Congratulations to everyone in Bristol who worked together to produce & support this bid. I say congratulations rather than commiserations as this experience is evidence that, with the right focus, the city’s stakeholders can pull together to conceptualise ‘joined-up-ness’, and it is this approach that we must not lose sight of as it has been a valuable journey for us all.
The City can now take this opportunity to build on this experience to manifest the ‘joined-up-ness’ that we all know is needed to the benefit of the whole city. Of course the government money would have been great, but it is still something that can be achieved in the process of what we do anyway.
There is so much excellent examples of best practice happening in the city that Connecting Bristol continues to have a function even without the focus of the bid, as what we all strive for is sustainability, and one of the key factors of successful sustainability is open communication and future planning of activities and resources.
Where do we go from here? I would boldly suggest we just keep on going as if we had yet to submit the bid, and we plan and join-up for the future of the city – especially along the lines of education where the need is so obvious, and in “dislocated” communities where the need is becoming ever more apparent. I of all people know that without a looming deadline that the other everyday aspects of life can take over and things get forgotten and energy lost, but there is a real opportunity here to keep the connection and consultation ongoing rather than letting it dissipate in disappointment, as the problems we said the bid was going to address won’t evaporate just because the government’s computer said “no”.
To be truly joined-up and connected, somehow let’s keep on planning and acting to prove that we aren’t only driven by bids, but also by what needs to blatantly happen anyway. (Next bid….a permanent full time ‘Connecting Bristol’ council post perhaps…..joining the dots in the city and encouraging Connections. Do you want to ask Barbara or shall I??? 🙂