which set many feet tapping.

Janet Blundell, Helen Regan, Gill Williamson  at the  Placecheck stand with the launch of their brochure.
Janet Blundell, Helen Regan, Gill Williamson at the Placecheck stand with the launch of their brochure.

The event was a success and raised over £200 for the Comforts Fund.

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Bridge Watch whose aim is ‘Good Governance’ and the fostering of ‘Community Spirit’ in Sutton Bridge welcomes the arrival of Placecheck...

Placecheck is a method of assessing the qualities of a place, showing what improvements are needed, and focusing people on working together to achieve them.

Placecheck can start small: with half a dozen people round a kitchen table, or a small group meeting on a street corner. A Placecheck can cover a street (or part of one), a neighbourhood, a town centre, or a whole district or city. The setting might be urban, suburban or a village. The initiative can come from anyone, in any organisation or sector.

Placecheck is probably the simplest way of involving a community available. It requires the minimum of resources and preparation. It is ideal for paving the way for other means of community engagement.

Placecheck was developed by the Urban Design Alliance in the 1990’s. It is now widespread in communities throughout the United Kingdom.

Placecheck has been funded by a partnership of organisations including Government, and English Partnerships, together with voluntary effort by professionals in the organisations of the Urban Design Alliance.

What does a Placecheck involve?

It starts with a survey carried out by local people, for local people, as a way of looking at a neighbourhood in a new light. It is about working together for a joint purpose. The scope of a Placecheck is not just within the local community but covers all agencies, authorities and businesses that might have an interest in it.

What is the Aim of a Placecheck Project?

The aim of the Placecheck project is to engage and empower the local community, allowing them greater control and ownership over the decisions which shape their lives and neighbourhoods. By building a sense of community within each neighbourhood, it will create long-term lasting effects by giving residents the skills, experience and confidence to sustain their involvement and participation in local decision-making.

Who needs to be involved?

The first step is for a local partnership or alliance of people with an interest in their area to come together and agree to work in partnership. People can join in at any time depending on the needs highlighted as the Placecheck process continues.

Just the Beginning

An initial audit and survey of an area (already done in the Westmere area) marks just the beginning of the challenges ahead for the community and service providers. It demonstrates that when a group of residents come together for a common cause they can make a difference in their community with the co-operation of service providers; and that they can be sure that their voice is heard and listened to.

Bridge Watch Website

This Website will contain regular updates of developments in this important initiative which is fully supported by the newly formed Multi-Agency Group under its Portfolio Holder District Councillor Gary Taylor who has said that his group ‘has highlighted several issues that are important to local people and now we need to work together to tackle them. It is really encouraging to know that so many organisations are keen to work on delivering projects that can only benefit residents.

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