‘Our Place’ project launched in Poplar to get people involved in local services

Communities Minister Stephen Williams was in London’s East End to launch a national programme for neighbourhood involvement in running services with local priorities.

The programme called ‘Our Place’, launched yesterday at St Paul’s Way Centre in Bow Common, is already being tested at 12 pilot areas including Poplar.

“We want communities to take more responsibility for the services in their neighbourhoods,” he said. “These pilot areas are seeing benefits of going back to local communities.”

A consortium led by the Locality network including local authorities, backed by £4.3 million Whitehall funding, aims to support 100 communities tackling issues at neighbourhood level.

It offers a chance for people to get involved in tackling problems that matter most in their areas.

The Minister heard from volunteers in Poplar’s ‘Health Champions’ project, for example, which could save the NHS a potential £4 million over five years. It promotes healthy lifestyles and better treatment for those risking diabetes in the East End which has higher levels than the national average.