Most people thought what we were doing was great, that it was needed, that it filled a gap, that it should be continued.
Lots of people walked past and didn’t stop. Lots of them looked unsure and potentially challenged by it being something a bit different. People seemed to find it easier to come in if there were already people in talking to us.
Differences between the three sessions:
The session at Dyfatty consulted mainly local residents. There was a strong focus from this session on the possibility of High Street being able to offer a sense of community – partly by providing enough variety of shops that local residents could get anything they needed on their doorstep, and this in turn creating a space that people use rather than pass through, then the more it is used, the more people will want to use it. Staff at the centre also contributed to the consultation.
The Wednesday afternoon session was the busiest, though it was summer holidays so perhaps wouldn’t have been typical of a term-time weekday.
The Saturday session included lots and lots of people who were walking down High Street having just got off the train visiting Swansea for the first time, so we gathered quite a lot of first impressions of High Street. It was notable that this consultation included the most comments about the street needing information and signposting.
What do people think of how it is now?
85% of words to describe High Street were negative
11% were neutral
6% were positive
A thesaurus of negative words for places
• Intimidating / scary
• Rough, depressing, deserted, scummy, shabby, grey, run down , dull, tacky, drab, grim
What do people want?
• Looking nice (colour, buildings attractive, green)
• Feeling safe
• Choice/variety of shops / independent shops / things to do
• Redevelopment / investment / looked after
• Busy and used and sense of community and welcoming