Community Organisers and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) are delighted to see the recognition of their joint work in the Future of Communities Report published by Local Trust on 10th July 2018.
Both Community Organisers and NALC believe that local people should to be able to directly influence and shape the future of their communities. By working together, both organisations believe that they can strengthen and extend the network of town and parish councils to ensure that they are truly democratic and accountable.
A number of councils already use community organising skills to engage with their communities and facilitate community coordinated campaigns. Glastonbury Town Council is one council who has embraced this. Through listening to the community they found a recent crime issue was really affecting them. They worked out a number of solutions and the community voted in favour of the council employing a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). The town council raised council tax for all of their residents by £11 in order to pay for the PCSO. With the presence of the PCSO, the crime in the town is reducing.
Building on the examples of where Community Organising and local councils have worked together successfully Community Organisers held a joint training session on 3rd and 4th July with NALC to introduce the practice and principles of community organising. Community Organisers and NALC will now be looking to roll similar workshops out across the country.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC said: “It was fantastic to see NALC’s partnership with Community Organisers mentioned in the Future for Communities report. We strongly believe this partnership has massive potential to transform local councils for the better. The more community engagement skills we can give to our local councillors and clerks the more likely communities across England will be empowered and actively engage in civic duties. We believe it is part of local councils’ jobs to mobilise the communities they serve.”
Nick Gardham, CEO of Community Organisers, said “This is a tremendously powerful relationship to impact on the governance and accountability at the most local level. Not only are we seeing real enthusiasm within existing town and parish councils but in other areas that we are working individuals are expressing an interest in understanding how the local council structure could work for them.”
Read the Future for Communities: Perspectives on Power report HERE.