Merville survey under way

Merville Residents’ Association has begun a comprehensive survey of the village’s householders to determine what the community wants.

The association has spent £5,000, with half coming from the council, to employ community consulting firm Consellium to produce the survey and compile the results.

The questionnaire asks residents what they would like to see provided for them in the village’s community centre, Merville House.

The survey will also be asking for views on establishing a neighbourhood watch, litter problems around the area and other issues residents feel are important.

Over the next week members of the residents’ association will be visiting each of the 420 homes in the village to complete the questionnaires.

Residents’ association chairman David Milliken explained: “We will be asking what people would like to see provided and what they feel is important to them in Merville.

“We have a fabulous resource in Merville House and are looking at what people want from it and how best we can use it.

“We could provide IT courses for the elderly, advice centres or social courses such as book groups, gardening clubs and youth activities - it depends on what people say they want.

“We also want to establish something similar to Good Morning Newtownabbey which would call on our more elderly and vulnerable residents on a regular basis.”

He added: “We are hoping for a 70 per cent return of the survey, which may sound ambitious, but ultimately it is in everyone’s best interests to take part. Results should be available in June and they should help us to apply for funding grants for the new programmes and courses residents have said they want.”

A box will be provided in the Merville newsagent for the return of questionaires if residents miss the survey team.