THE head of Bournemouth Council is urging people from a deprived area to come to a regeneration meeting.

Chief executive Pam Donnellan will be at Boscombe’s Kings Park School in Ashley Road from 10.30am this Saturday.

The council is trying get people involved with a new effort to improve Boscombe – especially the housing.

Boscombe Central was last autumn named the most deprived area in the whole south west, and relative deprivation levels there have actually been getting worse.

Mrs Donnellan told the Echo: “We are trying to focus quite quickly on some of the issues around housing – we see that as a catalyst for change.

“Because the housing around central Boscombe is in many cases of a poor quality, it’s not encouraging young families to stay in the area.”

Saturday’s event will not be a normal public meeting with an audience.

Instead, there will information stands from council departments such as housing and environmental health, and stands from charities and other bodies that work in the area, like the NHS.

The strategic report issued last autumn identified many problems, not just housing. One third of all Bournemouth’s drug and alcohol addicts live in Boscombe and Springbourne, and unemployment is 7.7 per cent – double Bournemouth’s average.

The meeting’s aim is to get people on board with ongoing and future regeneration plans.

Mrs Donnellan said: “I have lived in Boscombe for 10 years and I have seen some attempts at trying to involve the community succeed – I have seen some attempts fail.”

At the meeting you can also find out more about the Community Land Trust, which is going to develop the former Boscombe Centre for Community Arts in Haviland Road into affordable housing.