21
Jul
09

council begins to come through

As the people following this Blog will know, we have had a couple of meetings with council employees over the last two days. It feels only right that we should keep people up to date on what we are doing.

When we were putting together the newsletter, we made a conscious choice to be critical of the council. One or two people questioned this stance in the responses that we received, and these people were right to do so. The reasons we chose to do so are varied. Part of it was to highlight what we said in a very public way , and to attract attention from local people. We were very careful in what we said, and chose only to raise questions about motivations, and speed of delivery of services and promises. In short we analysed what we knew of the history of the area, and actions taken by authorities to mitigate problems. Furthermore, we looked at the progressive deterioration of the area, therefore we felt that our comments were justified. We understand that council bureaucracy can cause much frustration to impatient residents like us, and we accept that the council IS working towards what they feel is an improvement for Pleasley Hill. What we have clearly seen over the last few days during these meetings is that there are people in the council who are truly dedicated to assisting communities to better themselves. What we need to decide now is what WE feel is important to us. However we feel we should make clear to the community that we seek to be entirely separate from the council, and we are not afraid to disagree and fight for what the community chooses. This is the sentiment we seek to portray, until the community chooses otherwise. And we are not afraid to highlight any hypocrisy we see, or promote community based interests over the interests of ANY business.

With all this out of the way, the meetings we have had over the last few days have been very positive. It would seem now that we are all but free to move forward with the activities we have planned so far. We have been offered more support than we expected, that is for sure.

Firstly our meeting on Monday revolved mainly around what we can do within the community with regards to activities and groups that can be set up. And on Tuesday we discussed the formation of a group that can address the housing issues in the area.

Most pressing for the community right now is the housing issues. While we are organising the activities we have planned, we have in the back of our minds the fact that all these activities can help build a community of people,# who know each other well enough to come together, and discuss housing.

The main things we have taken from these meetings, above all the advice and offers for funding, is the enthusiasm the council has for engaging with the people of Pleasley hill. What the council truly seem to want is to be able to talk to us as a group. A group who have already vented their frustrations with the area, and are ready to talk seriously about how to deal with the many problems we have.

So now is the time for our first public meeting. People need the chance to overcome any differences and come together in solidarity. All our resources will now go in to organising this meeting, and we will make sure that everyone in the area knows about it!

And so, with a slightly reluctant and highly humble attitude, we thank the employees of our councils for the huge amount of support they have offered.

And now we prepare to bring you a real chance to make the decisions that effect you and your area.

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