Cheshire Police launched its first Community Conversation at St John’s Community Centre in Congleton on Thursday 23 June, giving the local community an opportunity to share their thoughts.
Across the nine Local Policing Units in Cheshire, there will be additional Community Conversation events in March 2023. These events will be the beginning of a conversation with communities about what offerings are currently available in the community, what may be missing, and where they’d like to see their community in the future. These will be the beginning of a conversation with communities within each LPU in Cheshire where we will discuss what provisions and offerings are currently available in the community that can be utilised by the community, what may be missing and where they want to see their community being in the future.
As a result of the discussion, Community Conversation Action Groups will further explore the topic, and there will be an opportunity for individuals and groups to apply for a share of the Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer’s Community Cashback Fund as well as the chance for residents to vote on how the money is spent. Several key points were brought up by members of the public at the event, including speeding concerns and public transport.
T/Chief Inspector Jim Adams represented the LPU at the Community Conversation said:
I am proud that we have had the first Community Conversation in Congleton. I think that we have set the bar for the next one.
“It was a really positive evening bringing together
the community and partner organisations to discuss Congleton and make it the community we know it can be. What was discussed tonight can only support the work that Congleton LPU is currently doing to achieve the best results possible.
It was an opportunity for me to meet members of the community to ensure our priorities are matched to their own. We have identified some new ways of thinking and discussion to take forward.”
On the evening, £10,000 of funding was announced for Participatory Budgeting in Congleton LPU. John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said:
I’m really pleased that the Community Conversations kicked off in Congleton on a positive note and I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas raised by residents developed into long-term plans for their community.
“Through the Community Cashback Fund, each LPU area in Cheshire will receive £10,000 that has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. I’m determined to show that crime doesn’t pay and that this money is spent in the community, by the community and for the community.“There was quite a breadth of issues brought up on the night including youth provision, speeding, antisocial behaviour and parking, so I am looking forward to seeing what develops from the Congleton Community Action Group and seeing what projects we can support with the £10,000.“I think this whole process, beginning with the Community Conversation, will result in bringing the community together and there is a real opportunity to have an impact on the issues affecting their lives.”
Members of the public also voiced their opinions on the night with one stating how proud they were to live in Congleton and have police walking the streets and another praising Cheshire Police for a quick response to an incident. One member of the local community said:
“I called the police when there was an incident in one of the pubs in town the other night and within less than five minutes two police cars arrived and dealt with it. That is a tremendous response to an incident happening in the centre of town.
“I am very lucky that I have such a wonderful police force.”