Citizens UK

Citizens UK – in Somerset

Citizens UK is an organisation committed to working with local people, to hear their concerns about their community and take action to put them right. It describes itself as the “Home of Community Organising in the United Kingdom” and has been behind many successful campaigns, including being the driving force behind the introduction of the Real Living Wage (which the Methodist Church and many other employers have now adopted). It is concerned with real world issues of how society works but it is strictly non-party political.

Citizens UK has a number of branches – called Chapters – in London, Wales and many major cities across the country. And now the movement has come to the South West with the establishment of a local chapter “Citizens Somerset” which was formally launched at a Founding Assembly in Taunton in March 2019. It is the first to be set up in a mainly rural area.

The Methodist Circuit of Taunton Deane and South Sedgemoor has formally joined Citizens Somerset as a Founding Member Organisation, joining the Diocese of Bath & Wells, the United Reformed Church in Taunton and the Quakers, together with non-faith organisations like local schools and colleges and a number of committed individuals. The Circuit has taken the view that the goals of Citizens UK are very much in line with the Mission of the Methodist Church, to tackle issues of social justice and unfairness in our society and assist anybody who is affected by them.

It is early days for Citizens Somerset but the Circuit is looking forward to working with others to address issues which concern our membership. For a link to the Citizens Somerset website and to keep up to date with campaigns on the areas chosen as initial priorities, please click on the link below

https://www.citizensuk.org/somerset

for further information about our Circuit’s role please contact John Haines at jh@omdis.com Barbara Fierek at pickeridge@me.com or Deborah Kirk at deborah.m.kirk@googlemail.com

I hope that you have heard – either from being there yourself, or from others – of the great representation we had from the Circuit at the Delegates Assembly on 8th March. Of the 75 people present on the Zoom invitation, 17 were Methodists, which made us the largest gathering from any of the Member Organisations.

That meeting was an opportunity to hear about progress on the three existing campaigns, and to vote for new issues to work on in the future.

Among the comments provided in Feedback after the event, two from Methodists stand out:

“It is great to be part of such an active Circuit”

“It was exciting to see real democracy in action”

The next big event will be the Accountability Assembly on 27th April, 6.30pm – 8pm when Council Leaders and the candidates for election to the office of Police and Crime Commissioner will be invited, and some of the issues will be followed up.

You are warmly invited to attend the Assembly and see and experience Community Organising in action. There is an invitation below with more details – just follow the instructions to register, and receive your zoom link.

Deborah Kirk

Somerset Citizens UK cordially invites you to attend our
2021 Accountability Assembly
when we hold those in power to account and invite them to work with us to achieve our goals.
Our Alliance of Somerset West & Taunton will be reviewing the last year’s achievements on existing campaigns:

  • Housing and Homelessness

  • Public Transport

  • Paying Carers the Real Living Wage

and looking to the future campaigns on:

  • Street Safety and Misogyny

  • Improving Mental Health

This will be an opportunity to hear from Local Authority Leaders and from the candidates hoping to become the next
POLICE and CRIME COMMISSIONER
at the election on 6th May. Most of the candidates for the position will be there and members will be eliciting their support for the new Citizens Somerset Safe Streets campaign led by King's College.

Tuesday 27th April 2021 from 6.30 - 8 pm (Zoom)

To book your place please use the link to the Google registration form and you will receive the zoom link by email. However, each individual will need to register separately by clicking the link below:

Registration Link