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Waterloo gears up for community regeneration trust elections

The Waterloo Community Regeneration Trust is gearing up for its second set of elections to its board.

In June 2003 the Waterloo Community Regeneration Trust (WCRT) will have existed for two years, so the time has come to elect a new committee. The trust is looking for people interested in getting involved.

Waterloo residents should have received a letter in mid-April inviting them to consider becoming a candidate for the board.

The WCRT was set up in 2001 to ensure that people living in Waterloo benefit from the regeneration money that has been provided for the Waterloo area up to 2007.

The map below shows the WCRT area of benefit.

WCRT map

Up to 2007 the WCRT will be responsible for distributing some 4.5 million to projects that make Waterloo a stronger community and an even nicer place in which to live. Grants to community groups range from a few hundred pounds to a quarter of a million pounds.

Some of the 48 projects already supported include a major new Waterloo Youth Forum, run by young people themselves, dance workshops for the over 50s in Waterloo, sporting equipment for Archbishop's Park, a minibus for the London Nautical School and St John's Waterloo, repairs and improvements to the community facilities at the Waterloo Action Centre and a project worker for the Waterloo Millennium Green and Play Space.

The WCRT has four main priorities: it encourages and supports projects that strengthen and develop community and voluntary organisations, invest in new or improved community facilities, improve the local environment and tackle barriers to employment.

The WCRT is run as an independent organisation by a committee of Waterloo residents and two local councillors from Lambeth Bishop's Ward and Southwark's Cathedrals Ward. Nine members of the committee are publicly elected and eight are selected from local community organisations. There are three paid staff to manage the work of WCRT on a day-to-day basis.

The main role of WCRT board members is to ensure that the WCRT grants programme best meets the needs of the Waterloo community, that funds are spent well and that projects deliver the results promised.

The main board meets some 6-8 times a year, and takes decisions about funding applications, as well as about the overall direction of the funding programme and the operation of the organisation.

Board members are expected to attend the main board meetings and also be members of one or more sub-groups which meet as necessary to oversee particular aspects of the WCRT's work such as project assessment and monitoring.

The WCRT is divided into three areas of residence (1,2 & 3 – see map above) for the election, so that candidates are elected from right across the area. The aim is to reflect residential densities and so to elect four people from Area 3, three from Area 2 and two from Area 1. The hope is that board members will help us to establish strong links with communities in their electoral zone and to ensure that issues of local concern are voiced. At the same time they should act as a representative for community interests across Waterloo.

The WCRT is part of a much larger 19 million regeneration programme for Waterloo run by another organisation called the Waterloo Project Board, in which our local MPs, councillors, major businesses in the area and WCRT representatives are involved. We want to ensure that the WCRT can genuinely speak for the whole community.

Residents of the WCRT area who are on the electoral roll and have not opted out of communications from third parties should already have received a nomination form. The closing date for nominations is 15 May 2003.

If you're interested in standing for election but you want to learn more about what is involved, there will be an information evening at Chaplin Close Tenants Room, Chaplin Close, (off Boundary Row) on Wednesday 7 May at 6.30pm.

After nominations have closed there will be a postal ballot, inviting all residents of the area as listed in the edited electoral register to vote for candidates in their area of residence. The closing date for voting will be June 30th and the new Board should be in place by mid July. If, by chance, the number of candidates in any area is the same as or less than the number of places to be filled, they will be 'elected' automatically.

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