Back into the swing of things, today I had 2 events to attend; the first was the launch of Homelessness Awareness at the Forum at lunchtime. It was good to see the Civic Arm - Lord Mayorand Sheriff - and the Political Arm together for this event. Amusing to see local MP Charles Clarke sitting inside a giant snow-globe in some bizarre way. What was interesting was the large number of different groups who make a difference in the City and events like this is important to pull all of them together. I am not in favour of endless government strategies; more than often they cost money and don't work; so I was interested to hear how these groups work together without the use of a 300 page glossy document to help them - it's called people taking common sense decisions and acting in the best interested of those whom they seek to serve. Other arms of government take note!
On a similar theme this evening I went, along with newly-elected Norwich South Conservative Councillor Andrew Wiltshire, to meet a residents association which has been formed by 2 adjacent blocks of flats who are fed up with anti-social behaviour ruining their lives. Like-minded folks got together and decided to work alongside the police and the local council to do some pro-active. Fed up with not being able to use stairwells or having to walk over litter in the corridors, these people have set about creating a sense of community. They are totally inclusive of all residents and are working hard to put on events and get people talking. Now they want help to persuade the powers-that-be to help them install some outside seating and a BBQ areas in their communal gardens. It sounds like a fantastic project and I will be doing all I can to help, with either attracting funding or lobbying for them. I hope that the usual red-tape and bureaucracy doesn't get in the way - this new exciting group is takling the issue of ASB on the ground by themselves and in a way that suits them.
What is government for if not to facilitate and help people help themselves?