Lincolnshire Echo – 23 November 2009

Bid to create Speaker’s Corner in Lincoln

Impassioned pleas and forceful arguments could soon have a new home in Lincoln if plans to set up an official Speaker’s Corner are approved.

It would be a city version of the famous Hyde Park corner in London – where soapbox orators can wax lyrical on the topic of their choice.

The idea has been put forward by members of the Speaker’s Corner Trust and Take Part programme at the University of Lincoln.

And at a meeting last week representatives from a host of the city’s public, private and voluntary organisations threw their support behind the proposal.

Peter Bradley, director of the Speaker’s Corner Trust, said: “This is the beginning of a process which we hope will excite the imagination of local people.

“We’ve looked at, at least 11 sites in the city centre that might work,” he said,

“But our work is just to plant the seeds and then local people need to take ownership and nurture the idea.”

Simon Hollingworth, manager of the Lincoln Drill Hall, said that while there was still a lot to think about – like where to site the area, and how to make it accessible to all of the community – the concept of a speaker’s corner in Lincoln was fantastic.

“Whether it’s Iraq and Afghanistan or traffic lights on the corner of Broadgate, you would have people with one opinion and others against them with other ideas, and that is all part of democracy.

“It’s definitely worth a go.”

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