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Tue 21 Jan

Questions and follow up from 'Taking Power at a local Level' Jan 21st webinar.

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Peter Macfadyen Public Seen by 252

'Taking Power at the Local level' aka 'Flatpackery'.... this thread is to follow up on points that emerge from the Democracy Hub webinar at 7.00 on Tuesday Jan 21st The recording of the event is here. It is unedited so you can simply skip through the 30 min breakout part. Starts 1.00 min in https://zoom.us/rec/play/tJIoI7ipqD83E4fA4gSDVvJ_W9TvKaus1iBPrKAKzU6xWyYBNFSjZrQaYeYaXKvL4idCmuYFns1qaHAB?continueMode=true

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Paul Thistlethwaite Tue 21 Jan

A key question for me is which local authority areas are ripe for Flatpack Democracy. Does it work better in some situations more than others eg village/town/city, current political landscape etc?

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

Sure does Mr T... come to the webinar and we can discuss! And if the answer doesn't emerge we can return to here!

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

From Jason Leman to Everyone: (07:27 pm on webinar)

 Residents for Uttlesford took over their District Council last year, and a couple of others... Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has been run by local Housing Associations for about eighty years. So it can be done - just (!) a bigger challenge

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

From Jason Leman to Everyone: (08:39 pm webinar)

 

One of the things It's Our City Sheffield (https://www.itsoursheffield.co.uk/) is pushing for is making the Council more democratic - which you can do through calling for a governance referendum. We've got a referendum this May - and one of the things pushing within that is to get more local parish / community councils across the city. We're still pretty bound by the mood of the ruling political party though...

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Lawrence Morgan Tue 21 Jan

@Peter Macfadyen and @Paul Thistlethwaite will this zoom webinar be recorded and put out, unfortunately myself and some others that would like to attend, can't as we are hosting a climate cafe this evening

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Paul Thistlethwaite Tue 21 Jan

Yes we can record :)

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Lawrence Morgan Tue 21 Jan

thank you , when done the recording can you please share on this thread for us?

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Peter Macfadyen Wed 22 Jan

Paul Thistlethwaite

Paul Thistlethwaite · 7 hours ago

Here is the recording from last night. It is unedited so you can simply skip through the 30 min breakout part. https://zoom.us/rec/play/tJIoI7ipqD83E4fA4gSDVvJ_W9TvKaus1iBPrKAKzU6xWyYBNFSjZrQaYeYaXKvL4idCmuYFns1qaHAB?continueMode=true

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Vishal Wed 22 Jan

@Peter Macfadyen can you edit your original message and put this link in it?

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Lawrence Morgan Wed 22 Jan

thank you @Peter Macfadyen and @Paul Thistlethwaite

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Joe Milton Tue 21 Jan

What initial throughts do people have on how we can best support the independants What initial throughts do people have on how we can best support the independants (specifically flatpackers) with our network of trained neutral facilitators and trainer trainers. Also looks like a concept we're developing is 'community assemblies' - wondering if people have thoughts or resources on this concept - and if people have thoughts or visions on connections between community assemblies and flat pack.

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Joe Milton Tue 21 Jan

When using assemblies in flatpack and councils; Is there a random selection process for participation in the community assemblies or is the venue organised so that everyone gets invited and can turn up and get involved? Also Is there a process/ strategy for diversity of participants?

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

No. These are Peoples' assemblies not Citizens' Assemblies........ they don't have power as such, so the need for organised diversification is not so clear 9though clealry desirable)

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

From karunatharmananthar to Everyone: (07:21 pm on the webinar)

 

Somerset West and Taunton is a district Council which is dominated by mainstream parties - this then leaves Parish Councils - Taunton does not have a Parish or Town Council.  So this means having to compete with the usual main party candidates?  What can be done here?

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Peter Macfadyen Wed 22 Jan

Taunton people can set in motion a process to ask for a Town Council. Thats what Democracy for Bexhill have just done (https://www.democracy4bexhill.com/) .... th eprocess itself will engender considerable engagement and is an opportunity for People's assemblies and other deomcractic interventions.... that in itself may be worth doing?

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

From Kelsey to Everyone: (08:43 pm webinar)

 

there's some handy stories in this plus handy videos at the bottom including interview with Danish alternative https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2018/04/17/adventures-in-democracy

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Peter Macfadyen Tue 21 Jan

From Greg’s  to Everyone: (08:52 pm webinar)

 email gregmfrey@me.com to get involved with spreading deliberative democracy and reclaiming people power

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Karuna Wed 22 Jan


Great zoom session yesterday thanks all.

A bit frustrated with the Somerset County and West Somerset & Taunton Councils. Both have declared climate emergencies, set out to become carbon neutral by 2030 and are consulting on the strategy. All good. But get the feeling they are simply going through the motion and not fully engaging the public - definitely not co- designing the interventions and seem unwilling to consider and debate necessary but radical interventions. Where next?

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Peter Macfadyen Wed 22 Jan

I've taken all non answered comments from the session last night and put them in above, with answers. The links in chat last night are below:
Peter’s blog (and link to Ecologic Books to buy Flatpack Democracy)
https://www.flatpackdemocracy.co.uk/

Peter and Gail Bradbook on Democracy
https://renegadeinc.com/our-spectator-democracy-costs-the-earth/

Principles of ‘Flatpackery’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcrL5I1jovU&feature=youtu.be

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Paul Thistlethwaite Wed 22 Jan

Here is the recording from last night. It is unedited so you can simply skip through the 30 min breakout part. https://zoom.us/rec/play/tJIoI7ipqD83E4fA4gSDVvJ_W9TvKaus1iBPrKAKzU6xWyYBNFSjZrQaYeYaXKvL4idCmuYFns1qaHAB?continueMode=true

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Lawrence Morgan Wed 22 Jan

Flatpack Democracy - How to set up an independent town council https://youtu.be/S_o3300dxIs

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Karuna Thu 23 Jan

Thanks and will look at this with interest.

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John Whiten Sat 25 Jan

Can someone provide a link to how all this local democracy is structured in the UK as Im confused. I live on the Gower penisula which is near Swansea and see there are a load of electoral wards, some of which have more than one councillor, Gower is one such ward. However, within Gower there are also parish councils, often associated with a single tiny village. I can't see how gaining control of my local micro village council is going to achieve very much. At the moment it is no doubt dominated by aging, white, middle class men who probably sit around talking about which brand of tea they should be buying for the next village hall bring and buy sale.

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Peter Macfadyen Sun 16 Feb

John, sorry for the long delay in replying. You raise important points.
I may not be right about Wales, but I think what you now have is a load of 'Community Councils' which are like the old Parish/Towns (so technically you don;t have any parish councils). I think Gower will be one ward in a group of wards making up a communtiy council. Larger populations, like Reynoldston (where I first lived) have a community council all of their own. These councils are funded by asking Swansea county council for tax to be collected on htier behalf each year.... All planning decisions are probably made by Swansea I'd say.
Individual parish/town/community councils can actually do a lot. Not least because htye can set their tax rates and raise reasonable income. They can also join together (see https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/12/how-to-take-over-your-town-the-inside-story-of-a-local-revolution) to do much more..... indeed, it is increasingly clear that gettign this lowest level of engagement to work is increasingly important as no one is going to do much/anything from above. My book (Flatpack Democracy) sets out how and why you might want to take control at this most local of levels..... and drag them up from talking about brands of tea (which, you are right, is what most do).

JW

John Whiten Sun 23 Feb

Thanks for the post Peter. I live very near to Reynoldston actually and can see if local community councils joined together a lot more could be achieved. ;-)