Richmond.gov.uk

Join the Community Conversation

Have you got something to say about where you live? We want to hear your views about your local area, what matters to you and your ideas about the future.

The Community Conversation

The Community Conversation is the Council's engagement programme. It gives residents and businesses an opportunity to meet their local ward councillors via borough wide events and have their say on what matters to them locally and specific issues via a series of themed discussions. 

If you have any ideas about how we can reach residents who want to have a say online, using social media or by alternative methods. Please let us know by emailing communityconversations@richmond.gov.uk.

2021 ward events

The last programme of community conversations ran online from June to October 2021. 

This programme was a series of dedicated discussions on the Future of our high streets and town centres.

Residents were invited to join the Council and have their say on the future of their local high street or town centre, sharing their vision and ideas in a series of virtual community engagement events, as well as to put questions to their local councillors about other key issues.

Ahead of the events we took to the streets around the borough, to see what people think. Watch the video on YouTube.

Summary of feedback from the events

Identity of the high street:

  • Overall residents and businesses are positive about their local centres and would like to see them thrive. Some admitted to not shopping locally, citing online shopping as the reason, or else they shop where they work.
  • High Streets as unique offerings are important and there is a desire to see creative planning, that serve local needs - should not be homogenous and dominated by the same brands
  • Vacancies on the high streets were noted and there is a desire to avoid further closures and to repurpose existing vacant premises.
  • Independent businesses are seen as important to the High Street and a number of shops and restaurants were named that are greatly loved and appreciated by the community.
  • Placemaking is seen as important and there is a desire for public realm changes to emphasise this where possible.

Full range of shops and services for locals:

  • Loss of key services (banks, post offices etc) are noted and seen as detrimental to an area – in some areas all banks have vacated.
  • Small businesses and start-ups need to be supported, encouraged, and incentivised
  • Sustainable options are seen as important and the way forward, such as zero-waste or repair shops. High Streets that encourage the circular economy and sustainable futures.
  • In some areas a need for greater variety and bigger choice of restaurants were identified.

Flexible community spaces:

  • Riverside space should be well utilised for providing community meeting points and al-fresco dining.
  • A good balance between pedestrianised spaces and travel routes is seen as important.
  • Spaces should be used flexibly to provide places for interest groups, classes and hybrid working
  • 'Green and Clean' high streets are a priority.

Activity hubs:

  • Local events are important and people would like to see more of them; easily accessible and well promoted, cultural events held regularly, such as art trails, community exhibitions, live music, summer fairs and festivals. It should be made easier to organise events / navigate regulations and requirements.
  • Markets and farmers markets that are regular and have a lot on offer are popular and there is a desire to have more of them more often.
  • Provision of activities and facilities for children were mentioned.

Connected and accessible:

  • Streets and roads- should not be congested and dominated by traffic or clutter. However, access by car remains important for people with fewer alternative travel options, and despite demand for less congestion, more parking was often also requested.
  • Parking spaces, EV points and bike storage areas should be installed where needed, with clear signposting
  • Street, shops, and services should be easily accessible for the elderly and disabled
  • A connected borough - easy to travel between town centres without driving should be a priority.
  • Digital solutions should be used creatively to support town centres

Visitor economy:

  • Visitor economy is important, especially to businesses in some areas and sectors and play an important role in helping to keep businesses open and available to local people.
  • Some popular areas of the borough were subject to intensive use during the pandemic and a feeling that this could be better managed
  • Customer service in businesses seen as key to winning customers back from online shopping
  • Areas, events, places should be promoted locally and further afield.

Minutes and videos from the 2021 events

2021 virtual sessions
Area Date Videos

North Richmond and South Richmond

Wednesday 23 June 2021 

Read minutes for 23 June (pdf, 135 KB)

 

Watch the video (23 June 2021, YouTube)

Kew

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Read minutes for 6 July (pdf, 177 KB)

 

Watch the video (6 July 2021, YouTube)

Teddington, Hampton Wick, Fulwell and Hampton Hill

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Read minutes for 14 July (pdf, 349 KB)

Watch the video (14 July 2021, YouTube)

East Sheen, Mortlake and Barnes Common

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Read minutes for 20 July (pdf, 161 KB)

Watch the video (20 July 2021, YouTube)

Hampton and Hampton North

Wednesday 15 September 2021, 6.30pm

Read minutes for 15 September (pdf, 153 KB)

Watch the video (15 September 2021, YouTube)

Barnes

Thursday 23 September 2021, 6.30pm

Read minutes for 23 September (pdf, 176 KB)

Watch the video (23 September 2021, YouTube)

Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside

Thursday 30 September 2021, 6.30pm

Read minutes for 30 September (pdf, 176 KB)

Watch the video (30 September 2021, YouTube)

West Twickenham and South Twickenham

Tuesday 5 October 2021, 6.30pm

Read minutes for 5 October (pdf, 234 KB)

Watch the video (5 October 2021, YouTube)

Whitton and Heathfield

Wednesday 6 October 2021, 6.30pm

Read minutes for 6 October (pdf, 199 KB)

Watch the video (6 October 2021, YouTube)

Twickenham Riverside, St Margarets and North Twickenham

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Read minutes for 13 October (pdf, 281 KB)

Watch the video (13 October 2021, YouTube)

The Local Plan - Community Conversations 2021 (pdf, 994 KB)

Previous events

See the 2019 Community Conversation minutes and videos

See the 2020 Community Conversation minutes and videos

Themed events

The themed Community Conversations continue in 2021 where we bring together a panel of professionals to offer guidance and information on each theme, followed by a discussion with attendees focusing on problems and solutions.

These events will include such themes as:

  • Reinvigorating the high street
  • LGBTQ+ provision in the borough
  • Domestic abuse
  • Support for unpaid carers

Further information 

For more details contact us by email at communityconversations@richmond.gov.uk

Updated: 18 January 2022

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