Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The nature and importance of community

A slightly edited version of this blog post was submitted as a statement from me to yesterdays meeting of Bristol City Council.

As a Green I'm for the common good. The idea of community is key to this, where people living close together interact and are mutually involved in local events and developments. This is a very important antidote to isolation and alienation, especially though not exclusively in cities. Community should be viewed as a necessity of everyday life, stemming from the sharing of qualities that come from rich diversity.

In every election I have contested I have advocated for strong, informed, involved, empowered, lively and resilient local communities with all the facilities and services to meet their needs. I am doing so again in my campaign to win in Bedminster this May. I'm provided with an excellent example to follow by all those involved in community action to save Faithspace, including the Green Councillors for Southville, Charlie Bolton and Steve Clarke who have:    

*Supported the campaign, which includes those in several political parties and those in no particular party, to save the Faithspace building for continued community use.

*Traced and described the history of the former Methodist church on Stackpool Road which the Methodists now intend to sell.

*Described the high strength of the Southville and Bedminster community and the key benefits this brings in people mutually supporting each other in the attempt to meet needs that exist and that arise from change (such as the shortage of nursery places).

*Indicated the importance, if the concept of community is to be applied in practice, of the availability of suitable physical spaces.

*Attained some the support from the mayor - and are seeking more.

*Appealed to the Methodists to really engage with the community and all its representatives.

John Wesley, who inspired Methodism, urged people to 'give all you can', so I hope that is what Methodists and everyone will do on working out the future of Faithspace.  

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