Yesterday, we had the TV cameras on our estate, filming a snippet for 'People's Millions' on ITV. Two community projects will go head-to-head for the viewers' vote, and the winner will get £50k to make their project a reality.
Our estate has fought a long, hard struggle against private developers and for improvements to our homes. We fought off an attempt by the Council to transfer us to a new landlord, and demanded action against serious disrepair. Meanwhile, we have also worked hard to establish a youth club, toddler group, and a gardening club.
The gardening club brings together residents of all ages in a monthly day out digging, planting, weeding, mulching, watering, and generally making sad patches of land into urban oases. The project that it is asking TV viewers to vote for is to develop the green space in the middle of our estate, with borders, trees, benches, a kickabout area, lighting, and disabled access. It will become a focal point for the community, enabling people to socialise and mix in a relaxed atmosphere.
It will also make it much harder for the Council to go ahead with any new scheme to demolish the estate and let private developers build expensive apartment blocks in its place.
Of course, the government and local Councils should fund projects like this, so that our residents do not have to hold out our hands to TV viewers, or compete against another deserving community project. (What if government ministers had to go on TV to win their millions? "Vote A if you want it to go to hospitals, Vote B if you want it spent on missiles" - what do you reckon would win?!)
It might be pushing it to argue that our estate is the socialist candidate for 'People's Millions', but I still hope we win, and I hope that you the humble blog reader will take the trouble to vote for us.
People's Millions, ITV (London region), 6pm, Wednesday 2nd November
Vote for Project L!!