Half-arsed apology, bigging myself up and re-stating my mission

 To The Trustees of Southwater Area Community Centre re St Leonards Warrior Square Station & clarifying my Southwater Area interests.

Unfortunately, last Friday, there was something of a “run-in” with the Southwater Area Community Centre Manager whilst I tried to hold myself accountable for some on-line behaviour and find out what the consequences of my over-hasty actions had been.

What has clearly compounded the difficulty of the communication with the community centre manager is that she has apparently been set up to have a negative view, or at very least, an un-rounded view of my 2011-2015 time as one of your office tenants, and towards the end of that time, a fellow trustee.

This letter, in my opinion, needs to address all the above within the context of my passion for accountability and healing which has led me into becoming the Independent Candidate (for Hastings & Rye parliamentary constituency) 2019-2029?. Two Sundays ago, in the middle of the night the same passion led me to “drop a pin” on Warrior Square Station platform using the Google Business app. My intention was to mark that this is the epicentre of where my main company, Mediation Support Ltd, wishes to continue to mediate unresolved matters that block people's energies from generating the “Sharing and Care4Caring” community we could have to get through difficult times.

As I said last Friday, having dropped that pin named “Mediation Support Ltd” on the northern platform of St Leonards Warrior Square station, I “got carried away”, for, when asked to confirm the location by means of Google sending a card in the post, I let myself down in asking the card to be addressed to the Community Centre, rather than, for example, a nearby friend's address. Not only did I not have permission to use the Community Centre address in this way but, when last asking to be considered as a tenant again at the Community Centre whilst shaping the last general election campaign to “Move Forward More Together” I was told that my being an active political figure required the Community Centre trustees to refuse me use of the facilities, lest it undermine your charitable status. 

The impact of my actions on a computer two Sundays ago -and then turning up at the office- has been, at the very least, to reinforce a concern that I have on ongoing wish to re-associate myself with Southwater Area Community Centre.  And yes, whilst I will respect the boundary that has been set, I do wish to see if we can disentangle matters, including the possibility of Mediation Support Ltd renting space to undertake mediation work, whilst political interviews are to be held, as one was last Friday, on Warrior Square Station.

It was on account of being told the location of the main fire-starter on Hastings Pier ten years ago that, once I'd resigned my job in London to initiate a community mediation/restorative justice process around the loss of the iconic structure of the town, that I located at Southwater Area Community Centre. For my own crime it took supportive conditions and eleven years before I was ready to take responsibility and, via a community mediation service, approached those whom I had harmed. The dialogue that followed was very moving and I felt freed-up to make full recompense, which I did. From there on, I became not just an advocate of restorative processes but a major player on the UK Restorative Justice scene, with my work recognised, amongst other ways, by a personal invitation to be thanked at 10 Downing Street “for my work on behalf of the victims of crime.”

Those who were on Hastings Pier on the night of 5th October 2010 have not fared so lucky in terms of their friends guiding them towards (restorative) resolution of the consequences of their past intentions and actions. I write this on the basis of my interactions with the founders of the Hastings Independent newspaper who knew one of the two individuals detained on the beach that night, having jumped off the burning pier, who had been bailed for 6 months before the Crown Prosecution Service chose not to advance to prosecution. These founders of the Hastings Independent had accepted six whole-page adverts for St Leonards Sharing Consortium's #2066Timebanking initiative, but they then refused (and refused further discussion over) the advert which was seeking to build on the Pier Fire history to establish a model for how #HastingsJustice might be done in enlightened times.

Maybe I've strayed too far from the immediate concerns of the Southwater Area Community Centre trustees but I presume it to be helpful for you to be clearly informed of the lives to which the services you provide (or withhold) are highly significant. I wrote up the history of Mediation Support Ltd at Southwater Area Community Centre on the blog where this notice is going as follows:

“There has been a bit of a North/South divide in relation to the railway bridge towards the Seaview Centre, Southwater Rd – the road I was told that the main person responsible for the 2010 pier fire lived; hence my establishing the Mediation Support Ltd office from 2011-2015 at the Southwater Community Centre which I kept afloat and which,as a Community Development worker (freelance but head-hunted by the Hastings Trust) I kept positively in the eye of our most senior politicians in the years 2011-2015 -and the Sussex Police into whom Mediation Support Ltd went into informal partnership, whilst doing commissioned work for Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust which was not honoured by payment for services received. I do believe that if they had taken to heart the harmonisation policy for Trustees which  I and a colleague had produced then the Hastings Pier Charity would not have had to go into administration.”(#PoliticsOnThePlatform blog post)

If an alternate history of my time there is being circulated, I would request that it be provided to me in writing so that the requirements of accountability and fairness are met. Then, I predict, it will be easier to clear the air and return to a working relationship of goodwill and co-operation, which is dear to me and more likely to be of wider benefit.  If there are tensions of which you are aware in the Southwater Area community, Mediation Support Ltd would like to offer support.

Once more, for clarity, I confirm that I will not attempt to use the community centre address, though the locus of my attention remains around the postcode TN37 6LA as I continue the #PoliticsOnAPlatform series of interviews.

Yours faithfully

Paul Crosland

Director, Mediation Support Ltd, Restorative Technology Ltd & Freelending CIC (Community Interest Company), all of which sit under the umbrella of St Leonards Sharing Consortium 

No comments: