Archive - June 2014

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Revitalising Local Democracy
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A Parallel Universe

Revitalising Local Democracy

My written words are slightly diverted at the moment by a series of Top Tips on revitalising local democracy on the Transition network blog.  The more I engage with the work of Frome’s Town Council – and as Mayor meet sections of the community I have not before – the more I feel this is the crucial focus: enabling people at community level to be properly heard.

A Parallel Universe

Sometime soon I will switch to positive news of a New Dawn for Democracy, but first a brief comment on my encounters with life somewhere else. Last week we brought local councillors from nearby Parishes together to meet each other and to hear of an opportunity to compete for EU money aimed at supporting rural areas. The Powerpoint contained a lot of words but it slowly emerged the money pot contained pretty little money. It also emerged that this is tightly linked to projects aimed at economic growth and that the economy is all about money. Just money. Nothing that might benefit the environment, wellbeing or anything social.  This narrow outlook misses key opportunties and frequently results in a nett loss in term sof everything but income.
Repeatedly I see reality at a community level moving in one direction, with real energy and verve and the juggernaut of the past chugging towards the rocks. This month’s Transition Network asks ‘Is Transition political’ and I will unashamedly pinch a quote from Rob Hopkins’ blog which summarises where I want to be and where I want Frome and other local communities to be: Read More

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