This is what we believe. Please get in touch if you would like to co-sign this Open Letter on Neighbourhood Democracy.
The COVID-19 Crisis has demonstrated the enormous desire and capacity we all have to be full citizens, to help each other out, to decide things together and to work to improve our local neighbourhoods and society as a whole. As we prepare for a new future, we must seize this opportunity to exercise our citizenship to the full, on both local, national and international issues and we must challenge and change the systems that are getting in the way.
People must have more power to make decisions on the issues that affect them at every level.
We need a deeper democracy.
The neighbourhood level in particular needs more development and more power; partly to take decisions on things that can be devolved to that level and partly to have a stronger voice in decisions that do need to be more centralised. Neighbourhoods and other independent communities are the natural basis for people to join together, and therefore the cornerstone of democracy as a whole.
There are already a few places and people that have begun to make Neighbourhood Democracy a reality - local communities, some local authorities and some organisations are committed to trying to shift their systems to empower citizens and local communities. But these initiatives are fragmented. It is time to come together to improve the whole of society, for the benefit of everybody. Publishing this open letter is the first step in a process creating a movement for neighbourhood and deeper democracy from the grassroots up.
There are many changes required and there needs to be learning and development. Different places may develop different solutions:
If you want to live in a country where everyone can be a full citizen, where every community can flourish and where democracy is deep and far-reaching then please join us by co-signing this letter.
Angela Fell - Ripen
Simon Duffy - Centre for Welfare Reform Markus Vähälä - Citizen Network Mark McKergow - Village In The City Stuart White - Jesus College, Oxford University Susan Smith Jim McLay Naomi Davies Bury Mutual Aid Springfield, Beech Hill & Gidlow Community Deborah Stephens Cormac Russell - Nurture Development L30 Community Centre Iain Chambers - Brighton Food Factory Ruth Milsom - Yorkshire Socialist Health Association & Sheffield Save Our NHS Nick Dixon - resident of Chorlton, South Manchester Warren Carter - Bevy Community Pub Graeme Clive Hodgson - Cambridge Labour Party Jon Maiden - Panjango Mel Smith - Grapevine Coventry & Warwickshire Dr Billy M Desein - East Marsh United Jacqueline Smith - Paganhill Community Group Brian Mosley - Love Sheffield Philip Long Perry Walker - Talk Shop Sylvia Duffy - Hands Together Ludlow Nick Beddow - Shared Places Roz Davies Bob Rhodes - Lives through Friends Dr Stuart Berry - Reedyford Healthcare, Nelson, Lancashire Sam Moon Anthony Kramers - Community Volunteer Michael Mulvey - Independent Constitutionalists UK Chris Watson - Self Directed Futures Andrew Knight Elizabeth Costello - Leigh Film Society CIO Janet Cobb Peter Durrant - Independent community worker Amanda Topps - CfWR & Amanda Topps Consultancy Matty Caine - First Person Project CIC Joop Hofman - Rode Wouw Katrina Robson - Love Barrow Together Andrew Wilson - Same Skies Dominic Lodge - Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust James Lock - Opus Sam Gregory - UBI Lab Network Tchiyiwe Chihana - African Voices Platform David Jeffery Jack Scott - Basic Income Network Scotland Reinhard Huss - UBI Lab Leeds Daniel Mermelstein Steve Thomas - Dept of Health Sciences, University of York Richard High - Basic Income UK Cllr Jack Haines - Hull Liberal Democrats Chris Randall - Liberal Democrats Paul Drake-Davis - Hull Liberal Democrats Diana Hatcher - Hull Liberal Democrats Karen Webber - BIUK & UBI Lab West Mids Cllr Erin Hill - Kirklees Council and UBI Lab Kirklees Bianca Schubert Ralph Broad - Inclusive Neighbourhoods Ltd Remco Peters Katie Clarke - Bringing us Together Mandy Wilson Brendan Martin - Public World and Buurtzorg Britain & Ireland Deana Wildgoose - TH!NK FC Neil Woodhead Jonny Douglas - UBI Lab Network Remo Siza - University of Sassari Angie Carter - Mountains and Molehills Rosemary Burke - Parent and Carer Hub Scott Jacobs-Lange Selva Mustafa - Elephants Trail Paul Wright - Open Door Community Foundation & Firs & Bromford Neighbours Together Nathaniel Whitestone - A Fairer Society Elizabeth Alister Heywood - Avenues Action Darren Knight Caroline Tomlinson - My Life Legacy Wes Hinckes Rachel Mason - Self Directed Futures Thomas Allan - Centre for Welfare Reform Kieran Breen - Leicestershire Cares Leslie George Derx - Yorkshire Party Kirsty Bentham Alison Head Madeleine Wallner Fran Hicks - Taunton Build Back Better Fran Halsall - Naturally Focused Neil Johnston - PDT Richard Honnoraty - Yorkshire Party Jonny Ross-Tatam - The People's Powerhouse Katrina Robson - Love Barrow Together Darren Longhorn
Ms Emily Russ Edna Robinson - The People's Powerhouse Nacho Arsuaga - ENCO Andy Benson - Suffolk Health and Social Care Action Group Barb Jacobson - Basic Income UK & UBI Lab London Dr David Beck - University of Salford & UBI Lab Bolton Kathryn Dean John Carlisle - Sheffieldview Amy-Grace Whillans-Welldrake The Portland Inn Project Robin John Burgess Martin Yarnit - Talk Shop Sophie Macfadyen - The Groves community neighbourhood group, Sheffield Carolyn Kagan - Chorlton Voice Annabelle Macfadyen - Frome Neighbourhood Network Brian Fisher Claire Stocks Simon Rippon - Aligned Consultancy Jonny Zander - Kaizen Clive Tuck - Centre for Welfare Reform Mark Jones Michael Hancock - Community Alliances Limited Wendy Murphy John P Hall -Yorkshire Party Darren Longhorn -Yorkshire Party Joe Langley Andrew Shead Bikatshi Katenga Andy Gilbert - Knowsley Disability Concern Philip Long Diane Garrini - Hands Together Ludlow Peter Durrant - Independent Community Development and Social worker Tom Griffiths - Parasol Hannah Gray Diane Warburton - Shared Practice Paul Brookhouse - Derby Food 4 Thought Aliiance Cllr Jake Lodge - Independent Cllr: Barnsley MBC Richard Carter - Yorkshire Party Founder Andrew Boys Juliet Eastham - Bury Community Power Heather Denny Yvonne Murphy - Omidaze Productions: The Democracy Box