Communities ministers visit riot-hit towns to see progress 6 months on.
Ministers have visited more towns that were badly affected by the riots to meet the local people, traders and council workers getting their communities back on track.
Following the Secretary of State Eric Pickles visit to Tottenham last week, Local Government Minister Bob Neill visited Woolwich and Communities Minister Andrew Stunell headed to Manchester and Salford.
Following the riots the government acted quickly to make available a multi-million pound package of support to enable councils to act swiftly and confidently to restore communities and get support to local people and businesses.
Mr Neill returned to Woolwich to see first hand how the community is using the support available to restore, rebuild and improve the town centre. He was first there in the immediate aftermath of the riots.
Calling into local businesses, Mr Neill talked to traders about the impact of the riots and how the community rallied round to help get them get back on their feet.
Local council leader Chris Roberts and Chief Executive Mary Ney accompanied the minister. The council set up the Greenwich Backing Local Business fund and opened a special advice surgery for more than 60 businesses to drop in to get expert advice and support.
Communities Minister Bob Neill said:
“The picture here in Woolwich is very different to the 1 I saw in the immediate aftermath of the riots. Despite the attempts of a few to wreak havoc, the community in Woolwich have pulled together to restore their town.
“The progress well underway in Woolwich is symbolic of a community that is proud of their local area, their local businesses and determined to see their town thrive.”
Manchester and Salford
Meeting local people, traders and council workers in Manchester and Salford, Communities Minister Andrew Stunell praised the energetic way communities came together in the aftermath of the riots and pointed to the true examples of community spirit in action.
Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said:
“Whilst the actions of a small minority determined on causing destruction caught our attention for a moment, it is the examples of true community spirit that will endure; the ‘broom armies’, the campaigns to support local businesses, the messages of pride in the area posted on shop fronts.
“It’s been great to meet the people that paint the real picture of community life in Manchester and Salford and see that recovery and progress is well underway.”
Mr Stunell also met with council leaders in both areas to discuss the impact of the riots and the support improvement in the areas. An I love Salford campaign was launched to build up the community spirit and invite people to show their support for their area by shopping locally and wearing campaign badges. In Manchester a campaign group called ‘Eye on Manchester’ rallied support from locals to help in the clean up.