About the event
In 2012 Liz Richardson and Catherine Durose from Manchester and Birmingham Universities began two years of research and enquiry into models of local accountability and co-production. In the course of this work they encountered dozens of individuals in communities across the country who were exploring and experimenting around localism and co-production in different practical ways.
This event was the culmination of a month of activities to explore what the research meant for practice, and vice versa. 64 people from a variety of sectors, including local authority, community and research, came together in Birmingham to hear, and discuss, the stories of a range of people ‘doing’ localism and co-production. We heard from a Parish Council taking on local environmental services from the county and employing local villagers part-time to do it; from cities changing the way they relate to citizens, one neighbourhood at a time; from third sector providers empowering citizens through commissioned services; and from housing providers co-creating new relationships and services with their tenants.
Rather than set piece presentations, each contributor shared their story with a series of small groups. We chose story-telling as an approach because stories are better at prompting people to think about the meaning what the story is actually telling us; PowerPoint presentations tend to encourage us to focus more on process.
Each story teller told their ‘story’ three times, to different groups, meaning not only that people got to hear most of the stories during the day but also the story tellers had a chance to tweak their story between telling in response to questions and reflections from the previous group.
The event was co-hosted by NANM and the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham. On the day, as well as story tellers, we also had visual minuters capturing the discussions, we created a DIY Localism gallery (of drawings people made in the initial session) and produced a series of ‘Bob Dylan Subterranean Blues style’ photos of how we each thought a statement ‘the moral of the story is…’ should be completed from their experience of the day. Everyone also had a go at the five-minute ‘What localism type are you?’ quiz, the results of which were revealed at the end day. A genuinely multimedia event!
Below are links to the research that informed the day as well as to resources generated on the day.
Reports of both the pieces of research undertaken by the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham that led to this event are available on-line:
Who is accountable in localism? Findings from theory and practice, Liz Richardson and Catherine Durose, Universities of Manchester and Birmingham, May 2013
Transforming local public services through co-prduction, Catherine Durose, Catherine Mangan, Catherine Needham and James Rees, with Matthew Hilton, University of Birmingham, April 2013
A range of resources were also shared or produced on the day.
- Agenda - Seven stories of localism (485).
- The Neighbourhood Accountability Quiz (562). This is a refined version of the Quiz used at the ‘Seven stories’ event. The Neighbourhood Accountability Quiz is intended for use by active residents, local groups, service providers, council officers, councillors and community leaders wanting to work out the type of involvement that the community currently has with the council.
- Accountability Solitaire. This is part of Liz and Catherine’s next research project and they are keen for as many people as possible to have a go. The link takes you to a welcome page with more detail about the activity and how it’ll be used in their research.
- A full set of photos of people holding their ‘And the moral of the story is ….’ boards (in the style of Bob Dylan Subterranean Blues)
- Localism in action - The South West Guide (533). Case studies, tools and tips from the South West of England. This is the resource mentioned by Leslie Silverlock in telling the story ‘A Tale from Tiverton, Devon’.
- Visual minutes (recorded by More than Minutes).