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Community Initiative Hits the Road to Improve Living on Portland

weymouth and portland

7:40am 7th June 2013

Be on the lookout for a white transit van around Portland's Underhill area, it wants to help you change your community.

The vehicle is part of a 'Working with You' initiative, which is supported by Weymouth and Portland Partnership and Portland Community Partnership.

The van will contain local councillors, community police officers and staff from Synergy housing who'll stop in various locations today and tomorrow to hear local residents problems and suggestions for change.

'Working with you' identification will be placed outside the van.

Wessex FM spoke to Jane Nicklen, Head of Community Planning and Development for West Dorset District and Weymouth & Portland Borough Councils.

Jane outlined some of the problems affecting the Underhill area, "We've got low income, we've got dropping levels of employment, and we've got issues with crime, access to services, affordable and suitable housing. They are also issues around transport and roads as well, and also, very importantly, the need for support to local businesses."

She encouraged everyone to approach the van to have their say, "There are a great range of difficulties at the moment, it's easy to be sceptical, but if you don't actually have a voice, and you don't have a say and everybody doesn't actually pull in the same direction, we're never going to make a difference. It's everybody's role to make a difference."

The locations are:

Friday 7th June:

Outlooks Children's Centre                10.45 - 11.30
Osprey Leisure Centre                       11.30 - 12.00
Car Park, Fairfield Day Centre           13.00 - 13.30
Fortuneswell Shops                           13.30 - 14.30
IPACA Brackenbury Campus
(Cliff Primary School)                         14.30 - 15.15

Saturday 8th June:

T-Junction, Verne Common
Road / Mantle Close                           12.30 - 13.00
Islanders Club                                     13.00 - 13.30
Chiswell Car Park (Brandy Row)       13.30 - 14.00
Masonic Car Park / Skate Park          14.00 - 14.30
Fortuneswell Shops                            14.30 - 15.00
Portland Hospital Car Park                 15.00 - 15.30

Underhill is one of four priority areas across Weymouth and Portland being targeted by the initiative due to the number of problems in the area. The other places are Littlemoor, Westham and Melcombe Regis.

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