Today’s blog post comes from Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Health.
This week we launched ‘Your City, Our Future’, a new project which seeks the views and ideas of citizens and community groups as we develop Bristol’s recovery plan.
This is the result of a commitment we made earlier this year to trialling new methods of democracy in our city, recognising that we need better tools for listening to and engaging with citizens.
Back then, we didn’t know what the focus of the work would be. We had no way of knowing how the events of this year would unfold.
In recent months, it’s become apparent that we simply cannot plan the city’s recovery from the current crisis without input from the people of Bristol. That’s why recovery has become the focus of this experiment with participatory democracy.
‘Your City Our Future’ is not a one-off event, but a series of conversations with the city to help us rebuild following the effects of COVID-19. We know lots of people have great ideas for Bristol and ‘Your City, Our Future’ will give them the opportunity to be a part of shaping what our city can become.
A citywide survey is now live to help us understand how people’s lives have changed and what can be learnt from how citizens have travelled, worked and spent leisure time over the past few months.
The survey is just the first phase of the project. ‘Your City, Our Future’ will culminate in a Citizens’ Assembly, bringing together a diverse range of people to debate important issues that emerge from the survey. This group of one hundred people, selected to represent every part of the city and all demographics, will consider how we rebuild an even stronger city, a city that better meets the needs of everyone.
I realise that people will have different experiences of the past few months and will have been impacted in very different ways. Some people will want to retain some elements of lockdown life and others will be keen to get back to how things were before. What’s clear is that we have been presented with an opportunity to reset and to shape a better future.
I urge everyone to share their views in the survey and make their voices heard. We want to hear from as many people as possible, from a diverse range of communities, to ensure an inclusive and sustainable recovery for our city and our citizens.
You have until Wednesday 9 September to have your say. To take part in the survey online, visit www.bristol.gov.uk/yourcityourfuture
If you would like a paper copy or an alternative accessible format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 922 2848