The HU5 Neighbourhood Assembly

We ran our first Neighbourhood Assembly on the 15th of July in Pearson Park, and it was an amazing start to what we’re doing here. We had around 60 people taking part, with just about enough pasta for all of them, and the groups discussed some really diverse and far reaching issues. People found it a fun and meaningful process, sticking round even in the face of wind, rain, and hostile park rangers. A longer report can be found below.

Our first question asked: what are our fundamental needs, and our fundamental responsibilities? The discussion across the groups can be summarised with the idea of community. We all need it, and we all need to help build it. What that looks like is still to be decided.

Problems were highlighted in every group relating to expensive and unhealthy food, poor or expensive housing, limited healthcare provision or decent education, and a lack of respect for the environment, amongst others. These are issues we can all see around us.

We had a huge range of suggested solutions, from the personal to the global. The importance of solutions that address multiple issues at the same time was an obvious pattern in the feedback. For example, initiatives that put land in the hands of the community could provide nutritional and cheap food, physical and mental health benefits through working in green spaces, take people out of isolation, and create space for intergenerational connection and skill sharing. 

These sorts of projects are not new! Every group could identify some community conscious work happening in the city. Although initiatives are already in motion, it was highlighted that information about them is not consistently or easily available. Many people realised that the bigger the Hull People’s Assembly, the more that existing initiatives can be promoted, and ultimately grow. Most importantly, the more people participate in the process, the wider the pool of skills, knowledge and resources that can be shared across the city. Connection and cooperation in every area discussed was the bottom line of how we can make a success from the crises we are facing here and now. This also tied to repeated discussion in the groups about the need to care for the environment, each other, and the physical spaces that we use every day. 

The problems we’re facing are big. We would usually sit and wait for our political leaders to take action, to guide us, but our faith has been worn down. It’s time to do things differently. Many of the groups spoke about the failures of this political system, and how it is trapped by short election cycles. There was a collective understanding that unless we consider future generations in the decisions we make today, we won’t create the solutions we all need.

The Hull People’s Assembly will be the platform for these changes. We will continue to come together, accepting that the difficulties we’re facing are our responsibility to address. Only by working as a community can we provide a path to a resilient, caring and joyful future for many generations to come. 

Read more about our strategy on our home page

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