The book also led to a number of TV reports, perhaps most surprisingly in South Korea, and ‘political tourists’ are now a regular amongst visitors to Frome.
In the UK we know of over 100 places where serious attempts have been made to engage with the system, of which around 20 have resulted in councils run in a similar way to Frome. There are probably many more. Of particular interest is a cluster of small towns near to Buckfastleigh in Devon, who are now working to support each other in their efforts to make local politics work for their communities. Many of these are described in Flatpack Democracy 2.0 along with direct experiences from the campaigns and early adventures of newly independent towns.
When we were putting together Flatpack Democracy 2.0 we thought it would be useful and add an additional depth to the book if we drew on what was happening elsewhere in the world of local democracy. We had been following upwards of 100 independent groups round the country as they moved (or not) towards taking control of their Parish or Town Council. We chose these places as a typical cross-section of the length, breadth and dynamism of the Flatpackery movement. Each person interviewed kindly gave up their time and were generous in sharing their experiences. We can’t thank them enough.
The interviews were free-ranging and sort of followed a pattern – click on the name of the town to see a .pdf of a summary of the interview: