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Consultation and engagement
  • A few interviewees also discussed the importance of involving and engaging people in the proposal from the beginning, including those who live in other areas of the city.

“And there’s something you’ve just said there, that word consultation. Let’s ask all the necessary parties… just what they need… You’ve got to take everything into consideration and there’s always a compromise, it’s a compromise, but let’s try get it right first time and get on and do it if the funds are available and if the will to do it is there.” (Councillor)

  • They mentioned that it would be useful to get insight from younger people at the start of the process and give them a say in what they’d like to see at a new hub.
  • A few councillors pointed out that residents don’t currently have enough information to get a complete view. For example, it needs to be made clear that facilities are “moving” and “not closing”.

“I think that just needs to get out there that there’s going to be no disruption at all because one will just move seamlessly into the other because that’s the way it’s designed.” (Councillor)

  • They also said that it needs to be clearly explained that the hub can’t be built on the other two sites and why.
  • Residents also have concerns about losing the open green space, the informal mudder space for football, and parking. They need clear communication and reassurance about these issues.
Invest the money
  • A few interviewees made comments about how the council needs to commit to investing the necessary money into a new, high-quality hub that will last for a long time.
  • Suggestions included:
    • think more long-term,
    • don’t spend cheap, and
    • be ambitious.

“I would say don’t spend cheap. Look for the longer game, that’s all I would say. Don’t build a cheap facility and then we’re 10 years down the line and it’s fallen apart, it’s degrading quicker than it should. I’d say spend wisely, would be my advice to the council.” (Octopush Junior)

  • These interviewees hope that the hub will be above standard and done properly.

“I’m talking about installations above standard, not go for the minimum standards, but to go for what the standards might be in 10 years’ time. If the building is going to be around for 50 years, it needs to be workable for 50 years.” (Eastney Community Area Association Board)

  • One councillor commented that as soon as the proposal has been approved, the council need to take action and move fast to get it built quickly.