Monday, 22 February 2010

First there was CCTV, now there's... Grahame Park TV

Through illness I failed to venture out today to catch the launch of Grahame Park TV (GPTV). This possibly well-meaning venture was advertised on the website, which, as far as I can see, exists mainly to pass on councils' own 'good news' stories.

Grahame Park TV (or GPTV for short) will start broadcasting from a large screen in The Concourse on Monday (February 22), with short films, messages from landlord Barnet Homes and partner organisations, and general information on what’s going on in the area.

It is the first time that a British social landlord has introduced its own dedicated television facility for tenants and leaseholders.

GPTV will give residents on Grahame Park the chance to appear on screen, whether it’s to wish someone happy birthday, tell a joke, show off their musical skills or give their views on the future for Grahame Park.

Meanwhile, throughout the six month campaign key messages will be automatically sent to residents’ mobile phones in The Concourse through Bluetooth technology.

Barnet Homes, which manages around 1,700 properties on the estate, set up the six month project with the aim of raising residents’ awareness of the wide range of support and activities available in the area.

Barnet Homes Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, said: “The way in which our residents are communicating is changing, and it is up to social landlords to embrace that change. In particular, we have to look at new ways of engaging with young people on our estates.

“We know there are a significant number of residents on Grahame Park who are unlikely to read our newsletters or information sent to them in the post. As a result they’re missing out on a whole range of services and activities, and that can sometimes give rise to issues such as unemployment and antisocial behaviour.

“We hope that GPTV will help to bridge this gap. There’ll be clear messages and information both on the television screen itself and sent through to people’s mobile phones. I hope residents will engage with the project, and that it will help us in our efforts to make Grahame Park a place where people feel proud to live.”
Well-meaning, perhaps, but I can't help feeling the money would have been better spent. Plus, it sounds a bit, erm, Big Brother-ish.

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