The Bishopston Society was formed 14 years ago so we thought it was time to consider the purpose of a politically non-aligned local civic society within a densely populated urban area.
Our world is changing: for example digital technology now offers many opportunities for spreading information, communication and developing alliances between individuals and groups. And although we are proud of our web site, the Bishopston Society so far has been slow to embrace this new technology and we can go a lot further.
Our political environment is now different: local authorities have fewer material and staff resources and nationally traditional party allegiances have been challenged by the EU referendum campaign and its outcome.
There are more holes in the welfare state, so inequalities have increased - maybe not so noticeably for the moment in a reasonably well-off area like ours - but there is less support available for those with chronic illness, disabilities, mental health sufferers, and their carers, and those who feel isolated and lonely.
These issues can affect any group in our community. Our national government has little concern about air pollution in our cities, yet we know that the Gloucester Road is a hotspot (see our recent article).
So we have thought hard about “Why have a Bishopston Society?” and “What should The Bishopston Society DO”.
Originally The Society was set up to scrutinise local planning decisions and preserve/enhance the physical environment. The Society continues to do this work admirably (see our Planning section) but we felt that our remit needs to be wider.
So we have drafted a vision for the future and are consulting our stakeholders about this, and what you expect from us.