Areas of work
In 2015, flooding led to the collapse of Tadcaster Bridge – the main road link between the east and west of the town.
This physical break between the two halves of Tadcaster made existing socioeconomic disparity more prominent, with the west more materially privileged than the east.
However, the regeneration and rebuilding process has gone some way to the healing this divide, as the community has come together and recognised the unique skills possessed on both sides of the River Wharfe.
Tadcaster & Rural see their role as driving forward ideas that come from the community and can be then delivered in and by the community, and have been involved in a number of community projects prior to, and following, the flood.
The organisation has supported three local parish councils in their neighbourhood planning process. Appleton and Roebuck received approval for their neighbourhood plan at local referendum in November 2017, while Ulleskelf and Church Fenton are midway through the process.
Throughout, Tadcaster and Rural have helped to ensure that all members of communities affected by the plans are involved in decision-making.
One example of this is the work Tadcaster & Rural did to recruit younger people to the neighbourhood planning committee. At a sixth form information evening, their CEO David Gluck spoke about the value of having such experience on one’s CV. Two 17 year-olds subsequently signed-up, and both continue to play an active role on their local committee.
Tadcaster & Rural also see their role providing the community with unmediated information as an important aspect of community empowerment. They edit and produce the community magazine, Tadcaster Today, which includes quarterly updates on all that is going on locally and the ways in which people can get involved.
The Trustee Board at Tadcaster & Rural is made up of local people, and this goes some way to providing the organisation with legitimacy in the local area. However, direct engagement on specific projects – and the involvement of new groups according to the project – is the process local people cite as that which gives the group its true community legitimacy.
In addition, the ad-hoc role Tadcaster & Rural plays in acting as a link between the community and town and county councils is recognised as important in providing an alternative, non-political, voice for local people.