Today I attended the second introductory meeting for the East Finchley Village Project. I am still not 100% certain about what the aim of the project is, and one fellow attendee thought it was "nebulous". It seems to be an effort to foster greater communication between residents, and designed to help direct people to the right place for things. In many such cases, in fact that is the job of Councillors. The examples cited were mainly social services, for which people should be encouraged to contact Colin, Alison and myself.
In my view, the most useful form of this project would be if it set up a forum for the already strong local community and voluntary groups. It could be a hub for people to share ideas, communicate, co-operate, spread news and share best practice. I suggested that they should meet all over East Finchley, and go to the "forgotten" or under used places. Make sure all of the ward is involved on a micro basis.
That might involve dropping the term "village", which if the signs are anything to go by really only seem to include the High Road. Never mind that Church Lane is the original village. I something is branded "East Finchkey", it ought to be all of East Finchley. I have always said there is more to East Finchley than just the County Roads. We should not forget Briar Close, Deansway, Manor Cottages Approach or Strawberry Vale.
It seems like this is being run by very well intentioned people, who really want to make a success of it, but I feel they lack a certain direction. They seem to want it to be all encompassing, when in reality there is a smaller but important role of residents association for voluntary and community groups which they could play.
I wish them well in their endeavours, and let's see what they can bring.