Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Final four chosen for Watford's Big Idea competition
Four final entries in the Watford’s Big Idea competition have been announced and now it is over to residents in the town to decide which one they want to see put into action.
Voters can chose to back plans for a new Watford film festival, a Watford Pass that would provide discounts from local businesses, a project to spruce up community and green spaces in the town and a community day, to boost volunteering.
More than 100 ideas were entered for the competition with entrants proposing everything from re-routing the town’s ring road to turning all Watford’s car parks into orchards.
The London Olympics also clearly influenced the ideas that came in with many residents calling for new sports facilities in the town.
The final ideas were whittled down by a panel of judges including Watford Observer group editor Peter Wilson-Leary, Roger Gagan, the chief executive of the Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce and businessman Larry Rach.
Following a public vote, the winner will work with Watford’s MP Richard Harrington to make their idea become a reality.
Mr Harrington said: "I was overwhelmed by the number of competition entries that we received over the summer.
"All the ideas showed a great deal of creativity and thought, and I was really impressed by the time and effort people had put into thinking about ways they can help their community.
"I hope even more people will get involved with this final voting stage of the competition to have a say in what new idea they want for Watford.
"I’m really looking forward to working with the winner to make their idea a reality, for the benefit of the whole town."
Everyone in Watford is invited to pick their favourite idea by voting from tomorrow on the Watford Observer website, via Richard Harrington’s website - www.richardharrington.org.uk - emailing email@example.com or tweeting @watfordsbigidea with their preferred idea.
Voting will close on Friday, October 19, and the final winner of the £1,000 cash prize will be announced in the Watford Observer the week after.
The final four.
The Watford Film Festival. Entered by Roger Faires and Kenji Lloyd:
An annual Watford Film Festival with a variety of screenings and events taking place across different venues across the town.
The Film Festival would be a chance to celebrate the local film industry and bring the community together in a range of events for people of all ages. Celebrations would include film screenings in different arts venues, competitions and themed events for local schools, charities and organisations.
The festival would also build on the momentum of Watford’s growing film industry, attract new people to visit and put Watford on the map.
The Watford Pass. Entered by Laurie Bernard:
A new scheme to promote all the sights and facilities Watford has to offer and to provide discounts on visits to local attractions and advertise community spaces.
The Watford Pass would be an incentive for tourists to visit and stay in the town, and something local people could benefit from too, offering deals on entry to attractions, restaurants etc and information about events.
There are loads of great things to do in Watford and the Watford Pass would help identify these and encourage people to visit, boosting local organisations, giving residents something to do and increasing tourism.
Watford Green Spaces. Entered by Sophie Benger:
An interactive project to highlight community spaces, encourage local people to help improve them and then enjoy them.
The project would mean people can publicise any space near them that might need some work, e.g. littered green space, and invite local individuals groups or schools to work together to improve the area, which can then be enjoyed by everyone. The project would also show success stories and suggest new ways to make the most of these spaces.
This idea will bring the community together to help their area and make it a more attractive and bring pride back to areas that have otherwise been ignored.
Watford Community Day. Entered by Rachael Townley:
An annual community project day where everyone in Watford is encouraged to volunteer for the day across a wide variety of community projects.
For one day, or weekend, the whole town is invited to help its local area and charities by taking part in conservation activities, improving the look of the neighbourhood or giving time to local charities.
Charities and neighbourhood groups will be able to suggest tasks they need help with and Watford residents, groups and businesses will be able to pledge their support.
The Community Day would be a chance for people who may not always have the time to volunteer on a regular basis and would encourage people to give back to their community as they work together.