Ninove starts a local neighborhood mediation initiative to help prevent or resolve conflicts between neighbors. The city is looking for candidate neighbor mediators.
Making neighbor conflicts negotiable
Living together can be very nice. But sometimes it also brings challenges. Small disputes and grievances can turn into real feuds and quarrels that drag on. The discussions usually do not fall within the competence of the city. Often the first step that can be taken is immediately the justice of the peace, a real undertaking. Citizens are often suspicious of taking ‘a small problem’ immediately to court. And so the problem keeps dragging on and getting worse, with all the consequences that entails. Local neighbor mediators can prevent this. They try to open up the conflict, restore communication and come to a solution.
Neighborhood mediators wanted
The city is therefore starting a local neighborhood mediation initiative. Volunteers will be expertly trained and guided by a coordinator to intervene in discussions as an impartial mediator. This completely non-binding and neutral intervention aims to restore communication between neighbors and give them the opportunity to find solutions that are bearable for both parties. The project will start in 2023. That is why the city is now looking for residents who want to become neighbor mediators. They can submit their candidature via www.ninove.be/buren compared or neighbours’ [email protected] Approved candidates then receive 6 days of training. Once the project starts and the mediators are deployed, they do not receive a salary, but they do receive a fixed expense allowance per day deployed.
Mayor Tania De Jonge: “As mayor, I am often visited by people who have a problem with their neighbours. For various reasons: an overgrowth hedge, noise nuisance, odor nuisance, cleanliness at the neighbours,… Even though we try to find solutions to the problems, it often remains a civil matter, which means that we have to refer people to the justice of the peace. I notice that valuable time is lost and tensions often run high as a result. With a mediator you can react faster and defuse the situation. It was therefore my firm intention as mayor to set up a neighborhood mediation service based on the Ghent model. We are therefore going to work on this, which makes me very satisfied.”