LET’S put some pride back into our community! That is the determined cry from residents living off Central Drive.
They have formed the New Revoe Residents Association and are launching a number of initiatives aimed at uplifting the area.
Householders and businesses are being urged to take part in a Christmas window-dressing competition, while other proposals include using back alleys as play areas for children.
Angie Buss, acting chairman of the association, said people were fed up of the negativity surrounding the area.
Central Drive came under the spotlight recently when Channel 4 programme 999 What’s Your Emergency showed people withdrawing benefit money from cash machines at midnight, with the suggestion they would be using it to buy alcohol in the nearby pubs.
The episode drew a split opinion in the town between those who believed it was unfairly highlighting and in some cases revelling in the social problems many towns have, while others believes it was an accurate portrayal of life faced by deprived communities.
But now residents have hit back and say it’s time to turn the neighbourhood around.
Mrs Buss, of Ribble Road, said: “We have had a bad press but 98 per cent of the people who live around here are really good people.
“Things are changing. We have recently formed our residents association and one of the first things we want to do is hold a Christmas window dressing competition which will be open to both residents and businesses including the shops on Central Drive.
“We’re saying, come on, let’s brighten up our area and it’s something we can all be involved in. Other initiatives we have are we want to clean up the back alleys and use them as shared space for children to play in, and for community events.
“We want to put white boards up so children can write on those rather than there being graffiti. Another resident has volunteered to be a bin warden.
“We have a problem with some people putting their bins out and having them stolen.
“These are all suggestions which have come from the residents themselves.”
Janine Brownwood is the manager of Shampoodles in Central Drive, and thinks the idea will help boost the area.
She said it was the first she’d heard of any kind of initiative.
“It would be difficult for us as our windows covered, but I think it’s a brilliant idea,” she added.
“I wouldn’t mind going for it; I like the sound of it.”
The New Revoe Residents Association covers the streets between Central Drive and Park Road including Ribble Road, Ashton Road, Harrison Street and Orme Street.
Bloomfield ward councillor John Jones, who represents the area, said: “The residents are getting together and trying to get people engaged in the community in order to help uplift the area.
“The Christmas window competition is a really good idea and I hope lots of people get involved, and it is really good to see all these initiatives coming from the residents themselves.”
Entry to the window dressing competition will cost £1 and the residents association hopes to offer a first prize of £100, second prize of £50 and third prize of £25.