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Mapping the future of Tonbridge

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Mapping the future of Tonbridge

Posted: 02/03/2008 01:38:24

Young people in Tonbridge have been given a giant task - to make a huge 3D map of their town.

They are creating a big 3D jigsaw model of the town and surrounding villages, as they see it, using more than 100 ceiling tile size pieces. Kent County Council (KCC) commissioned the project, which is the one of the largest and most exciting Planning for Real exercises in the country.

Students from 21 schools and colleges in Tonbridge are involved adding 3D models of major buildings and other landmarks to the pieces of the map surrounding their school. While doing this, they have been suggesting what needs to be done to improve their neighbourhood and what services would make a difference to their lives.

From 4 to 6 March all the pieces will be on display at The River Centre in Tonbridge, creating an extremely detailed and large map. During the three days, children and young people from schools, their parents/carers and representatives from public, private and voluntary organisations will come along to share their ideas, concerns and aspirations for their community by pinning comment cards to the model.

On 5 March from 5.30pm to 7pm there will be an open evening for parents/carers and the local community to come along and have an input into the priorities for the future of their community.

All the information from the model making and the exhibition will be used to build up a Local Children and Young People Plan for Tonbridge, which Kent County Council is co-ordinating.
KCC Cabinet Member for Education Operations, Resources and Sk
ills Mark Dance said:"This is a fantastic way of engaging the community, especially on the scale we've gone for in Tonbridge. In an age where the computer is king it is fascinating to see the enjoyment that young people have had recreating the area they live and go to school in.
"By getting students involved in such an interactive way, they have taken ownership of the project and been very open about their needs and wants for their community."

A pupil forum and a parents/carers forum will support the Local Children and Young People Plan in the future, which will become the blueprint for setting the priorities for local children's services working in partnership across the Tonbridge area.

Mr Dance added:"I believe this Planning for Real exercise will help bring about a real sense of community and focus on the needs of children and young people. It also creates an excellent platform from which to launch the Local Children's Services Partnership Trusts this September, with a relationship and trust already in place between all the agencies and the local community."

Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation consultant Sheena Field said:"Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation, the owners of Planning for Real, have been very impressed by the investment that KCC and the schools in Tonbridge have made, and by their commitment to really listen to the views and feelings of young people in the area.

"This is one of the largest young people's consultation projects that we have delivered and one of the most exciting - this project should be a national showcase of how to create a meaningful plan for the delivery of young people's services."


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