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Open Letter - 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:

  1. Neighbourhood democracy where people can decide things together in their own communities
  2. Community services that facilitate and work in partnership with local communities
  3. Decent public services and the reversal of the austerity policies that have harmed so many local communities
  4. New models of local government which embrace and democratic and community involvement
  5. Regional parliaments that enable regions to define their own priorities
  6. A new economic settlement that ends extreme inequalities between regions and between people
  7. Constitutional, parliamentary and electoral reform to ensure the voice of local people, local places and regions is properly heard.

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.

Signed by

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
Rhiannon Jane Raftery

To sign the open letter, click here

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