Why Joining Helps Us, and You.
Put simply, we are stronger when we act together.
Our aim is to properly represent and fight for the views and interests of individuals in Bloomsbury, by acting in a similar manner to a ‘trade union for residents’. Our core belief is that by acting together, each individual can have their concerns properly heard. What we say and do is granted greater legitimacy and importance if we have a broad base of support in Bloomsbury. Put simply, the views of ten thousand individuals cannot be ignored, whereas the views of just one can be – and indeed are.
Estimates put the population of Bloomsbury at about 20,000. Our aim is to have all of these individuals as members.
But why do greater numbers matter? As a simple example, if the Council is ignoring the problems of a resident (as we often experience), we could ask all of our members to send a precomposed email to the councillor demanding action. This collective action then would in theory force the councillor to take note of the situation and respond. It would cost nothing for each member to send an email – but it would significantly help the individual experiencing problems. Evidently the greater the numbers that we have, the greater the effect would be.
In practice we work in more sophisticated and proportionate ways than this, but the example demonstrates the point – more members will mean better results for everyone.
We already work by taking up the concerns of individuals and groups in Bloomsbury and using the reputation of our members and member groups to lobby for them. It works, but not always. We need more support, so that what we say and do carries greater weight.
By joining you make our position stronger and one day it may benefit you when you are faced with having to take on Camden or a similar body. We will be able to advise you and even take on cases.
We greatly appreciate any support that is shown through joining or any activity on our website through reading, commenting, and sharing our work. It motivates us to work harder and to post more comprehensively about what we are doing.
The Future – Where are we Going?
Camden and other bodies such as TfL often cause problems for individuals and businesses in Bloomsbury. Those individuals then often come to us for help and support, and we use our skills and experience to help in any way that we can. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail.
Whilst we now have a group of people experienced in getting results, we work on a case-by-case informal basis. Sometimes things fall through the cracks. Sometimes we aren’t successful. Sometimes people don’t even contact us at all.
How can we find a long term solution to all these problems?
In other words, can we create something which acts to represent residents against Camden, and is actually fairly influential in the area? Something along the lines of a union for residents and businesses? Something which will be a real and tangible force for good in Bloomsbury?
The Bloomsbury Partnership
We are currently in discussions to see whether we could create some sort of an institution of this type where membership brings with it certain benefits, along with representation against large bodies which cause problems for our residents. Such an institution could be called the ‘Bloomsbury Partnership’.
Membership of the BP would bring with it representation, but also certain benefits. Membership would only be open to those living and working in Bloomsbury. Perhaps membership would be paid, or free.
But what benefits could there be?
As an example, we are considering whether we could set up a discount scheme where businesses which are signed up offer discounts to members of the BP. Each member gets a ‘Bloomsbury Card’, and showing this card gets a discount at local stores which are signed up.
Perhaps we could have a square closed off which is open only to members of the BP?
Whatever happens, we will need to contact and advertise the scheme to those living and working in Bloomsbury once it is set up, and also consult with individuals about what they would like to see on the scheme. We will need to conduct surveys to gauge the likelihood of success of different aspects of the scheme. To keep up to date about the scheme, you should join SB for now which will act as the point of news for any further developments.
To all those who have received an email update about the Birds of Bloomsbury, the webpage (which can be found here) also contains a recording of the song of each bird. For some reason the recordings did not load in the email.
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