Residents in Jaywick Sands are being offered the chance to set up a new community owned organisation to help improve people’s lives.
An offer of up to £10,000 in grant funding is on the table to assist get the organisation up and running.
The offer has been made by Developing and Empowering Resources in Communities (DERiC), a not for profit company, which has been meeting and talking with people in the area since the summer.
Ritchard Brazil from DERiC attended Jaywick Forum’s annual meeting yesterday to explain the way forward – should people choose to take it.
“People in Jaywick Sands have different priorities and interests – but everyone wants things to improve,” he said. “We believe that communities can and should have real control over the things that matter to them and we want to see this happen in Jaywick Sands.
“Communities that speak with a common voice get heard more easily and those that act together can achieve real change to make people’s lives better.”
Membership of the new organisation would be open to all residents; it could apply for grants and social investment for social enterprises, businesses, voluntary and community activities.
Mr Brazil said that an example of what many said was needed was a supermarket due to the cost of having to travel in Clacton to shop.
“The new organisation could set up a partnership with a major supermarket to develop a community owned shop if that is what is wanted,” he added.
“This is not about replacing any group or organisation that exists in Jaywick Sands already, but adding to them.”
Mr Brazil estimated it would seek the backing of around 70 percent of residents who would each have a share in it of anything from 1p up to £1.
“What you do is up to you to decide,” he added. “The organisation – if set up – could attract significant resources that will help the regeneration that is starting to take shape.”
Those interested in being involved put their names forward and a plan will be drawn up to put before a further meeting on February 28, 2018. Anyone else wanting to be part of the process should contact Alison Gibbs ( Alison.Gibbs@essex.gov.uk ).
“Nothing has been decided as yet but by that date the money can be in the bank with ideas to move forward with,” said Mr Brazil.
He promised that if it goes ahead DERiC would not walk away but would be there for the long term to work with the residents.
Paul Honeywood, Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Cabinet Member for Jaywick Sands, attended the meeting.
“There is certainly potential in the idea and it is now down to the people to decide if, and how, they want to progress,” he said.
“The initiative has been a success in other parts of the country and DERiC has a track record for helping to bring about change.”
It has already operated in Belfast, Bristol, Gosport, Medway, Leeds and Sandwell over the past six years.