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Thursday, 14 February 2008

Respect for the past means looking to the future

The Conservative Council Group have stepped up to the mark and are showing real respect for Bristol's past. They have found a way to ensure that valuable community projects do not go without funding after the Government slashed the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund in areas like Southmead and Lawrence Weston.
Conservatives plan to use resources ringfenced for the Legacy Commision (funds to support all sorts of memorial activities to commemorate the end of slavery, over 200 years ago) to support community groups facing dramatic cuts. But amazingly the plan has faced opposition from Labour.

Councillor Peter Hammonds says the the Legacy Commission is supposed to " demonstrate the council's commitment to working with local communities". So I am amazed that Cllr. Peter Hammond (Lab, Southmead) and other Labour Councillors are against channeling resources into local projects. Why is Cllr. Hammond trying to prevent investment in valuable community initiatives under threat in his own ward?!

I've spoken to many people in Southmead and Lawrence Weston in particular who are worried about what the slashing in funding will mean to communities. So what better way to demonstrate the council's commitment to work with local communities than bolster vital local projects like The Northern Crescent Diversionary Activities , Summer Fun, SCART and Choosing Health in Southmead, and BS7 Youth and Play partnerships and tuition projects in Lawrence Weston?
It is vitally important to remember the atrocities that were committed during the slave trade in Bristol. But it is wrong to build a memorial to the dead at the expense of the living. The best way to show that we are collectively sorry for the appalling social injustices that took place in Bristol 200 years ago is to fight social injustice that exists today. That should be the first priority for any Council with a sense of the past, a respect for history and a vision for the future.

1 comment:

Glenn Vowles said...

I agree about looking to the future.

Great letter by you on education published in todays Bristol Evening Post too. I've quoted part of it on my blog

Its not often I agree with Conservative pronouncements but on this occasion I do!