A major intervention on the Hamp estate by Bridgwater Town Council will see the ReCreation building on Rhode Lane brought back into community use. For many years the building, originally the Hamp Activity Centre and later a youth club, was a major feature of community provision on the estate and included everything from a cafe to zumba classes. In recent years it fell into disrepair , particularly during Covid, and consequentially suffered vandalism as it looked like it would never open again. Now with the changes in Local Government Bridgwater Town Council, which will have an increased role after Unitary comes in from April 2023, has taken on the management and funding of the building and will introduce staff to maintain the place and immediately start consulting with the community to find what is needed. There will be a meeting on 1st February at 7pm at the Hub on Rhode Lane to which everyone is invited.
Hamp is represented by 4 councillors. Leigh Redman and Liz Leavy are the Town and District councillors and Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce the new Unitary councillors. All have been working with the Hamp Community Association and other partners to bring about this key development.
Consulting the Community
Cllr Leigh Redman, the secretary of the HCA, says “HCA is a local group set up to help and support our community. The targeted area of HCA reaches from Wills Road to the town centre and we welcome everyone to HCA meetings. HCA brings people together in many ways including the community drop-in at Holy Trinity Church, the warm space run every Monday from 12 to 4 at the Church hall, supporting the local pantry plus we’ve arranged coach trips including one to the seaside and one to the Christmas Markets in Exeter. We are now actively working with the Town Council to open up ReCreation for Community use, identify activities and hopefully a new name for the building.”
Cllr Brian Smedley, who was part of the team that launched the HCA back in 1996, is now the Leader of Bridgwater Town Council and Kath Pearce is his deputy. Both were Hamp councillors for many years. Brian says “This is a very important development for Hamp. With the disappearance of Sedgemoor it is now down to Town Council to prioritise and take forward the things that matter to the town. Without a doubt Hamp estate needs that priority of thought and action. We will be doing a similar thing on Parkway with the Rollercoaster and at the same time continue our support for existing community centres such as Victoria, where a new pantry is opening up, and also in Sydenham. Bridgwater Town Council of all the authorities is the closest to our communities and therefore it is crucial that what the people of Hamp want is what their council advocates for.”
To contact the HCA write to Hamp.Community.Association.email@example.com
For the origins of the HCA click here.