Birmingham Mail – 7 May 2009
Lichfield Speakers’ Corner is launched
Lichfield’s Speakers’ Corner has been officially launched.
BBC radio presenter Joanne Malin helped launch the city’s Speakers’ Corner, which is only the second outside London, at the event which saw a host of local dignitaries and ex-Coronation Street star Chris Walker.
The only other speakers’ corner outside London is Nottingham.
Peter Bradley, the director of Speakers’ Corner Trust, revealed that 50 people got on the podium to air their views about issues close to their heart at the Lichfield launch.
He said: “I thought nothing could top the opening of Nottingham’s Speakers’ Corner, but Lichfield’s celebrations were just fantastic.
“It was a real community event with hundreds of people gathered throughout the day to enjoy speeches, performances and appearances from local people, stars and dignitaries.
“To see around 50 people get up on the podium and to watch the reaction of the crowd was inspiring.”
He added: “I am really proud to have played a part in the launch of Speakers’ Corner in Lichfield and I’m sure it will become something the local community will cherish for years to come.
“I would like to say a thank you to everyone who helped launch the Corner in Lichfield – it was a real team effort!”
Leader of Lichfield District Council, Coun David Smith, has called the project “an exciting initiative which will give local people a unique platform to express their views.”
Peter Young, Clerk of Lichfield City Council, has welcomed what he called “an imaginative project which can only do good for Lichfield.”
“Creating new opportunities for people to come together and exchange views on the issues which matter to them not only makes for better local government but also stronger communities.”
Speaking at the launch, actor Chris Walker said: “I am proud to close the Speakers’ Corner celebrations, and officially open it to the people of this district, so they can use it to air their views and be heard, and to listen.”