A couple more whole-neighbourhood (or rather whole-ward!) meetings are planned for mid-September, developing out of the very lively meeting that was held in July in Albert Road Rec on the topic Our Community beyond Covid: where do we go from here? Our excellent facilitator, local resident Alex Papworth, has already given a detailed account of his experience of the event, so I will just summarise it briefly here.
About 35 people came along – despite the rather short notice – and split up into groups of about 5 for much of the 1.5 hour session (with occasional feedback of conclusions to the whole meeting), sandwiched between some great music from Sarah at beginning and end. Sarah – who gave us some very good advice about running the event – also very skilfully ran a concurrent zoom session from her phone!
We discussed good and bad experiences of lockdown, and what we have learned from them and would like to take forward. Three topics emerged:
- social justice (in particular the exacerbation of pre-existing inequalities during lockdown)
- community connectedness
- quieter streets
We re-grouped to focus on these topics (it was noted that this re-organisation could have been managed better, that one at least of the groups was too large, and the Zoom group was rather left out). We did not get as far as suggesting further actions except on one point put forward by the Re-connecting Community group to Cllr Alessandra Rossetti in the Zoom group – asking her if she would contact people in Woodridings Court (Crescent Road) about their experience of mutual aid (since it is difficult for anyone else who does not have a personal connection to contact people in blocks of flats that don't have mailboxes). It was noted that people at the meeting were not on the whole representative of those who have had very bad experiences of lockdown.
During and after this meeting, there have been requests for more such meetings, particularly on the specific topics of how to
- work towards social justice (including enhancing community connectedness?)
- achieve quieter and safer streets
So – we will be holding one on each topic in mid-September. Everyone in Alexandra Ward (roughly speaking - perhaps including parts of Bounds Green ward) is very welcome to come along.
Please let us know how you think these should be run –
- should we get people to register first on Eventbrite (it might be better to get some idea of how many to expect!) ?
- should the sessions be entirely on zoom (this might enable more focused discussions with clearer outcomes, but would be less relaxed; it would exclude some people, while making it more inclusive for others; the meetings would be easier to manage!) ?
- any suggestions for the questions to be discussed
- anything else relevant
Help with publicity – or anything else to do with the meetings – would be very welcome.