Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Residents are challenged to improve estate

A MEETING is to be held for residents of the Gainsborough estate in Henley about ideas for improving the area.

A MEETING is to be held for residents of the Gainsborough estate in Henley about ideas for improving the area.

It will take the form of a brainstorming session and there will be an opportunity to question town councillors.

The meeting has been organised by neighbours David Eggleton and Paula Isaac, who also want to set up a Gainsborough Residents’ Association.

Mrs Isaac, 30, said: “We want to get as many residents together as we can. We handed out a survey when advertising the meeting and would like residents to hand it in when they come.

“We want to get a good overview of what people want for the estate so we can prioritise our next projects and make improvements.

“So far, it has just been me and David pushing the work so it would be nice to get more people on board.”

Mr Eggleton, 55, said: “We’ve selected things that have been neglected over the years but we want the whole estate to be involved in these projects. We want people’s ideas and to move things on.” Residents have already planted flower beds and talks are being held with housing association Soha about putting a community hall on the car park in Gainsborough Hill.

Mr Eggleton, a father of eight, would also like better facilities at Makins recreation ground, such as a caged multi-use sports court.

He said: “That’s one idea but we need to discuss where we would put it, how it would be funded and how much space it would take up. It wouldn’t be just for the people on the estate but also open to the public.

“We would also like to re-lay the football field and have a proper field next to the new skate park.”

Mr Eggleton said there said there had been a marked improvement in the appearance of the estate since residents took action to reverse what they believed was its poor reputation.

“It has made a lot of difference,” he said. “We’ve got people watering their gardens and everyone is getting involved. We get talked about more positively now. People want to know what’s happening and what we’re doing.

“We’ve had bad press, as every estate does. Not everything is perfect all the time and no doubt we will slip up at some point but when you’ve got 270 houses on the estate there’s going to be problems. The majority of people are behind what we’re doing.

“I’m proud to be born in Henley and to live on Gainsborough.”

The meeting will take place at the scout hut in Greys Road on Thursday at 7pm.

lMr Eggleton and Mrs Isaac are to hold a charity auction at the town hall on September 28 and are appealing for donations. Funds raised will be evenly split between the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust, the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia group at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Headway Thames Valley, Bishopswood School and the new Gainsborough Residents’ Association.

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