Things are not plain sailing but there is progress. On the plus side, there has been an impressive response to the Fund Raising approach. Clearly, the Two Mediators have struck a chord with local Big Business which has responded significantly. The government too, maybe seeing a germ of an idea which they can take to other City Councils, have agreed to match every one £ contributed by the entrepreneurs with one £ to be handed over by the Treasury. Additionally, the Government, again with an eye to the future, has agreed to requisition empty residential properties – in this case, owned by Russian Oligarchs to provide 275 extra bedrooms. It will take time but it will happen.
But problems remain. Whilst the meetings between the Three Groups have broken the ice + progress has been made, there are some long resident UK people – not Ukrainians or Yemenis – who harbour harsh views about the “influx of them”. The time has come for the Two Mediators to grasp the nettle and meet with as many of the UK Citizens group as want to attend. It has to be face-to-face and with the wider group and not just their three-person representative committee. [Remember Albert Finney meeting the Cancer sufferers en masse to address their concerns in Erin Brockovich?]
Before the meeting can take place Mediators receive a call from the local Chief Superintendent. Apparently, two Ukrainian refugees and one local youngster have been arrested following an incident in a local pub involving allegations of a sexual assault on a Nigerian girl (with UK citizenship). Red warning lights are flashing. There will be a report in the local paper and a hearing in the local magistrate’s court. It will quickly become The Local Topic and threatens to derail the whole initiative. What To Do? How To Handle? What Next?
EPISODE 6 17 MAY 2022
CAN CREATIVE MEDIATION SAVE THE INITIATIVE?