I blogged last month about an inspiring community-led scheme in High Bickington, Devon, which has brought villagers together to deliver badly needed housing and workspace for local people.
I was delighted this morning to read the two-page write-up Planning magazine had devoted to the project, following a visit and some interviews organised at the site a few weeks ago.
The link is not yet up on the website, so I can not provide this. But the coverage highlighted the project’s ‘local’ credentials, which predate the Government’s localism and Big Society agendas by the best part of a decade.
It’s great to see the project, and the role of the HCA in its delivery, recognised by the industry. I will try to provide links to the coverage when they are available!
I was there with a colleague, supporters of the project and a journalist from Planning magazine who is writing a feature on High Bickington (I hope as an example of how local action and partnership working can deliver the amenities communities are calling for).
It’s worth sharing a post on the Big Society – from Andy Sawford at LGiU. There is much more to say on this, as demonstrated by some Twitter exchanges I’ve had tonight over councils’ ability to send newsletters to residents. One man’s localism is another man’s fish and chip wrapper, perhaps. Sorry you can’t see the picture below. Problems with WordPress tonight.
Writing in the Evening Standard this week, Matthew Dancona makes a spirited defence of the Big Society. He veers around the subject, pivoting on what he sees as the ideological underpinning of Cameron’s big idea – the small state. This pitching of state against society, government against citizen, really misses the point. Government should be for society and by citizens, we must see the state not as a collection of services – vital though ma … Read More
Debates about the meaning of the Government’s Big Society plan highlight some fundamental communication challenges for its supporters.
The most pressing obstacle can be seen in recent survey results, which suggest that most people do not understand the what the Big Society stands for. This has led some critics to suggest that it is being used to shield big cuts, rather than represent a policy shift that puts local communities in control of their destinies. The CIPR is currently debating this issue with its members. The dilemma has led the Government-supporting Sun to acknowledge that David Cameron ‘still has a mountain to climb to sell the Big Society to baffled Brits.’
The CIPR has had some valid things to say this week about the ‘Big Society’ and the role communications could play in enhancing the public’s understanding of this idea.
The institute’s CEO Jane Wilson has blogged about the subject, arguing that local communicators and leaders are better placed to build support for the Big Society than Government.
This debate continued on CIPRTV, which looked at (amongst other things) communications challenges posed by the perceived connection between the Big Society and public sector cuts. Members were invited to join the debate on Twitter and were emailed by Wilson before the debate started.
This is below and worth a look for anyone with an interest in the issue.
A series of workshops and debates are planned on the issue, and a couple of member colleagues are supporting this activity by writing some blog content.
Coming just before today’s difficult coverage for the Big Society, it’s a timely debate from the institute and one that members should get stuck into. The Big Society would benefit from their input.