St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring evolved from humble beginnings as the St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board that was set up by Leicester City Council here in St Peters, Highfields, in Leicester in the latter half of 2006.
Neighbourhood Management Boards were a national government initiative to give residents as say in the delivery of services to their communities and also a way to influence the management of their neighbourhoods.
St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring has evolved in some ways and is now similar to a neighbourhood watch as well as a tenants and residents association but has much enhanced capability in terms of information provided to local service delivery agencies that assist them in delivering services for the community and neighbourhood.
Particular emphasis is put on the use of both digital media and social media to support our work. We have become known and applauded nationally for our pioneering use of video, digital publishing and social media to combat anti social behaviour and littering as part of a continuous high profile campaign that publishes video’s of local people who litter ( litter louts ) on the neighbourhood websites as well as social media platforms such as YouTube and Flickr.
St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board – The beginning
Leicester City Council
- LCC Local Housing Management – Paresh Chandarana – St Peters Housing Manager
- LCC Local Housing Management – Kamina Rughani – LCC Team Leader
- Leicester City Council – Pushpa V Patel – NM Team
- LCC – Gerry Burke – Children’s and Young Peoples Services
- Spinney Hill Park Local Policing Unit – Inspector Nick Glynn
- Spinney Hill Park Local Policing Unit – PC Carl Hefford
- Spinney Hill Park Local Policing Unit – Dhrutee Madhani
- Spinney Hill Park Local Policing Unit – Srgt Toby Day
- Spinney Hill Park Local Policing Unit – PC Gemma Bird
Highfields Area Forum
- Tirathpal Naute
Job Centre Plus
- New Walk District Office – Marina Duckmanton
Foundation Housing Association
- Nikki Chawda
Primary Care Trust
- Local health centre – Naim Razak
Moat Community College
- Moat Community College – Steve Dowell
- Moat Community College – Student Council
Voluntary Action Leicester
- Simon Jenner
- Various local residents
The board met every 8 weeks usually at Moat Community College Library with fully set agenda’s and minuted meetings. After the 2nd meeting the board elected a chairman from amongst the residents.
Pioneered use of CCTV within city neighbourhoods to deal with fly tipping.
During its time, the residents of the neighbourhood management board put forth ideas that lead to the use of CCTV to identify fly tippers as well as getting the local housing office to implement changes in relation to waste management that saw the frequent piles of rubbish at the entrances to the multi occupancy buildings here in our neighbourhood disappear overnight.
Waste mismanagement was one of the single biggest issues along with litter blighting the Highfields area and St Peters neighbourhood.
Pioneered use of Website and Digital Media
St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board residents created a resident run website after the very first meeting and used it to publish articles about the neighbourhood in particular articles about neighbourhood housing & estate management issues.
This naturally proved unpopular with Leicester City Council but residents felt it important to use its publicity power as a driver for change.
The chairman of the St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board recognised the power of web publishing and leverage to be gained from highlighting issues using digital and social media and advocated its use at meetings with the leaders of Leicester’s other Neighbourhood Management Boards asking them “Where is your power without website, without digital and social media use what leverage do you have?”
Neighbourhood Management in St Peters Destroyed by Politics
However, for political reasons in March 2008 the labour lead Leicester City Council shut down the St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board choosing to use the Spinney Hills Ward ‘community meetings’ instead as a way to involve residents.
The resident chairman was in agreement that it should close, saying that “It does not matter under what name it is that Leicester City Council does not listen to residents when it is not listening to them”.
Chair of St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board, also a resident felt throughout the time the St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board was functioning that too often still Leicester City Council did not listen to the wishes of the residents on the board. Examples of this were in connection to the management of waste at the front of the 18 floor apartment buildings as well as cleaning and ground maintenance.
St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring – Purpose
It was at this point that residents reformed as St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring to act neighbourhood monitors, monitoring all issues within the neighbourhood as well as providing a voice for improvement and change.
This evolution enabled residents to cast aside the failing aspects of neighbourhood management and move forward with the successful best practices that were created.
Achievements and success – A solid track record.
Some of the most positive changes were in relation to issues of appearance as well as management of the neighbourhood were achieved by neighbourhood management in St Peters. In fact St Peters became exporters of best practice to the rest of the neighbourhoods in Leicester.