Group plan to help spark public debate

A Citizens’ Focus Group is being launched in Kimberley for local people to get involved in politics and make change.

Meetings will be held once at the Nelson and Railway pub for debates on national issues such as transport and education and proposals will be passed on to Government to be considered as policy options.

Kimberley councillor Richard Robinson decided to launch the group after realising he was getting a lot of feedback from local people about national issues.

“Essentially what I’d like to do is establish a group of up to 20 people in the area who would like to meet up informally and discuss practical politics,” he said.

“I get a lot of comments from people a whole host of issues including immigration, social services, energy, education, transport, housing, NHS, employment and IT.

“The idea would be is that we would find a particular subject to discuss on each occasion, and exchange views and individual expertise. If we then come up with a practical proposal, we can send this to the appropriate body to be considered as a policy option.,” said Cllr Robinson.

“Often the best ideas come from members of the public,” he added.

The councillor, who represents Kimberley on Broxtowe Borough Council said it was a ‘grassroots’ way of involving people in positive politics.

“I’m sure whilst we will never always agree on everything we can enjoy a robust discussion, and even have some fun in the meantime.

“We could discuss absolutely anything of national importance in a friendly but constructive way. Talking about issues from a local perspective, and changing things on a bigger scale.

“The response I have had back from people so far has been great. They like the idea of doing it in a non-conventional way.”

Cllr Robinson wants people of no political persuasion to get involved.

“No one who has volunteered so far has been a member of any political party. They just want to talk about issues and see change.

“I’ve had responses from people from Cossall, Kimberley and from people both young and old,” he said,

The first meeting will be held in January next year, and meetings will be held every two months from then on.

Anybody interested should ring Cllr Robinson on 0775 1970 640 or email richard.robinson@broxtowe.gov.uk.