Unitary Authorities

A democratic breakthrough? 2 UK models: from the many to one

WEST MIDLANDS

The Government plans to create “a series of new mayors within the next ten years”, Ministers have revealed.

It will tell councils across the country that they must create regional mayors if they want a share of the funding that is being allocated to existing mayors, such as Andy Street in the West Midlands and Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester.

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Go Bottom Up

The extent to which the use of social media by campaigns follows the command and control model, or a more bottom-up, decentralized approach. (Source – the LSE blog)

To selectively adopt digital tools that fit with the traditional top-down model; in other cases, the dynamics created by linking to other grassroots organizations can have transformative effects.

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LTNs: low traffic neighbourhoods

LTNs are residential roads where (lockable) bollards, plant containers and point closures (modal points) reduce through traffic but maintain vehicular access to all addresses. Making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists and reducing air and noise pollution. Changes to our streets that were slipped in during the Covid-19 pandemic and not to everyone’s taste.

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Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The UNESCO Diversity of Cultural Expressions was agreed in 2005 and adopted in 2007

The right wing counter with Patriotism and don’t believe Theresa May 2012 : “If you’re a citizen of the world you’re a citizen of nowhere”

To combat this

  • Be a cosmopolitan citizen of the world – International, Progressive, Digital, WordPressed, Global
  • Combat nationalist exceptionalism and learn about why: The Peace of Westphalia, a treaty that launched the notion of inviolate State borders in 1648 – undermined by the bipolarity of the Cold War and the longevity of NATO

Taking Responsibility

Demonstrate Flexibility

Offer Open Source

Become more Collegial 

Get interested in the Transfer of Power

Learn to Criticise the Institutions

Develop Capacity

None of this need be about so-called empowerment for a Dandelion Child

Read how your Resilience has Developed through Adversity

Care Leavers

Bridging the Power Gap

An odd choice for me to focus on you might say, but if you want to do something really practical to bridge the ever-widening socio-economic power gap, then spare a thought for all those young people making the transition from deep institutionalisation to a poverty-stricken independence. You could do worse than get involved with this particular cohort of young people, all at the threshold of becoming a responsible adult in a hostile environment.

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Mental Health

The lockdown started with fears of dystopia and social breakdown, but appears to be ending with people more closely bonded and appreciative of nature than before. 

The question is: How long can we get that mood to last, once capitalism revs up again?

Pay more attention to each other – there is more to life than money.

Provide a “gentle space” that will help socially isolated residents to reintegrate Cook for one another and leave food on the steps

Reconnect with friends

Get the beachfront as close to bustling as it is possible to get in an era of physical distancing:  long queues for fish and chips and ice-cream, family picnics, play football, fly kites.

See https://unitedgmh.org