It will be much easier for you to set priorities once you know what the issues are – and luckily, you’ve probably worked that out at the first meeting or two.
Many of the tips for running the first meeting still apply – remember to think about the venue, time and date, refreshments, letting people know about the meeting, setting an agenda, and making sure everyone gets a chance to contribute.
Once the meeting starts: you can:
- recap the issues or opportunities identified at the first meeting;
- add any that the group have thought of since; and
- start prioritising.
There are a number of ways to set priorities, and you can choose whatever suits your group best. But as a starting point, you might want to think about each issue in terms of:
- whether there’s broad agreement in the group that it actually is an issue;
- how significant a barrier it is to your neighbourhood being walking-friendly;
- how much work it will take to resolve (some quick wins at the start of a group’s life can help build momentum and enthusiasm for the cause!); and
- how much time and what resources and skills you have available within the group.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you can run down the list of issues and mark them:
- Short term goals – work will start right away, and the issue can probably resolved within a month or two using the skills and resources of the group.
- Medium term goals – more research or understanding is needed, and the issue will probably take three to six months to fix, possibly with a little outside help.
- Long term goals – outside help (such as funding from a local council) will definitely be required, lots more information is needed, and the issue may take at least a year to fix.
Run through the list one last time, just to confirm that there’s general agreement to the priorities you’ve set, and then agree next steps, such as:
- Holding another meeting specifically focusing on forming the group and the committee.
- Planning a neighbourhood working bee or some other activity to fix some of the short term issues (see our list of stuff you can do yourself).
- Undertaking some research to better understand the medium term issues.
- Drafting a letter or petition on a particular issue, to be circulated within the group and the neighbourhood (see the page on reaching your supporters for more help).