A community stalwart has spoken of her pride at everything she has achieved in her five years helping to lead a successful residents’ group.
Irene Thomson will step down as secretary of the Lowton Neighbourhood Development Forum (Lendf) at the organisation’s AGM in April and says she is sad to be leaving.
It seems that Lowton is in the middle of all sorts of big issues. Everything that surrounds us has an impact here.Irene Thomson
In her time with Lendf the group has become extremely active expressing residents’ concerns about issues including massive housebuilding projects, the HS2 railway line and the loss of greenbelt land.
Irene, 54, is stepping back from Lendf as she is doing increased hours in her day job and for family reasons as well as running a hedgehog rescue facility at her home.
She said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it ever since I was asked if I would like to get involved.
“We’ve been invited to various meetings with the council, worked with Leigh MP Andy Burnham and built up good relationships with councillors. Those types of things are key for a community group.
“We’ve also been able to have a good relationship and communication with the HS2 organisation and we have been heard.
“We’ve also had to reach out to other community groups in Warrington borough on that, and now we’re working with St Helens on their local plan for development at Parkside.
“It seems that Lowton is in the middle of all sorts of big issues. Everything that surrounds us has an impact here.
“It’s been very wide-ranging and very interesting at every stage.”
Although Lendf has perhaps grabbed most headlines for its work representing residents affected by major infrastructure projects Irene says some of the most satisfying work has been putting on activities for young children and for elderly people.
She will continue to attend meetings and is happy for her successor on the committee to ask her advice or for residents to discuss local issues with her.
Irene will carry on her work with Leigh Deaf Club and, ironically, will continue to pursue some of Lendf’s interests in her professional work as she is the office manager for a consultancy firm working on regeneration and development projects.
However, she stresses that she has never found herself opposing one of her company’s projects. Irene will step down at Lendf’s AGM in April and the group is looking for new committee members.
To find out more, visit www.lendf.co.uk