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UK: 'Neighbourhoods' Blog about participation, social capital and local life 15.3.07 [EN]


Neighbourhoods' is a very active British Blog about community development by Kevin Harris. It is selected for appearing on e-urban (on the new UK-Urban-Feeds page) for its comprehensiveness and its independent, often critical, view of local participation policies.

For instance: On March 14, 2007, Harris goes to
an involve participation seminar [..], which included a speech from Oliver Letwin on 'a conservative vision of citizenship,' buttressed by Bill Wiggin MP, with some apparently harmless waves of reality from Mary Ann Sieghart allowed to lap gently some way below their lofty outlook. They were all preceded by Mori's Ben Page who neatly and unceremoniously packed all the real issues into about five minutes, only to find they too were mostly overlooked by the subsequent speakers.' (In: A Future For Participation? - Link)
On the train ride back home, finally, a conversation with Page inspires Harris to six very sensible conclusions. (Worth reading! HR).

Meanwhile, the 'Involve' official website jubilates:
"The first event in Involve's  Participation Nation Seminar Series. went well yesterday evening.
Oliver Letwin MP gave the keynote speech and Mary Ann Sieghart of The Times, Bill Wiggin MP, Shadow minister for  Agriculture and Fisheries, and Ben Page of Ipsos-MORI provided response and context.[..]"

We are not going to explain here all the ins and outs of the manifold British Government initiatives (this one is of the Dept. of Constitutional Affairs) on local democracy, participation and partnerships. You got the picture. In priciple, it is not different from what we see in other European countries.

The UK is more European than it believes... (And e-urban is happy with that.)

Harris' approach is what we try to adopt as ours: critical, but constructive.


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