Group invites the public to people's assembly event to find out what Banbury area people need

A new Community Assembly, formed by a group of 20+ Banbury organisations, is inviting the public to a market day event to find out what people in the district need and want.
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Banbury Acting Together includes activists, business people, local food banks, faith groups, political organisations, environmental concerns and the town’s Community Action Group. They will be joined by groups from surrounding villages including Deddington, Hanwell and Bloxham.

The event takes place in Market Place, Banbury on Saturday, September 23 from 10am – 11.30am.

Member Simon Garrett said: “Instead of sitting around waiting for someone to set up a people’s assembly, several Banbury groups have decided to do it themselves.

Banbury Market Place, where the Banbury Acting Together collaborative will be holding a community assembly on September 23Banbury Market Place, where the Banbury Acting Together collaborative will be holding a community assembly on September 23
Banbury Market Place, where the Banbury Acting Together collaborative will be holding a community assembly on September 23

“The need for community assemblies has arisen as we have found that the electorate as a whole has the following questions.

“Why do decisions that will affect my life seem to be implemented from the ‘top’ down? When were the people ever consulted over whether we think that these decisions are a good idea? Many decisions seem to be implemented by authority for ‘our own good’ and under the presumption that ‘we know better’. This is not always a sensible approach and is undemocratic,” he said.

“Instead, community assemblies wish to promote a bottom up approach, policies and ideas that come from the people, for the people.”

The group will be setting up a stall in the Market Place to canvass views around the question of working towards solving the urgent problems caused by climate change.

Members of the public will be able to present their own ideas and vote on the best ideas from other people with post-it notes and stickers which will be provided.

Afterwards, the working group will use the gathered ideas to write up a report to be shared with Banbury Town Council, Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council, plus the Banbury Guardian and all the the BanActTog groups.

Phil Richards from North Oxon Socialists Alliance said: “A large segment of the community groups in Banbury are putting peoples time and energy into this project. I hope people will put it in their diary and remember to drop by if they are around on the day.

"We are hoping to generate enough interest to be able to present to the 'powers that be' the views of the community at large.”

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