New development worker

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THE ASSOCIATION of Residents of Cliffburn and Hayshead (ARCH) has appointed a new community development worker after receiving funding from Angus Council.

Margot Reilly, association chair, said: “We are delighted to have appointed our former community development worker John McDonald for the next two years.

“John was instrumental in the formation of our association in 2002 to be a democratically elected voice of the community, as part of the Cliffburn Regeneration Project. He was also very much involved in applying for funding for the award winning £256,000 Cliffburn Community Park, which was a major achievement for the Association and the people of Cliffburn.”

She continued, “Initially, a partnership of agencies including various departments of Angus Council, housing associations, educational authorities and health professionals, called the Cliffburn Partnership, oversaw the regeneration of the Cliffburn area. However, this was disbanded in 2008 as it was perceived that its work had been done.

“The community still felt there was further regeneration required in the area even although the demolition of flats, replaced with modern semi detached social housing and the eventual removal of flats above the Mayfield shops had made a significant difference to the physical outlook.

“Our Association had been very much involved with the partnership, ensuring that the community’s voice was heard and later in 2009 we took on the role of leading the Cliffburn and Hayshead Community Planning Group, which again brought various agencies and stakeholders together to look at the ongoing issues that affect this area.”

Margot added: “As can happen with community groups, the strength of committee membership can change fairly rapidly and over the past year we have become less strong than we were. Therefore, we applied to Angus Council for funding to employ a community development worker on a part time basis who would help us build the strength of our organisation once again.

“We were delighted when the council gave their approval to fund a 20-hour-a-week post for a two-year period. We understand that the council and the Cliffburn and Hayshead Community Planning Group will wish to hold consultations with the community on the further regeneration on the area and the community development worker’s role will be to ensure that the community take part in these.

“Of course, we hope that his influence will attract other community minded activists to our Association and in particular the committees of ARCH and People First Cliffburn (PFC), which is ARCH’s sister organisation and holds charitable status. There is a huge opportunity for PFC in particular to apply for funding to charitable trusts to run projects that would benefit the people of the Cliffburn and Hayshead area and we will be looking to John to use his considerable expertise in this field.”

Margot concluded: “If there are any community minded people who could give some of their valuable time we would like to hear from them on 01241 872177 or e-mail Cliffburn@btconnect.com.”