I’ve been talking to some of you about how we take the TRA forward. We’ve had a great start, marked particularly by the party to celebrate Julia’s incredible achievement of getting the Peter Yates mural restored, for which I’m sure everyone like me is hugely grateful. Now we’re rolling, let’s capitalise on this energy to make the TRA work even better.
In this spirit I have a few suggestions about what we could do next. I’d really appreciate it if you could all reply to the following ideas. All you have to do is put next to them in the reply Yes you like it, No you hate it, or if you’re in two minds on the idea. If you’re in two minds it would be great if you could let me know more detailed thoughts, either face to face or ideally in a reply to all so we can get the ball rolling. the key thing here is to hear all voices, so don’t be shy!
1. What do people think about having meetings at weekends? I’d suggest saturday afternoons around 2pm. That way hopefully we could come with more energy and have a bit of a relaxed vibe to events.
2. Meetings in Lobby at BC. Now we’ve had the lobby restored, and while its summer, let’s try meeting there. All able bodied participants could bring a chair or two. The mural party showed how the space can work for meetings and speeches. It would allow disabled and elderly residents to participate in the TRA more easily. Most importantly it would make the TRA both visible and accessible. Lots of currently unengaged residents will see what’s going on, and might join in on the spot, or in 3 months, or a year’s time.
3. Rotating the role of chair among committee members (though anyone who really doesn’t want to chair a meeting wouldn’t have to – everyone should be consenting and happy). The job would be to chair the meeting so not too arduous. The committee (under the guidance of the secretary) should share the roles of agreeing the agenda and letting everyone in the block know when the meeting is happening. In the meeting, the chair should guide the debate according the the agenda, asking for everyone’s views on each issue, politely telling people who try to dominate the group to shut up, and then putting the decisions to a vote of those present. I’m sure nearly all of us will need some support with the admin side of things, but that’s an ideal opportunity for us to collaborate and work together. Done like this hopefully it will become fun, not a chore.
This would be based around the principle that the chair is just that – the person who manages our meetings so that everyone gets a voice. It would also avoid anyone getting too entrenched in their position, and stop any hierarchies that might unintentionally exclude other voices developing. It would spread the workload, so it would be something each person would do every 2-3 years. We’d all learn new skills, and though clearly it will be a bit hit and miss, should be fun with the good balancing out the bad.
4.. A format for submitting and debating improvements to the estate. I suggest like this: Identify the problem the proposal seeks to fix. We’d then debate/vote to see if the bulk of residents agree it is a problem. Then a proposed solution, or perhaps several, if lots of people have views, or someone is particularly imaginative and can see the issue from multiple points of view. We’d then put these to the vote. and put our ideas to the council.
5. A development officer – an ideal role for working out new ideas to put to the vote for one or more creative and energetic committee members.
One final thing- I’m about to start work putting the agenda together for the next meeting. Some of you have got strong ideas about what we should discuss which is great. But if you’ve got anything to include – big or small, please do let me know and I’ll put it in the agenda.
I hope to hear from you all with your thoughts and ideas.