Feburary saw an upturn in content on Blog Preston due to an influx of new writers as well as several significant announcements.Advertisement
We started the month of with Glover’s Court being wrongly named as the most crime-ridden street in England, after the new Police.uk government database incorrectly listed crimes happening all over the town centre as having happened on a single road. Hopefully the foul up won’t have too much of an effect on Preston’s reputation, but one thing that certainly will affect it is the future of the University of Central Lancashire.
The University is a significant contributor to the local economy as the single largest employer, and in our article entitled Cuts ‘Cyclone’ could blow university away, UCLan Vice Chancellor Malcolm McVicar ominously warned that ‘no one is coming to save us’. Future university cuts will not only affect local students but pubs and town centre shops as well.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, there were several announcements and developments that were more positive. In a comment piece, Liberal Democrat John Potter called for Preston Council to be more open and accountable, wanting to give residents more of a say in future planning. Andy Halls reported live from City Hall for Preston Council’s Budget announcement, hopefully showing signs of a council that will let the public report and document what happens at major meetings in future.
Apart from reporting about other announcements, we also had a few of our own to make. February was when we found out that we’d been successful in our joint bid with Prescap in applying for NESTA’s Neighbourhood Challenge, meaning that we will be awarded funding over the next year to train community journalists in several neighbourhoods. The first Preston Social also went ahead at the New Continental, hopefully an event that will continue to be successful in the future as a place for people to discuss and learn about social media in Preston.
The final theme that several of our articles followed was starting something new. Lisa McManus wrote an excellent two part series about the joys and pitfalls of setting up a small business, speaking to several in the know and offering a brilliant guide to getting started. We also spoke to the head of the New Victoria Cinema Action Group, a campaign to buy back the old Odeon cinema in town, refurbish it and return it to its former incarnation as a film and arts hub. Finally, I paid a visit to Beautiful Planet, a green co-operative cafe that opened in February with a view to promoting a community space and green issues, the video of which you can see below.
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