There’s much talk of a need for change in how society functions after the highlighting of inequalities brought about by the Covid pandemic.
The gap between the rich and poor is widening, as those who are earning the least are being affected the most by disruptions to jobs and businesses. In addition, and perhaps rather eclipsed by the health crisis, environmental and ecological damage continues apace adding pressure to the need for urgent change in the way we lead our lives, the way our financial systems and industries are run, and the way our politicians determine the political agenda.
On a positive note, there are individuals and groups at all levels of society and in all sectors who are bringing about this positive change. This is true at international, national and local levels. In Somerset, numerous organisations are working in a variety of ways to make our part of the country a better place to live – fairer, cleaner, quieter, happier, healthier.
When making decisions, Government and local authorities are required to think carefully about the impact on people’s wellbeing and the environment. But too often the decisions instead favour economic and financial benefits. Somerset councils have an ambitious agenda for change but need a clear backing from local people to enable them to put people’s health and wellbeing, and the environment, ahead of pure financial and economic considerations.
The National Build Back Better campaign (www.buildbackbetter.org) plans to bring together diverse groups from across the country so that their combined call for a better way of life has to be heeded by councils and ultimately by our political representatives.
To this end, the local Somerset Build Back Better teams have organised a community forum, via zoom, on the 23rd January. In the company of Peter MacFadyen, who led the revolution in local democracy that is Independents for Frome, the plan is to envision a blueprint for the transformative changes that we seek to make in our county by the year 2030.
The themes below were identified as being important locally:
* Creating Wellbeing Neighbourhoods
* Local Transport
* Supporting Young People and their Mental Health
* Housing Issues
* Local Food Production and Regenerative Farming
* Participatory Democracy
Everyone is welcome although numbers will be limited by the size of the group working on each theme. You can find out more about the event by looking on the BBB Facebook page or by emailing Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also register for the event by emailing Chris, identifying which of the working groups you would like to join. It is important to understand that you do not need to be experienced or knowledgeable in that particular field to join a particular group… just interested!
If you would simply like to know more about the Build Back Better group and any future events or actions, then ask to be put on the mailing list.