Here we go again at Jubilee Gardens

Jubilee Gardens will be transformed, but there remains stubborn resistance by corporate interests, to keep the change limited and slick. How can we convince these guys to jump off their concrete minimalism where they refuge take? “It’s too important a site to let the community get involved!” That’s the sum of their view.

Yes, we understand you’ve controlled this spot for forty and more years and made it into……….

Yes, we know this is the main reason you should remain in control, because of your forty years and more of………….

Yes, we know you are responsible for its characterless face. Yes, we know greed is your bottom line and you have a pot of honey money that you are determined not to share. But the world is changing and the old South Bank tradition of speaking down to community, from the commanding heights of national and international reputations, is so plu-perfect. Come on cave man, wake up! Yes, we know you can pluck out a joker and point to your token chap. Yes, we know you can throw a consultation with slop wine to collect signature sops. But its time to move on and step with the change.

This is what will happen: the local community and its organisations, will be involved in the design, making and maintenance of Jubilee Gardens. Jubilee Gardens is at the heart of London and it is too important a site to stop the community from being involved in its design and making. We will bring the character and detail that will make it a world class and memorable public place. The community will no longer gawp as by-standers and watch cement dry. WE WILL SOIL OUR HANDS WITH FLOWER PLANTING AND GET DOWN ON OUR KNEES TO LAY MOSAIC.  The community will no longer be marginalised and in its ranks will be those routinely excluded: the homeless, people with mental and physical impairments, ex-offenders, older people and our youth. When we talk about INCLUSION, it’s not just words.

The bigger picture is a big society, where people who are prepared to work are given the opportunity to make the heritage of our futures.

Participation at Jubilee Gardens will be more than just being in the audience.

You see: here we go again – Where corporate interests swallow all the opportunity, they create unemployment.  So Jubilee Gardens will be a test case of whether “big society” is more than words. We are ready to help, to make, to do. What is the point of resisting this offer?

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