This year people have been subjected to many smaller community services being withdrawn from their Council budget. This ranges from libraries and town halls to weeding and grass cutting. After the initial outrage things have settled down. Some people just ignore that these things are no longer done. Others have been more pro-active.
Earlier this year our Community Council held a meeting and invited all local groups along to network and discuss ways forward for the local community. A couple of our craft group committee managed to attend and their feedback was positive. Top of the list was their surprise at how many groups are out there doing something for some part of the community. As you would expect, not all of them turned out but there was a good number who did.
Our group came to an agreement with two other groups about looking to work together on a few projects. This is being taken forward and will be a long term partnership, we hope.
Further to this we were advised that, through the Regeneration Group, there was funding available from The Council from moneys donated from firms and projects for the communities to use. ( I name no names but most of you will be familiar with these companies). The downside to this was filling in forms ( I hate forms ) and then, if successful, the presentation in public as to why we could use that money. Having missed out on this the previous year due to the committee all being away on the award day, we felt we should go for it this time.
With most of the membership away or too shy, the task fell to the committee. One person volunteered to do the speech bit and the rest of us backed her up with the visual bit. Never having done this before we were pleasantly surprised at how friendly it was. We all wanted a bit of the purse but appreciated that some of us would get what we asked for and others may get less.
Lunch was provided by winners of the previous year’s award process. Senior pupils from the high school who had got money for trolleys, water urns etc that allowed them to present us with choice of 4 soups, sandwiches with half a dozen different fillings, simple puddings and tea, coffee, biscuits. More networking with other groups over lunch provided idea exchanges and more possible involvement with some of the groups.
Now, many of you will be familiar with this world. As someone who worked shifts for many, many years I found I only had time in my spare time to campaign for independence. I had no children that would involve me in the community, so leafleting, knocking doors, street work and going to meetings was the only involvement I had in my community. I am heartened to see that some people can work together as volunteers to provide things in the community that are needed. I dare say there will be the odd disagreement and refusal to work on something. That’s human nature.
I just wish that the elected members, their staff and the civil servants at Westminster could make an honest attempt at compromising. This means both sides have to give on something. I can’t see this ever being sorted out. These people have been there so long they think it is their god given right to have what they want and not budge an inch.
Their trenches type mentality has allowed the far right to be popularised. We know from history that it does not take much for the ordinary person to rally round you. Just keep repeating what they think they want to hear. I thank my lucky stars that Scotland has been in the safe hands of the SNP. If we were in the hands of any of the unionist party’s we would indeed be dissolved and back in the hands of Westminster again.
Dare I hope that the voters (a) turn out and vote and (b) vote for a pro Europe party? I may well be hibernating when the results are announced.