Allow NOTES OF HOPE to stay on North Bridge in Halifax after the council removed them
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Halifax has a higher suicide rate than the national average & North Bridge is an area known for this. In August 2018, Bridge the Gap & members of the local community put NOTES OF HOPE on North Bridge. Locals have maintained the bridge since, but the council took the notes down in November 2018. The council did seek advice from some organisations that help people with mental health problems but not from the actual local volunteers who put these notes on.
Had they done so they would have been given evidence that these notes had saved two lives since being put up in August 2018. Since they were removed several people have had to be talked down from the bridge and at least one person has died. Everytime we replace the notes, they are removed.
The notes Bridge the Gap have put on bridges across the UK have saved at least 21 lives, at least 2 of these are in Halifax. That is BTG's aim and this complies with Calderdale Councils Suicide Prevention Plan 2017 - 2020 "for Calderdale to be a place where suicides are eliminated"
At least 4 people in 2018 took their lives on North Bridge. On 3 occasions there were no notes on the bridge and on the last occasion the council had removed them.
They cost the local councils nothing from the public purse and in a time where the NHS is in crisis these notes should remain where they are. If people do not like them they can find an alternative route in to Halifax. As harsh as that sounds these notes have saved lives - these people who do not like them or find upsetting are lucky enough to still be able to read them and without them two people would be dead.
35 bridges across the UK have Notes of Hope and to my knowledge only Calderdale council have removed them because they were asked to. What about the people who put them there? Who have lost people to suicide and put them there to help others and have made a difference? Their opinions clearly do not matter and neither does that of local residents who support them yet we supposedly live in a democracy. Calderdale Council 'only accept paper petitions' and in my opinion this is to make it harder for people to have a say. In a time where everything is online I applied for a Parliament e petition on the 31 December 2018 but this was rejected on the grounds it was a 'local council matter'. I am now requesting that Calderdale Council listen to this petition and as postcodes have to be listed you can easily see how many Calderdale residents have signed.
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