On Saturday 18th November London Cycling Campaign ran a Community Skills Summit and quite a few Enfield members were present. Adrian Day ECC Co-ordinator and David Hilliard one of our infrastructure leads report on the day.
London Cycling Campaign’s annual conference for campaigners was a great event for anyone who wants better and safer cycling (and indeed better and safer wheeling and walking). Several of us from Better Streets went along to learn how we can be more effective in our campaigning. With some great speakers and over 150 delegates, the conference’s focus was on achieving commitment from Council leaders and relevant cabinet members to make active travel safer and easier. Without the political will to improve cycling in a borough its unlikely much will happen.
Various workshops looked at the key challenges campaigners face. One very useful session focussed on understanding your leaders’ motivations and interests. Even if a Council leader isn’t directly interested in active travel they may have other interests that are aligned – such as reducing pollution-related asthma amongst children or increasing footfall in town centres. Here in Enfield a key priority is increasing the housing stock – but there is a lack of land for building. One solution is to build housing on car parks – which in turn mandates that the Council takes action to ensure people are encouraged to travel by walking, cycling and public transport rather than drive. The conference is held annually and I can thoroughly recommend you attend in 2024. You don’t have to be a member of London Cycling Campaign but you can join here:
There were excellent opening presentations by Leo Murray from Zero Carbon campaigning group “Possible”. He talked about the importance of stories in helping to win over public sentiment. Even where data very strongly supports your argument, folk often need more than this to be persuaded. Hence why stories are key to the art of persuasion.
And social media active travel star Carla Francome talked about how making stories personal helps make a strong connection with people. It makes folk feel like they know you and then start to trust you and listen to you. Really interesting insights from people in the frontline of campaigning.
Cycling Mikey (Michael van Erp) made an appearance as well, There was great interest in his tales of reporting badly behaved car drivers (especially mobile phone use) to police, the hundreds of thousands of pound in fines that resulted and the attention of national media that he has generated.David hilliard – Enfield Cycle CAMPAIGN INfrastructure lead and cycle trainer