When Love Activists Met Brighton & Hove City Council
Love Activists Brighton recently delivered their petition in support of the Solution Based Proposals to End Homelessness to their local council. They were invited to speak at the full council meeting held in the chambers of Brighton Town Hall, Thursday 28th January, 2016.
The solution based proposals were developed in consultation with the local community, prioritising feedback from rough sleepers. You can read the proposals, the rationale for them and sign the petition here.
Over 800 people have signed the petition online, while over 1000 handwritten signatures were gathered by people living on the streets. The petition is still gathering signatures now.
I livestreamed the full council meeting meeting from the public gallery on bambuser, (22 minutes in). It was also broadcast on the council’s website in higher definition (44mins, 34 secs in).
For the purposes of this project, the Love Activists have suspended their righteous cynicism about the democratic deficit, in order to give the council the opportunity to prove them wrong.
Ree represented the group and in her allocated 3 minutes she addressed the council respectfully, but firmly. She gave voice to the grief and anger we are all feeling, without becoming upset or angry. The Love Activists are at pains to remain non-party political and non-combative. Their intention is to inspire the council to actually implement the proposals, not to play the blame game with them.
CROSS PARTY SUPPORT
Overall, the council’s response to the proposals was far warmer than could have been anticipated. Labour Councillor, Anne Meadows was the first to reply. Cllr Meadows expressed support for a full debate, which was encouraging. Her response seemed to comprise a defense of the current, failed homeless strategy, which was disappointing. She tried to respond to each of the 7 proposals but ran out of time. I will be looking forward to reading her thoughts in detail, as she said she would be forwarding her response in writing.