Building Communities In An Age Of Change

Andy Sawford MP  has agreed to host a meeting with us on the importance of community in our lives and how we can recreate community so that it is both resilient and inclusive.

In the last half century we have seen the idea of community under attack as industries have declined, populations have been forced to move and financial crisis has hit both the poor and middle class. This has often torn communities a part.

What can be done to build resilient communities in the fast changing 21st century is the essence of this meeting.

Andy Sawford MP is the Shadow Local Government Minister who from 2003 to 2007 was director of Connect Public Affairs advising local authorities and organisations such as the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Association of Police Authorities (APA). He was from 2008 to 2012 chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), a London-based thinktank and registered charity.

Steve Wyler is the Chief Executive of Locality, a nationwide movement of community organisations ambitious for change. Over the previous fifteen years Steve worked for voluntary and community agencies and independent grant-makers. For example in the 1990s, working with homeless agencies, he ran Homeless Network, co-ordinated the Rough Sleepers Initiative in London, and set up Off the Streets and into Work.

Steve has been a member of various Government advisory groups on social enterprise, community organisations, and the third sector (Cabinet Office, CLG, Ministry of Justice). Steve is also vice-Chair of the Social Enterprise Coalition, and Board member of the Adventure Capital Fund, the National Communities Resource Centre, Thames Reach, and the ResPublica Trust.

We also hope to have there people from some local communities who can tell their stories of how they have built their communities to make them resilient and inclusive.

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  • Francis S.

    Following the Meeting on Building Resilient Communities at the House of Commons on Tuesday, Westminster Sound has sent a full recording of the event if you would like to download it. It is a total recording so you get general chat for the first 3 minutes or so before it formally starts.

    The files will be available for 14 days, until[masked]:05.

    Fetch the files using the link below:
    http://www.filecentral.se/filecentral/app/en/pub-downloadForm.html?uuid=c4139c08-9870-46ec-a725-b6fc54bec6b7

    You may also be interested in a Blog we published following the meeting called “Network Or Partisan Approaches To Community.” You can access that at the link below.

    http://www.globalnet21.org/network-partisan-approaches-community/

    Thanks again to all those who took part as it was a really good and inspiring event.

    May 1, 2014

  • terence f.

    Filled with insiration and good experience.

    April 30, 2014

  • Francis S.

    Thanks to all those who attended the meeting last night. Over two thirds of those who we would normally attend, made it despite the tube strike so it was great you all made that effort and we appreciate it.

    It turned out to be a great meeting with some really good examples from people there of work being done to build resilient communities. Two points particularly we would like to follow up on and one is what do we mean by community resilience and we hope to address that in the series of webinars that we are holding

    Secondly the rise of community groups with a new vision of democracy of their own does come up against the formal democratic system and the party political structure. We hope to look at how we can somehow square the circle and make the party system much more responsive to the re-emerging community networks of democracy that now exists.

    April 30, 2014

  • Maria N.

    Good

    April 30, 2014

  • Lydia T.

    Sorry I didn't turn up. I see many didn't either, due to tube strike. Could it be rescheduled ?

    April 29, 2014

  • George W.

    Sorry. Unreliability of public transport forces late pull out! unhappy too miss what promises to be a fascinating meetup.

    April 29, 2014

  • Mike V.

    Regret need to cancel. Had hoped strike would be avoided..
    Apologies.
    Mike

    April 29, 2014

  • Sharon B.

    I too will be unable to attend due to tube strike. Could this be arranged again at a later date?

    April 29, 2014

  • Anna B.

    Oh no. I really wanted to join you but just realised with the tube strike on I wont be able to make it.

    April 28, 2014

  • Fiona W.

    Me too, I'm afraid. I can't face two long, slow bus journeys, but I do wish everyone else a very rewarding evening.

    April 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry won't be able to make it now with the tube strike

    April 28, 2014

  • Ed

    Genuinely sorry to cancel - but too awkward with the tube out - 2 x 4 mile walks in London not my idea of fun! Will re-apply/turn up if sense prevails and the strike is called off.

    April 28, 2014

  • Fiona W.

    BBC R4 programme people might like to listen to before next week: 'Would That Work Here? 4/4 Japan: Cashless Community Care for the Elderly', 20.00 Wed 23 April (repeated Sat[masked]

    April 24, 2014

    • Francis S.

      Yes justb looked that up and it says - "Claire Bolderson explores the Japanese time-banking system of fureai kippu, where individuals donate time to looking after the elderly, earning credits that they can cash in later." Looks very interesting and perhaps we should explore that through a meeting and a webinar as it combines both the idea of community care and the idea of time banking.

