Standing up against rising knife crime in Milton Keynes is one woman’s reason for supporting the much-needed regeneration of her estate.
Heather Jones is vice-chairman of the Fullers Slade Regeneration Steering Group, and she is urging other residents to make a stand and get involved in their community.
“I don’t want to move on again,” she said on Friday at the first regeneration drop-in sessions, at the Rowans Centre in Moorcroft. “I am making a stand.”
Her story is published on leaflets and posters, and is used as a way of encouraging other residents of the estate to get involved. Such is her passion for her community, she has been approached to consider standing for election.
She had left London because of the rising gun, and knife crime, and violence, and moved around, until she found herself on Fullers Slade. “I found my place. A home, a community, a place to live and breathe.”
But since she arrived more than a decade ago, she has noticed things start to change. “Knife crime is on the rise, break-ins, houses deteriorating, vandalism, and fly tipping.”
So her decision was whether to move on or to fight back – and she has decided to fight for the area which she calls home: “Regeneration not just for me, but for my community, our future generations.”
Heather has committed herself to attend community events, including Friday’s drop-in, where she was fielding questions from her neighbours on the estate. She says she’s gained so much confidence that she’s able to speak at meetings to such an extent that “they can’t shut me up!”
“It’s a hard slog but I plod on as I know that Fullers can once again be the place that people choose to live in. An estate to be proud of, to call home, a community that welcomes new and old to join in.”
Residents in Fullers Slade are being asked to vote on three options for their estate, ranging from no regeneration, to two options that promise new and refurbished homes. They will be voting on Friday, November 29, and Saturday, November 30. The result will be announced on the Saturday.
The Regeneration Steering Group does not have a preferred option but is encouraging people to get involved in the ballot.
Up until the ballot there will be a 11 drop-in sessions at the Rowans Family Centre. The first two took place on Friday and Saturday, with the next one on Wednesday, October 30.