Feb 6th, 2013
Save our Setts on Campaigns by You
A 38 Degrees member, Adrian Stokes set up a petition on Campaigns by You to save the historic cobble setts in Beverley’s town centre from being ripped up by the local council. Adrian wanted to share his experiences of running (and winning) his own campaign with you.
My name is Adrian Stokes and I’m a 38 Degrees member who lives in Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I’m writing to share my experiences of setting up and running our own campaign on Campaigns by You by 38 Degrees.
Our regional council in the East Riding of Yorkshire proposed to rip up centuries old cobble stones and Yorkstone pavements in Beverley’s historic marketplace. These were to be replaced with modern coloured concrete blocks which would have fundamentally altered the character of our historic market town.
Many people tried to persuade the council to change their minds, including the local Beverley Civic Society, to no avail. The council wouldn’t budge, claiming they’d consulted widely and citing disability access as a main reason behind the need to remove the cobbles.
Together with other concerned Beverley residents, we set up a petition on 38 Degrees’ Campaigns by You website. We hoped to spread the word about the plans and get people mobilised and motivated to force the council to change its mind.
Setting up the petition was really easy, and soon enough our petition was attracting many signatures. We were then contacted by the 38 Degrees office with help and advice on how to make the most of the petition. The beauty of the service is that we were able to contact our petitioners quickly in response to a rapidly changing situation. They marched, they wrote, they attended council meetings and generally rattled the Council machine.
As a result of running our campaign through Campaigns by You and 38 Degrees, our campaign was covered by the media. We went from a small local story to a national one in 2 weeks – including all the national dailies, Radio 4, Radio 5 as well as BBC local TV and radio news, constantly!
From being completely unprepared to listen, the regional council started to talk to us and then reversed their decision. Absolutely unheard of! Our wonderful cobble setts were saved! None of this would have been possible without 38 Degrees. I can say that unequivocally. A brilliant site and brilliant support. The effect on our town has been staggering, every week I get 6 pages of letters and people feel they have a voice.
We won and our thanks must go to 38 Degrees.
Adrian Stokes, for the Beverley Action Group.