Mini Democracy Café in July

The Deputy Mayor of Salisbury, Cllr Caroline Corbin, will be taking part in a mini-democracy café during the Garden of Ideas

Inspired by the Ancient Greek Agora, the event will take place in the Secret Garden Salisbury in Mill Road – which was founded by director Becky Twigg in 2015 – between 12noon and 4.30pm on 7 July.  It will also include a talk from the Alliance’s adviser Prof Graham Smith on deliberative democracy, a poetry corner and a mindfulness walk led by Dr Karen Janes. Archaeologist Steve Webster will be giving a talk about the history of St Clement’s Churchyard, which is now the secret garden.

The afternoon, which follows on from last year’s Equaliteas event celebrating the 90th anniversary of everyone over 21 getting the vote, will be the official launch of Salisbury Democracy Alliance. It is dedicated to the idea of deliberative democracy and organizes Salisbury Democracy Café, which has been running successfully on the second Saturday of every month in the Playhouse between 10am and 12noon for nearly two years. There will also be a mini-democracy café on 7 July so that visitors – and the Deputy Mayor – can experience deliberative democracy at first hand.

The city’s café has inspired the creation of other democracy cafés in Oxford and Southampton. There is also a theology café in Salisbury and the first Bemerton Heath Democracy Café was due to be held on Saturday 1 June this year in St Michael’s Community Centre. The local network of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) recently hosted a very successful pop-up café and the democracy café takes part in the annual citizenship conference run by Bishop Wordsworth’s and South Wilts Grammar Schools.

Deliberative democracy complements and enhances the existing democratic institutions and works with them. Salisbury Democracy Alliance is supported by the RSA, Wessex Community Action and deliberative democracy experts Talk Shop. Our advisor is Prof Graham Smith, Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster.

To find out more about the Secret Garden Salisbury and Becky’s other activities visit