a brief history
In 1995 MNA was awarded a grant from the Royal Institute for British Architects which resulted in the Methleys Neighbourhood Millennium Plan. The report, drawn up by architect Eddy Walker after extensive consultation including the first "On the Streets" Festival - suggests ways of improving the neighbourhood focussing on the four main issues identified by residents - traffic, play, environment and crime.
1996 was the year that we turfed Methley Terrace. A creative approach to solving our own problems has always been at the heart of the MNA approach. Turfing the street served two purposes; to have fun and celebrate all the good things about the Methleys as well as a practical consultation exercise - "what if the Terrace wasn't just a street for cars anymore?". There is no doubt we had a good time, it's something most of us will never forget, and the enormous amount of publicity made everyone feel proud.
In 1997, 'On the Streets' developed from one weekend in August to every weekend in August (and more in-between). Children from the Methleys got a solicitor to represent them in sorting out the technical legalities in making the neighbourhood into a Home Zone and went down to the House of Commons to launch the national "Home Zone Initiative". The Methleys started getting real political support - from the leader of the Council to our new MP, Fabian Hamilton. Plans were drawn up for the re-development of the Methleys streets by Council Officers working directly from our own Neighbourhood Plan and we did something very practical - renovated and re-planted the shrubbery at the top of Potternewton Gardens.
1998 saw the Methleys' very own 'Screen on the Wall' go mega! Not only was the main feature "The Full Monty" but children and adults worked for two weeks making their own short films - eight of them in all ranging from the 'Methley Terrors' to Sonia's Walk. And with a Murder Mystery that included live action as well as film - it was a night to remember! It was also the year that Pessimistic Peg had her first column in the MNA newsletter:
Hmmm - Pessimistic Peg - always the one with her finger on the pulse...!
1999 was a year of ups and downs. Following stiff opposition from some residents to plans for a Community Garden at the top of Methley Terrace, the Countryside Commission, who had provisionally agreed funding through its Millennium Greens programme, pulled the plug and the garden was not to be.
Siobhan Hodson went to see some real Home Zones in the Netherlands and Germany as part of an official tour organised by Transport 2000 and the Children's Play Council. The video made during the trip "At Home in My Street" is available from the Children's Play Council direct.
Shortly afterwards the Government announced their pilot Home Zone programme and the Methleys was included as one of the nine pilot neighbourhoods.
|2000||2000 has seen the development of the plans for a Home Zone. Methleys Neighbourhood Action has been working closely with officers at Leeds City Council and there has been extensive consultation within the neighbourhood showing a whopping 79% in favour of creating a Home Zone. The major summer event was "Methleys Festival Radio" - two weeks of community radio broadcasting from the centre of Chapel Allerton (well the stationery cupboard of estate agents, Henderson Jones!).|
|2001||The year the Methleys became a Home Zone. The end of the formal consultation and the start of the works to change the nature of Methley Drive forever and to create the new Home Zone identity.|
The Home Zone is officially launched on MayDay