Meeting of the Salisbury Compass group met on 21 July

A number of items were discussed at the meeting held at the Yard café in Salisbury but the main decision was to campaign for a Salisbury Citizens’ Assembly.

  • the first ‘Theology café’ – inspired by Salisbury compass – had been held at St Thomas’s Church in Salisbury.  This was slightly different to the Democracy café concept in that there was a subject to discuss rather than a vote.  We hope it succeeds
  • following the new GPDR regulations, there had been a slight fall in the number of followers in common with many other organisations.  If you are reading this and wish to remain in contact, please respond to the email asking you to opt in.  Alternatively, send a message via the Facebook page
  • Dickie had been in contact with someone thinking of setting up a democracy café in Wilton and also in Andover.  We will wait and see if either gets going.  One of the concerns was that the café would be high jacked by politicians and he had reassured them that that had not happened with our event. The first Oxford Democracy Café, also inspired by the Salisbury group, was held on 7 July and was a great success. In the afternoon of the same day Compass spoke to local group organisers about the new Common Platform.
  • it was confirmed that we now had public liability insurance
  • Peter reported on the statistics and these were encouraging.  A total of 9347 had visited the site since its formation.  There was a high ‘views per visit’ figure which showed that people were looking at 5 things on average (2018 figure).  We now had 21 followers which was also an increase
  • there was a lengthy debate on the idea of a Citizens’ AssemblyProf Graham Smith has agreed to be our official adviser on the project.  It was about promoting the idea of better decision making in the political process.  If we ran such an event, it would be run over two Saturdays.  Since we are asking for a commitment of time, then we would need to consider offering some financial compensation to participants.  We would need to raise funds and various ideas were discussed.  It was agreed that the first step was a planning meeting to set out the basics and agree what had to be done.  Action: DB to set up a meeting.  The invitees for the Assembly would be drawn from the electoral roll.  A possible date was 8 June 2019
  • the discussion moved on the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and its possible involvement in such an enterprise and there will be a meeting of the RSA on Tuesday 31 July at the Quaker Meeting House, 51 Wilton Road, Salisbury SP2 7LZ between 5.30pm and 7.30pm when you will be able to find out more about Citizens’ Assemblies. The RSA has a grant scheme which would go some way to meet the costs if our application is successful.
  • UPDATE:  there is a meeting to discuss this exciting project on Tuesday 31 July 2018 starting at 17:30 at the Quaker Meeting House on the Wilton Road.

Peter Curbishley