2014 saw some notable successes for grassroots campaigns. Joseph Blake, a member of Edge Fund, argues that a tiny increase in the share of charitable giving going to small independent groups would deliver disproportionate benefits.
On 8 January 2015 Communities Minister Stephen Williams set out new measures to make it easier for local people to set up a town or parish council.
The government is keen that more communities feel able to set up councils where they believe it would benefit them. But feedback over the last 3 years has been that the existing legislation can be burdensome and often discourages local campaigners. The three new measures are a response to this feedback.
Housing Associations and other social landlords are increasingly focused on helping residents into work. In a recent survey two thirds of housing associations said they already provided employment and skills support to tenants, or were planning to introduce such services.
Nesta recently co-hosted two events with HACT and the centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to find out more. In particular, they wanted to explore how Nesta could help prompt new ideas and take good ones to scale.
Read more here: Nesta, 12 January 2015
Bus driver Steve Hurst set up Spirit Buses having spotted a ‘gap that’s long needed filling’. The Coquetdale valley in Northumberland national park has long had it all – except public transport. All that changed this autumn, when a local man fulfilled a life-long ambition to launch his own bus company to link up the villages of his valley, providing a “lifeline” to pensioners and teens without driving licences who were otherwise stuck in their homes. Read more in The Guardian, 4 January 2015
The White Horse at Upton, near Acle, has won a £4,000 grant from a new community service support scheme organised by Pub is the Hub, which is in turn backed with £30,000 from Norfolk County Council. The cash will be used to convert an old barn next to the pub into a community shop, cementing the White Horse’s reputation for being the beating heart of the Broads village. It is not the only community-run pub in Norfolk. Read more at EDP24, 16 December 2014