WE are told that life returning to normal is what we are all yearning for after a year of lockdowns.

Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the past year and ask ourselves - do we really want to go back to a life of ‘normality’ and simply paper over the pain and grief that has affected so many lives without wanting change?

Build Back Better is about taking steps towards a more resilient, supportive and better prepared society that functions with greater care and compassion.

The campaign (www.buildbackbetteruk.org) brings together diverse groups from across the country so that their combined call for a better way of life has to be heeded by councils and ultimately by our political representatives.

In January 2021 at a virtual Community Forum, more than 80 people came together to paint a clear picture of the future they want to see by 2030.

Peter Macfadyen, the author of Flatpack Democracy, opened the forum by challenging local communities to reclaim local politics and to put themselves at the centre of it.

The participants listened and shared stories from their own communities and neighbourhoods where people are doing their best to build a better future for themselves and their communities. They shared stories of strong bonds that have taken root in communities during the pandemic which reached across social, economic and geographical boundaries with compassion, in particular to support the young and vulnerable to live safe, happy and connected lives.

The combined challenges of Covid-19, the economic failings exposed by the global pandemic and the climate and ecological crisis may seem overwhelming. These challenges continue to effect pain and suffering on lives, particularly those who are most vulnerable, through social injustice and the destruction of ecology and the climate.

In response there is now an overwhelming and irreversible shift in emphasis and gathering momentum towards building a more resilient and supportive society with an inherent and shared value of wellbeing.

The world is changing and it is happening fast, driven by many factors, including the expansion of artificial intelligence, divestment from fossil fuels, environmental changes and transition to a new set of value systems.

Somerset communities need to be part of reforming the economic systems so that equality, environment and wellbeing become central to how the society and economy functions, as they have much to contribute.

There are many excellent local examples of good practices and potential actions that could be scaled up, replicated and applied across different local circumstances to support a green jobs recovery delivering a thriving carbon neutral, innovative and fair Somerset by 2030.

Let’s create a new Green Economy with social justice at its central core. Visit www.buildbackbetter.org.

Build Back Better