WE need your help to improve Shirley and Freemantle.

That is the rallying call from community leaders in Southampton as a new government pilot scheme is launched in the city today.

The Shirley and Freemantle Network is part of a wider £4m Government plan called the ‘Our Place programme’.

It calls on communities to get together to take the lead on tackling issues by bringing agencies and people to share resources in the area.

Heavily involved in the scheme is Cabinet Member for communities and Shirley councillor Satvir Kaur.

She said: “This is an opportunity for people in Shirley and Freemantle to get involved in their area and help make the changes and improvements they want to see “This is the first scheme of its kind in Southampton and gives people an opportunity to set the agenda.”

Dorota Goble is improvement manager for Southampton City Council, and she will initially be managing the network.

She said: “We are really hoping the Freemantle and Shirley network will be something led by the community groups, businesses and residents in the area.

“We want them to have their say on what Shirley and Freemantle needs and the future of it.”

Across the country more than 100 neighbourhood projects are part of the scheme which is in partnership with the Local Government Association.

With the Our Place programme, each community will get more powers to get involved in their area by having community rights which are contained within the localism act These include the right to bid, build, challenge and set up a vision for the area – and apply for grants.

Find out more at the launch night at the Salvation Army Hall in Victor Street tonight from 6.30pm to 9pm. To book email admin@twics.org.uk or call 023 8067 1111