Monday, 15 March 2010


At tonights Hamp Community Association meeting new faces and a new spirit of determination to reboot the organisation was evident as members came up with a formula for regeneration.

The HCA suffered a disastrous loss with the untimely death of much loved and hard working project manager Lynne Macriner Manley from which they have been struggling to recover. At a time when funding cuts from the new Tory controlled County Council were being imposed and Sedgemoor District Council were contracting their budget the HCA has found it difficult to make ends meet and run it's two buildings at Edinburgh road and Recreation. Chairman Pat Parker has been fighting to keep the Organisation and it's staff together whilst Treasurer Chris Done was working hard to oversee the finances and the volunteers.

At tonights meeting a corner was clearly turned as key new members were brought into the centre of the Organisation to revitalise the HCA. Steve Austen - a Meads Court resident who has been the Chairman of the thriving YMCA in recent years, was elected as Vice Chair of the HCA whilst Cllr Brian Smedley, Hamp Ward councillor and original secretary of the HCA when it was founded, has been brought in as secretary. Cllr Kathy Pearce - Hamp councillor and Labour Parliamentary candidate, has also been co-opted onto the committee and a series of meetings have been set up to kick start the Timetable for recruitment of a new project manager.

Brian Smedley said after the meeting "It's important that we engage with the entire Hamp Community in this process and the next step after we get a Manager is to relaunch the 'Open meetings' that were the key to building the HCA in the first place. That means getting the Partnership agencies together again on Hamp - Police, councils, youth service etc alongside the people with the ideas and the inspiration - the Mansfield Park Action group, the Building Schools for the Future project ,and the community football teams such as Rhode Lane Wanderers and make sure the funding agencies know that we need priority funding and we have the plans to spend it and the dedicated people to spend it on what is really needed."

The Open meeting has been scheduled for Thursday 13th May.

The picture sh
ows Cllr Smedley discussing a United way forward with Cllr Parker and Cllr Gill.

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