I believe passionately in talking to people, listening to their views and using this information to guide decision-making. This could be easily repeated empty rhetoric as churned out by almost every politician, how often do you hear the mantra, “I have been out discussing the matter with my electorate’ – what does this actually mean? If you hear it from me though it really isn’t just words as I can demonstrate a real commitment to meaningful public consultation throughout my career to date, beginning in earnest with my doctoral research on community involvement in social housing design.
More recently I have been using many of the techniques for engaging communities effectively in the political arena and have facilitated an inclusive local policy forum using the principles of Open Space Technology. Open Space events are characterised by having no agenda, relying on the principles of self-organisation and being flexible to move forward the concerns of those present. The principles are simple – we will provide the refreshments and the room, the participants provide the agenda and the ideas.
If I am elected I will be organising more of these events in the future in each area of the constituency, fully open and with the sole aim of listening to peoples concerns.