Reflections From Around the World on Participatory Budgeting

The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy is a worldwide network of local government and other interested researchers and practitioners interested in developing a more participatory form of local democracy. This year their conference was in Barcelona and we used the opportunity to run a workshop exploring people’s experiences of Participatory Budgeting, considering how this technique […]

A Better Debate About What’s Built Where: What We’ve Learnt So Far

Deciding what gets built where is often an intensely fraught subject of debate, as Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework consultation showed. Space in Common is a project exploring whether a better quality of debate is possible on this subject in Greater Manchester. To start the discussion off, we brought together a small group with a stake […]

Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

  Deciding what we should build where always seems to stoke intense emotions and conflict. Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework set out plans for how land could be best used across the city region. The resulting consultation gave voice to a kaleidoscope of different concerns and interests but generated very little in the way of constructive […]

What happens in Huddersfield doesn’t stay in Huddersfield: Ideas for improving engagement in local government from Not Westminster 2017

Yet again ‘Not Westminster’ brought together a fascinating group of people from across the UK who work to put people at the heart of local government, and to improve local democracy, and provided space and opportunity to discuss where we go next. We were particularly inspired by hearing from Emily Warrilow, a Kirklees youth councillor […]

How effective is the Open Government Partnership? Should the EU get involved?

The OGP is a partnership between national governments and the wider public, working together to develop ways of increasing public participation in government and make government more transparent and accountable. The UK has been involved since 2011, and many other countries in Europe and around the world are too.   So, if this partnership is […]

Understanding the EU debate

Many people are still saying that they don’t understand what’s at stake in the EU referendum. As part of an independent, not for profit, organisation I have created this guide to explain what the points on each side are. The European Union is a series of international agreements that 28 European countries have made between […]