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Community groups gather for round table discussions
September 29, 2017
BY TERRY GILLIS
On Thursday morning (September 21) approximately thirty-three organizations, service groups, non-for-profits and county health and social services representatives met at the Lakefield United Church for the third or fourth Lakefield Community Round Table.
Co-facilitators Claudia Geldart and Brenda Neill were not in agreement as to whether it was the third or fourth Round Table but did agree that the informal gathering was a community building exercise.
The agenda for the 2017 Round Table included discussions based on the previous year’s issues as well as more current concerns such as the LDSS and Ridpath closures, Peterborough Public Heath services and the City of Peterborough’s Community Wellbeing Plan.
Representatives from Selwyn included Mayor Mary Smith, Manager of Parks and Rec, Mike Richardson, township staff and Lakefield Library staff.
The morning began at 9:30 a.m. with a discussion on the future of Lakefield’s schools and a conversation on the status of Lakefield and area students at TASS.
LDISS is Open Committee member Sue Bell-Gastle spoke briefly as did Julie Chatten.
Ridpath PS and it’s future also resulted in a lively and productive discussion. It was agreed that The Lakefield Community Round Table should request that KPR attend future meetings and that proposals for the use of Ridpath be considered now, rather than after the fourteen levels of government decline to purchase/make use of the school building.
Community hubs and available spaces were discussed at length as was the issue of bussing and KPR’s lack of fulfillment of their guarantees regarding Lakefield students.
Following the conversation around schools and community spaces, Janet Dawson from Peterborough Public Health discussed healthy public policy and updated the group on some of the projects she and PPH are working on.
After a short break, Nancy Fischer from the City of Peterborough talked about the city and county’s Community Wellbeing Plan. Fischer administered a shortened version of the Community Wellbeing Survey to the thirty-three participants, each of whom had a vote recorder. The survey consisted of one question for eight areas of focus.
Peterborough police talked briefly about the role of policing and mental health and commented that police are become more like psychiatrists and social workers than police. He told the group that training is changing to accommodate mental health issues in the community.
The final discussion revolved around formalizing the group and working out schedules and timetables.
Co-facilitators Claudia and Brenda requested that attendees provide feedback and suggestions for the next meeting.