This is a brief report of the meeting of Salisbury Compass on Saturday 21 April 2018 at the Yard Café.  We were pleased to welcome Cllr Caroline Corbin who is a member of the City Council.  The council is now Conservative and she spoke of how she and her fellow Labour party members felt marginalized.  They were excluded from confidential meetings for example those concerning the novichok poisoning in the city.  The opposition felt ‘squeezed out’ and she said.

She spoke about trying to get the Bunker project established and how fears of drugs and alcohol meant getting approval for the project was made more difficult.  It is now open and is successful so far.

One of her key campaigns is to secure more affordable housing especially for single people.  It was pointed out that one of the problems at the local level is that so much policy is decided nationally and that sometimes action at the local level was accordingly limited.

The picture she painted of local politics was quite concerning.  The city is a Conservative council; the County Council is Conservative and of course we have a Conservative MP.  If the first two authorities are holding meetings in camera then the question must be asked how democratic is this?  Caroline suggested that we should consider attending a city council meeting the next full council meeting being on Saturday 19 May at 18:30 [details of the council and its meetings can be accessed here].  It was open to us to ask a question.

The chair thanked Caroline for spending time to come to the meeting and sharing her thoughts.

The meeting

  • The treasurer said we have £178 in the bank with the proceeds from the Democracy café yet to be included
  • the market stall had been postponed as we still did not know from Compass HQ if we had public liability insurance.  An alternative was discussed namely the Sunday car boot sales in the market square on the third Sunday of the month.  It was on a first come/first served basis.
  • GPDR was discussed.  As we did not share supporter’s details the technical problems should be minimal.  However, asking people to opt in as required might result in us losing a proportion of our email list.  A note will be added to the bottom of posts
  • The leaflet produced by PC was discussed and agreed with some suggested amendments.  The purpose is to set out in simple terms what we are trying to achieve and how we feel politics can be improved.  A modified version has been posted up.  A shorter version will be produced in a handbill format or as a leaflet
  • The Equalitea event was discussed.  This will take place on June 10 between 2 and 4pm and its purpose is to celebrate 90 years since the Representation of the People Act in 1928 gave every one over 21 the right to vote
  • The Democracy Café was held last Saturday and was a success with around 22 attending.  There was interest in establishing a café in Wilton but we were waiting to see if this gets underway.  St Thomas’ church in Salisbury is to hold a Theology café in May and the date was believed to be 19 May (although it is not yet listed on their calendar)
  • Social media.  The numbers were down slightly in March with 486 views and 2,374 so far this year.  Reports on the Democracy cafés were the top three posts in the month.  Facebook activity was low.

Date of next meeting was 19 May at the Yard at 11am