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a deeper democracy

ideas – conversations – campaigns

'We need a deeper and more radical change that seeks to develop a more extensive and inclusive form of democracy that actively involves people in the decision making process'

Peter Kyle MP (Labour)

[Tell us about the examples of deeper democracy in action that you know  – Mail here]

Deeper Democracy in Action

This is an ever expanding selection of projects from many parts of the globe. Whilst they differ in scale, ambition and scope, they have one central feature in common, a commitment to develop and maintain an inclusive democracy.   Please keep sending your examples, ideally accompanied with a few words outlining the background, how it works and how it came to be set up. 

Falmouth Corwall

Beacon is a successful community led partnership in Falmouth Cornwall. It is a  good example of how on participatory democracy can work and help transform a community.

Brighton

DueEast Neighbourhood Council is a resident led umbrella organisation covering the Whitehawk, Manor Farm and Bristol Estates in the East of the City of Brighton and Hove. Bringing together community organisations and services (police, health, education, housing etc.) it provides a voice for local people in decisions about the area and to take joint action.

Coin Street London

Coin Street is one of the best known examples of a community owned and self-managed housing and business regeneration area. Established in 1980/84, the Coin street covers 13 acres of previously derelict land on London's Southbank including the iconic OXO tower. The project provides high quality social and low cost housing. Money generated through commercial activites is reinvested in the community

Frome: Somerset

All 17 of Frome's town councillors are independents. The group is committed to developing a devolved approach to governing the town. The long term strategy is to involve residents in the planning and decision making through neighbourhood meetings, independent planning and participative budgeting.

Local Government Reform

The Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network is a collaboration between  20+ UK local local authorities including  Liverpool, Sunderland, Cardiff, Edinburgh and several London boroughs. Cooperative councils seek to create 'a new role for local authorities, that replaces traditional models of top down governance...with local leadership, cooperation and a new approach built on the cooperative movement: collective action, cooperation, empowerment'

Seattle

Seattle has been developing a comprehensive model of  citizen participation and partnerships since 1988. The aim was that the community , rather then the council sals set local priorities. The strategy includes the creation of neighbourhood based 'little town halls', a neighbourhood matching fund and neighbourhood planning programmes.

Barcelona Catalonia/Spain

In 1990 Ada Colau was elected mayor of Barcelona on a radical ticket that was committed to a radical devolution of power to the residents of the city. This strategy was influenced by the strafes of new progressive movements such as Los Indignados & Podemos. Since taking power the council has established neighbourhood councils, neighbourhood planning strategies and a systematic city wide ‘citizens participation’ strategy, the creation of a 'social solidarity economic strategy.

Porto Alegre Brazil

Porto Allegre is perhaps best know for its development of its participatory budgeting process introduced nearly thirty years ago.  The aim of the PA is to involve citizens in deciding how to allocate the city councils budget. The PA process involves a series of  open neighbourhood meeting review previous budget and discuss what the want from next, election of representatives for city-wide assembly that makes final decisions on budget. The policy has received a lot of attention and has been extensively studied, but a good overview of the approach can be found here.