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From sporadic house lights to lack of childcare: The Harris Forum Spotlight Sessions

By David  Macdonald - Harris Forum


The Harris Forum, in partnership with Community, Learning & Development and the Community Councils, held Spotlight Sessions about Housing, Transport, and Economic Development. The intention was to shine a light on these subjects to see if there was anything that we don’t discuss enough or even at all.




I felt I knew these subjects well and that my thinking was, generally, in line with everyone else. I was wrong. Sometimes we discuss a topic so much that we feel like we have covered every potential angle, but the reality is far different.

The sessions taught me, and hopefully, those who participated, that the issue, for example, is not just that our housing stock is tired and needs maintenance, but that the energy efficiency of our houses trumps appearance. Or that we are, generally, happy with the ferry service provision and travel by air is not discussed enough. These are just examples, but they prove that I couldn’t have guessed what everyone thought about housing and transport.

A quote from one person who attended the Leverburgh session on housing has stuck with me: “When you drive through our village in winter all you see are sporadic house lights – this needs to change.”

These sessions will help the Harris Forum create a new Harris Plan with objectives and goals that come from our community and that we want to see our community achieve over the next five years. Consultation alone is not enough, but it is the vital first step.

We plan to hold three more Spotlight Sessions after the Summer holidays and it would be great to see you as we consult together and shine a light on key topics that matter.

 

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