Co-founder and life president Community Links Kevin Jenkins reveals his New Year wish


- Credit: Archant

For me the start of each New Year always brings renewed energy, enthusiasm and hope for all.

The making of New Year resolutions transfers such feelings into practical and tangible actions.

This year is no exception, and my wish for Newham is the establishment of a Newham Legacy Trust. This could provide ongoing revenue to fund future community development and services, which the community needs and priorities in the future.

The level of regeneration in Newham over the next 10 to 15 years is unique, and will never be repeated again. Literally billions and billions of pounds is being invested into creating a new look and future for Newham. My theory is that the associated community gain appears to me, to be uncoordinated, focused on short term wins and events rather than offering a coordinated response across the whole borough (not just the areas that are being physically regenerated) which focuses equally on the long term needs as well as the quick wins.

In parallel local authority funding which has been for so long the key source for funding community initiatives and services is reducing, and will continue to do so, at least for the foreseeable future. If we are to be in position to fund both new and existing community initiatives, the small clubs and programme of activities which enrich the community and the support initiatives that help everyone in the community we need to find a way of doing this in the future.

A community legacy trust, for me is an simple and effective way of achieving this. Considering the amount of money being invested, earmarking just a relatively small proportion of the community gain money available will enable the establishment of a community trust that could generate significant annual funds available for community investment.

If we do not do this soon, I fear the opportunity will be lost to the future detriment of the community.