Monday, 20 April 2015

Community Style Closed Proceedings.

After seeing my sons to school this morning I opened my laptop to read the local news. The first item I read was an article on how there is to be a meeting of 'Community Leaders' today to discuss the recent upsurge in anti-social activity in the Leafair area of the Galliagh estate. As a life time resident of the Galliagh area my first question was who are these community leaders? With this issue destined to effect the entire area then we must question why this meeting has being restricted to include a few 'community leaders' as opposed to the wider community. Whilst I personally welcome any intervention unless the community is directly involved then this will probably be a funding led response and not community based.

Late last week my husband and I were faced with a gang of youths who attempted to set fire to furniture at the front of our house. We challenged them, however before we could have the furniture removed they set fire to it a short distance away. A local teenager who was not involved in the incident has since told us that the youths had intended on burning more furniture on the road, this didn't happen due to our intervention.

Oh Lord Jesus it's a fire!

Questions that need to be asked!

Who are these Community Leaders?

What role do they play in the community, paid or unpaid?

Who appointed these community leaders?

What communication do they have with the local community?

Do they all live in the community?

Who are these leaders answerable and accountable to?

What mechanisms exist to ensure they are accountable to the community?

Were any of these leaders involved in the dismantling of the recent Community Safety Forum?
It must be noted; this forum was hailed a model of best practice by Derry City Council.

When and where will these 'community leaders' publish the minutes of today's closed proceedings?

Were/Are local Councillors involved in today's meeting?

If so did/will they question the dismantling of the Community Safety Forum cited above?

Will they publish a response?

If not, why not?

In line with the principles of Lord Nolan, will these Councillors publish the minutes of today's closed proceedings?

Where are the Northside millions?

Unless the community is empowered then any response will be piece meal and temporary. These issues require a bottom up community led approach, not a closed shop.

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