Thursday, 30 July 2009

Cautiously hopeful after a fruitful meeting

A meeting called to discuss areas of contention between the United Residents' Association of Ivybridge (URA) and the management of the Bridgelink Centre yesterday provided a welcome first opportunity for most of the main protagonists in last week's battle for Committee posts to get together around a table.

The meeting itself had been requested by the former URA Chair Tony Smith, who despite no longer being in the hot spot was able to give voice to some of his concerns. However, for me the value of the meeting was that it provided an opportunity for dialogue at such a crucial time. New Chair Al Ayoby thanked me for my support following his election and lost no time in stressing his desire to unite the estate and to "start again". He held his own counsel throughout most of the constructive discussion and exuded the demeanour of a man who wants to stop the squabbling on the estate and get things done for local residents.

I am not so naive as to believe that there will be no more talk anywhere of challenges to the outcome of the AGM, but I am hopeful that Al's magnanimous approach will serve to dampen any enthusiasm for prolonging the unpleasantness and rally people to the cause of the greater good.

Councillor Paul Fisher and I assured both the Bridgelink management and the URA of our continued help and support, and thankfully there were signs of a more joined-up approach to all our work in the future.

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