      April 24, 2014

  • Peter F.

    Can't make it, alas, as am double booked.

    April 24, 2014

  • Ed

    Those planning to attend need to consider the impact on their logistics of a planned tube strike, called by some of the UK's best-paid unskilled workers... Even as a one-time shop-steward (and later Managing Director, variety is the spice of life!) I would struggle to justify this one!

    April 22, 2014

  • Jonathan W.

    I’ve enjoyed reading this conversation. Thank you. It seems to me that human beings have evolved to be communal. It is a defining part of our nature.

    For me, it seems important that communities are human in a way or to a degree that ‘society’, government (even local government”), the State or the public corporation cannot be.

    To me, a ‘community’ is essentially a group of people with something in common that distinguishes them from other people. That distinguishing feature may be geographic, intentional, happenstance, faith-based, ethnic, or anything else. It may be chosen by community members or imposed on them by other people. From those observations, it becomes clear that there are an infinite number of communities and that a person will often belong to many communities at the same time. Each will affect how the member behaves and every member’s actions will affect each community to which they belong. Thus society is a ceaseless swirl of reciprocal communal energies.

    2 · April 19, 2014

    • Jonathan W.

      Mary Follett, whom I regard as the greatest writer on community and democracy in the last 150 years, wrote that local communities are the basis of all democracy. She felt that a core purpose of a community is to create power for its people. By ‘power’ she meant the ability to control and choose how you live your life. She also said that ‘power-over’ can never sustain. Only ‘power-with’ and ‘power-through’ can endure. She also said that the power of a community is a function of how much it can integrate the differences of the people in it without losing their differences.

      1 · April 19, 2014

    • Jonathan W.

      1. I think I see it very similarly, Neil.. 2. If we think of democracy as "introduced" by the Greeks, I agree its is very different. As I understand it, Their democracy did not include women at all and depended on slave labour. Mary Follett again noted that real democracy is much more about getting engaged than about voting. She also said that the most undemocratic aspect of our current constitution is the party system, which she described as just machinery for winning votes, not developing communal power or accountability.

      April 22, 2014

  • Lydia T.

    I agree with you Benoit. The proof of it being in the vast & ever increasing numbers of foreigners leaving their countries in crisis, & arriving in UK in search of jobs & new opportunities. However, there must be a balance : the south west is already choking with overpopulation . How can the Authorities resolve this ? encourage them to go north ? (via a network of census & controls ?) - If they pick up the benefits what do they contribute in return? And keeping the balance between keeping their culture/religion but integrating into British communities, culture, its principles, & law ? Or living ghetto style? And are some exploiting the UK as a base for their religious & political extremism ? Here the Law should be applied unequivocably. The British nation is vr tolerant & giving. But a constructive help for longterm positive results for all is : do not give the fish away but the knowhow & tools of how to fish....

    1 · April 17, 2014

    • Benoit C.

      You could not have said it better :) Yes I am of the same opinion, there should be more training facilities for foreigners. Instead of the encouragement to receive benefits upon arriving to the UK...

      April 18, 2014

  • Benoit C.

    Community meetings with young and senior members of our communities should be, encouraged. The benefits of different cultures within our communities should be advertised and how as a collective community we can benefit from such different backgrounds...

    April 15, 2014

  • Derek

    Some of the wording above is somewhat questionable. In the last World War, we had something positive to fight for, eg/ie for our English/British community; not so much now though......guess why....!

    April 15, 2014

  • Stuart G H.

    Hi I'd like to attend but I am currently unable to afford it as I am claiming JSA. Is there an arrangement available to meet my circumstances which would enable me to attend as a member of the Clarksons Residents Group based on a housing estate in Barking?

    April 15, 2014

    • Francis S.

      Hi Stuart I have sent you a mail and will look forward to you attending.

      April 15, 2014

    • Stuart G H.

      Thanks Francis, I will reply to confirm our group's attendance at what looks to be a very useful meeting.

      April 15, 2014

  • Niels

    Great initiative. Been pondering about this one for a while. Thanks Francis!

    April 14, 2014

  • Andria

    Indeed, community could mean anything but generally these phrases refer to communities in trouble, flux or rapid change i think???

    April 14, 2014

  • Lydia T.

    This is the way now & into the future.... Unless anything else gets in the way, will be there. But I have on 2 occasions asked an alternative method of payment apart fr online. Can you pls email me?
    [masked] - Thanks.

    April 7, 2014

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