By Andrew Martin, Head of Outdoor Work
Bedales has a long and proud association with Steep Parish Council. Over the years many members of our Bedalian community have been elected councillors and this year I am currently in the running to join them…
For the last seven years I’ve lived on the Bedales estate where I manage the school farm and teach Outdoor Work. Steep is where I live and work and where my children go to school.
One of the key things I teach our students is how to live and work together. Whilst we devote much time to environmental aspects such as animal husbandry, farm-to-fork education, planting hedgerows, growing, land management and traditional craftsmanship, we also look at the social aspects too. These include how to live respectfully and happily in a close-knit community.
It has been a difficult few years for our village. Not just because of the pandemic, but also because of deep rifts over the Church Road land and the proposed development which has divided this wonderful Steep community of ours, which Bedales is very much part of.
Sitting on my couch getting cross with a Brazilian president about the Amazon rain forest is easy. Taking the time to meet with the parish council in a public consultation about the future of a patch of land requires some degree of effort. However if we encourage our students to ask questions, challenge ideas, to consider alternative views, listen to others and develop their own thinking. Then certainly I need to live what I preach…
I think I could contribute to an effective, sustainable solution, however there is a lot more to our community than this one, polarising issue.
For example, what could we do for our amazing Steep School? What could we do about traffic calming and making the roads safer? Access to green spaces? Strengthening the relationship between the schools, nurseries, and local residents? How could we build relationships between the young and the old?
I would like to help bring the community together, which is why I’m asking people to vote for me in the forthcoming Steep Parish elections.
I have a deep commitment to this community and a strong desire to see it come back together. I would love to be given the chance to make a difference in it. I believe I could put this experience to great use on the parish council.
Only a small number of you may be eligible to vote in these elections, however every little helps. Vote for me on July 15!