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Help us ensure Northstowe is a great place to live - 04/06/2015

CCVS in partnership with a number of local councillors is looking for views about how you might work in Northstowe. We are carrying out this survey to provide us with information that will allow us to influence the discussions on the facilities that will be provided in Northstowe, as well as the type of community support that will be needed as the town is born and grows into maturity.

Northstowe is destined to be the first town in South Cambridgeshire.  Building of the first 1500 houses has just begun and the planning application for the next 3500 houses and the town centre, schools and sports facilities is currently making slow progress towards approval but is expected to be ratified this summer.

Key to this next stage is the delivery of a Civic Hub which will be a multi-purpose community building, costing many millions of pounds and which will have to meet the needs of most of the statutory and voluntary service providers engaged in the town. 

Calculating what is needed for statutory service provision is relatively simple since the town will obviously need health care, social care, fire police and ambulance etc.  Trying to gauge what the needs will be for the voluntary sector is far more difficult as there is really no way of knowing at the outset which organisations will be involved, whether they will be delivering their services from the town or from elsewhere, what the community needs will be and what voluntary groups the community itself will generate.

Emerging evidence from some of the newest communities in the district is pointing to there being high level of need across the board. And the reason for this is of course that in their early years these places are not actually ‘communities’ at all but merely large housing estates with lots and lots of new people living in them.  If Cambourne is anything to go by it takes the best part of 10 years and a lot of effort to begin to establish a successful and resilient community.

So you, the voluntary sector, are going to have your work cut out supporting all these thousands of new residents and to do so it is imperative that the developers make really good provision for flexible, affordable and accessible spaces for you in the new Civic Hub and in other community spaces.

What developers are unlikely to fully understand is that as well as providing for recognised and existing third sector organisations with roles to play in supporting the new community, they also need to account for the community generating its own voluntary sector in direct response to local need. So, parents of special needs children will most likely set up a specialist play school, carers may start a self help group, others will want a sewing bee or a walking club and so the list goes on.  This is what makes a sustainable and resilient community. BUT these things will not be able to happen unless the facilities are there to support them.

So I ask you:  What do you think your organisation can offer the new community of Northstowe?  What will you need in order to be able to deliver your services there? Do you have the human resources to move into Northstowe or will you need to recruit volunteers from the new community, and if so how will you do it?

And in a nutshell - How will you work for Northstowe and how will Northstowe work for you?

Please complete this quick survey

This survey is being conducted to help in the development of ideas and plans for how voluntary organisations could get involved in the development of the new town at Northstowe.

At this stage we are looking for ideas, insights and blue sky thinking. At a later stage we will need to start to nail things down.

If you are a community organisation working in South Cambs, or who thinks their services might be of value to the new residents of Northstowe, then please complete this survey. This will help us and the district and county councils in the planning of infrastructure and support.

This should not take more than five minutes and your contribution is very much appreciated.