Bradford Telegraph & Argus – 17 October 2012
Bradford public get platform to voice opinions
Bradford residents braved the elements yesterday to welcome the return of a Bradford Speaker’s Corner.
The initiative called Bradford Speaks was launched from a temporary open air location on Tyrrel Street and is designed to give the public the opportunity to share their views.
Members of the public took to a platform and spoke to onlookers for 60 seconds about subjects close to their hearts.
Council leader Councillor David Green was at the launch and was urging people to join in.
He said: “I think it is a great opportunity for people both to be able to stand up and speak about issues that are important to them and issues they think are important for the Bradford community. “Another advantage is Bradford Speaks will give people confidence in themselves.”
A wide variety of issues were raised on the platform by people of all ages including children. Some of the points highlighted included pensioners’ benefits, freedom of expression and the importance of youth organisations.
The event was taking place during Local Democracy Week which began on Monday and runs until Sunday.
Paul Russell, from Keighley, attended the event and spoke about pensioners’ benefits.
He said: “I think Bradford Speaks is a great idea. It should be encouraged and could be very good for Bradford.
“There are not many opportunities where people get to stand up and say what they think.” A speaker’s corner used to operate in Bradford many years ago but disappeared after the Second World War.
Peter Bradley, director of Speaker’s Corner Trust, said: “It’s a great tradition and we are hoping to do our bit to restore it.”
Earlier this month, the Telegraph & Argus reported how a move to establish a permanent speakers’ corner was under way and Mr Bradley confirmed they hope to have something fixed in place next year.