Social action. Honest exchange. Grounded learning.
A group to capture and map some of the projects in danger of being lost.
Latest Activity: Dec 5, 2011
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Three quarters of councils cutting school transport, 2 December, Campaign for Better Transport
In the Feedback group discussion on Our Society aims I posted this below in response to news of an Our Society group in Dudley.
It's going to be easier to pin down the Our Society aim and offer when we have a better understanding of what's needed, and would be welcomed, so I'm really interested in the idea an Our Society group in Dudley ... and elsewhere.It seems to me that it may be difficult, with limited resources, for Our Society to engage extensively with individual projects beyond inviting people to join this community.How about piloting the idea of a kit that would help people locally organise an event, and if they wished, set up a group. The group might be around an issues, or it might aim to find out and map what happening locally and see where the opportunities lie. Up to them locally ... but we could pull together some background BS/OS briefing, help on organising, and also on reporting from events back to this site (and elsewhere). Maybe we could help make connections with hyperlocal and other community media folk. I'm not suggesting this site becomes the only focus ... the aim would be to help connections with other networks and groups. Mesh not hub and spokes, beginning to build a new distributed infrastructureI'm guessing you know how to do all the local organising in Dudley :-) ... but what do others need? And could Dudley share expertise?Getting excited here ...
In general terms for me 'the lost in translation' is the issue of what is said Nationally (probably with good intentions) how local authorities should support communities/individuals - with promises that this support will be maintained. And how locally (including tory authorities - like here in Notts) this is actually actioned. A major example here is Notts CC are cutting up to 60% from Supporting People but the Government cut to this particular stream is nothing like this - David Cameron when challenged about this locally says it is wrong to do this - however by no loger ring fencing budgets and giving LA's 'freedom' to spend their money as they see fit it gives them an opt out.
Another example of this is the women who today has threatened to put her severely handicapped child into care because of the lack of support (she was personally visited on the election campaign by David Cameron (his child suffering similar problems at the time)) who promised further investment in families with disabled dependants but of course this care is the responsibility of the LA. As I see it you cannot on the one hand say you're devolving all decisions on spend to LA's without creating an unequal society as this is the interpretrd locally.
Closer to home for me is the interpretation of the Big Society as doing everything for yourself so the answer to some of the issues raised here in Notts is 'they should just go on and do it themselves' regardless of ability or capacity. Again the acknowledgement of extra support (more Community Organisers for the most deprived areas) is seen as 'Nanny State' doing things for people. Community Development at a County level was stopped last year using this rationale.
I think you have made the point I was hoping this group would be about. Its not always about the money but the lack of support from the people that have the power to help.
Yes there is a very real risk that local initiatives such as this could get lost or swept away as cuts are made.Can I suggest that you contact your local MP to really bring home the point that this is making a difference to an important section of the community and that your voice mustn't be stifled.
The Real Power For Communities campaign aims to keep a clear message that Localism Bill must be for communities and give local people - incl equalities groups a real voice in local democratic decision making.
You can email your MP here or join the group here in Our Society for updates.
Probably not quite the right answer - but hope it helps
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