Paddington Development Trust held its 5th Biennial Community Conference last week exploring how to turn national policy on localism into practice on the ground. A mix of interested people including residents, community groups, officers, the CEO and Leader of Westminster City Council and government advisors packed PDT’s Stowe Centre to explore future working drawn from North Paddington’s lessons and experience of neighbourhood working over the last ten years. Feedback has been very positive, with most concluding that it was a thoroughly thought-provoking event. (For conference resources and write up see links below)
This VT was made by local photographer and lifetime chronicler of Paddington community action, Philip Wolmuth. It captures Paddington residents’ feelings about social action in neighbourhoods where they live.
Making Localism Work from Philip Wolmuth on Vimeo.
The conference highlighted:
Accountability – this was the term most referenced on flip-charts, and was clearly felt to be essential in any new ‘local’ model of delivery or engagement.
Support, Advice and Training – A recognition that local people will need support, advice and training in order to engage and involve themselves in co-designing services or in direct delivery.
Infrastructure, information and networking – A belief that this work needs infa-structure support to help ensure information sharing and networking.
Sustainability and Resources – A strong call for any new processes to have sustainability and for resources to be provided to ensure this can happen over the long-term. Support for increased volunteering but with paid staff alongside.
Local people do know best – A strong sense that local people do know what it best and have ideas, passions and energies that should be harnessed.
Click here for the discussion and debate notes of the conference. Also available are the agenda, biographies of the speakers and panelists, a background paper and speakers’ slides. You can also listen to an edited audio recording of Jonathan Carr-West and Angela Singhate.
Click here for information on our 2009 Community Conference.