Category Archives: Democracy
The Conservative Party has ignored requests from Back Garden to take part in the Eastcott Ward hustings on 7pm Monday, 16 April at Savernake Hall. The hustings will give residents to question seven candidates from the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties.
The Conservatives have nominated candidates for Eastcott but have ignored requests to take part in the event and allow themselves to be questioned by residents.
Back Garden is a non-political body, but engages with political parties and other stakeholders in the area. The hustings have been arranged in collaboration with Kingshill Residents Association and Queen’s Park Community Council.
‘Eastcott Hustings’ will be at 19:00 Monday 16 April at Savernake Street Hall. This is a chance to quiz the parties and candidates standing in Eastcott Ward. The hustings are being run by Back Garden with the support of the Kingshill and Queen’s Parks residents’ groups.
The Green, Liberal Democrats and Labour Parties will be represented.
Back Garden calls for the creation of a Savernake Community Hall user group to support the Hall in the long-term. The group would allow users and the Council to build a constructive long-term relationship and help secure the future of this important facility.
Following a meeting last night a proposal for providing better support for the community was agreed.
The proposals are here Six principles for the future.
Please add your comments or email Back Garden email@example.com
There is a ‘Statement of first principles’ for Back Garden under About Back garden here.
We look forward to your thoughts and comments.
Back Garden offered its support to the Eastcott Community Council at a meeting last night. The ECC is facing closure due to a perceived lack of interest. It was agreed that there was scope for the Back Garden’s network approach to be extended to all of Eastcott and that the commitment and knowledge of the current ECC activists must not be lost. The model we discussed was for a merger.
The ECC will discuss this at their meeting on 13 September.
The ECC have issued this appeal.
Aug-Sept 2011.ppp pt2
Connecting People: Connecting Places has as its aim bringing the wider community of residents and service providers closer together. Collaboration that will lead to more effective services and a better quality of life. It is admirable and innovative. Sadly it is flawed.
Collaboration requires communication, dialogue and a willingness on occasions to compromise. Unfortunately there are service providers who are not prepared to communicate with anyone outside of their department or company.
At Back Garden we have experienced Council officials ignoring requests for information and private companies failing to reply to questions about their operations in Old Town. They include Council departments covering roads and recycling; companies carrying out waste collection and providing consultancy advice. Without communication, there can be no dialogue. Without communication residents are reduced to an almost endless list of complaints. Swindon is good place to live. It has advantages over other nearby towns, but too often residents and service providers only communicate at the level of mutual criticism. “Why did you not do this?” “Here is a bill for failing to follow our rules”.
There is though another flaw in Connecting People Connecting Places. Its relationship to democracy.
In parts of the town, most particularly where Ward Councillors have ignored residents in the past, an additional tier of representation has been created. Some local Forums or Community Councils, do a useful job. They claim they do not represent. They offer space to meet service providers and talk. Unfortunately in some case they do this badly. They prevent serious discussion and exclude residents. For service providers who do not want dialogue they offer a smokescreen of pretence.
It was for this reason that Back Garden set out to be an information exchange. We are in the awful jargon of corporate life a facilitator. Meetings and job titles are the world of democracy and representation. When the electorate can be counted on the fingers of one hand they are neither. Back Garden has turned its back on this. We are the online equivalent of conversations in the street, the pub or the sadly missed corner shop.
Back Garden will continue to offer ways for residents to raise issues. If only a few campaigners or if only some service providers join in, it will be a long road before we can deliver the objectives of Connecting People: Connecting Places.
Swindon’s Back Garden