New Cross Assembly / Funding / Coordination etc

2 12 2012
After the New Cross assembly I published an article that tried to express my frustration both with the specific process, but also the restrictions it seemed to be happening under. In the process I annoyed some people who thought i was being critical of the projects that were funded (although i wasn’t) – on reflection i wrote that piece too soon after the assembly which had lead to me losing my job and having had what i thought were some of my best ideas rejected, and I apologise again if any offence was taken.
Since then I’ve been thinking more about how the current system of charitable action / funding (and the economy/politics in general) encourages competition and reduces ambition. but also that we currently face stuff which threatens a serious reduction in the quality of our lives in the future, especially for the worst off, which means the work we do is needed now even more than ever.
Over the last couple of years my main aim in working in New Cross has been to bring together all of the really excellent community work going on in the area under some kind of umbrella that could mean we could all get more value for our work and build even more on the sense of community and solidarity that is in many ways the basis of the kind of life we humans want to live, but also on a practical level is the way we can get more things done. Through many meetings and discussions the idea for a community forum developed and plans were drawn up, I was very keen on this. However, it seems as if many people working for the community aren’t as keen – I suspect that this is because most are already working at (or even over) full capacity, On reflection i can see how the idea of the forum seemed like an unnecessary attempt to create a whole new way of doing things, sucking in time and effort, when in fact what we really need is practical discussions about how to co-ordinate and think more strategically about what we’re already doing and make things easier.
So, with that in mind i suggest meetings (perhaps every month or two) where people/groups working for the area tell each other what their immediate needs are and we work out how we can co-ordinate to meet these with a secondary element being to spend a little time thinking about the slightly longer term future and working out how we can get there. Its not a group or organisation, but simply a space where practical and strategic questions can be discussed and answered.
I propose that we do the first meeting on Wednesday 16th January 2013  7.30 at New Cross Learning (although I’ll have to confirm venue availability)



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