Tear them down
This letter was inspired by a sermon heard at St Johns in the City by a Scottish Reverend called Tom Cuthell. Cuthell described a recent visit he had made to IsraelPalestine and concluded that, ‘‘the whole point and purpose of walls, barriers, fences and check-points, of course, is to control, restrict and deny access. They are designed to separate, divide, alienate. They suggest defensiveness and exclusiveness.’’
As members of our local community I believe we need to start taking walls more seriously. Walls and gates, while seemingly harmless, can have perverse sideeffects. Walls demonstrate a community’s failure to face up to its problems, deal with fundamental inequality and instead opt for ‘atomisation’ within walled off houses within walled off suburbs.
More and more people in our area are attempting to barricade their homes with seven-foot high walls and steel gates (some more tastefully than others) – which indicates an unhealthy trajectory for our community and society.
For the good of all of our community, which in turn benefits us as individuals, we should start tearing down walls and gates and engaging with our neighbours rather than locking them out in the subtle spirit of ‘‘defensiveness and exclusiveness’’. Rather than building a higher gate to shut out prospective criminals we can start looking to the roots of crime and challenging them as a community rather than cowering behind our walls and gates.
Walls are symbolic of communities beginning to fail; gated ‘communities’ exemplify social failure. Communities without walls, gates and barriers are communities with dignity, respect and healthy futures.
JAMES BAIGENT, Karehana Bay. in 25 years, surveyed this year.
Surveys can be designed to identify areas of dissatisfaction, so they can be publicised, then prioritised for action, and resurveyed. This is not one of those surveys.
Or they can be designed to justify existing pet projects, help senior managers earn bonuses, and focus on areas that don’t need improvement.
The District Annual Plan (DAP) documentation excluded the lowest scoring survey results.
At least two councillors/staff members advised at the DAP meeting that they have previously participated in the survey. No councillor or staff member should be surveyed – ever.
ANDREW WELLUM, Camborne.