Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Citizens UK

Jessica Maddocks of Citizens UK has been exploring the possibility of a Reading branch of this community activism organisation. Several of our congregation have been on her list of interviewees so far and apparently a desire for political action on climate change is a particularly high priority in Reading.

Last night I joined a Citizens UK delegates' meeting (along with Jessica and members of the University of Reading's sustainability team) in a skype link to the Milton Keynes Citizens UK meeting. We were considering priorities in lobbying during the Police and Crime Commissioner election. The proposals under discussion included asking for a commitment from the Thames Valley police to set an ambitious target for the force to be carbon neutral; building stronger links between schools and police with named police contacts for every school; and a commitment that all those employed by the force (including contractors) should be paid a real living wage. Oxford diocese were also represented through a remote link and many community groups at Milton Keynes were in the room.

Despite some technological hitches with our sound link, it was an invigorating and interesting experience of democracy in action. Hopefully some of us will make it in person to the next event.

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