Tag Archives: community

Opinion: The hidden costs of pushing parents to conform

I heard odd things yesterday.  Talk of getting women back into the workplace by subsidising childcare for all parents – and this after means testing child benefit.

Then someone proposed that all child carers should have good GCSE Maths & English whilst increasing ratios! How did the human race survive before academic qualifications? Here we have another narrowing of work opportunities for people who are not so hot at academic stuff.

To add to my indignation, I heard someone say on the radio that only working parents provide a positive role model  for children and that “non-working” parents don’t contribute to the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Opinion: Strong communities are the key to reducing anti-social behaviour

From littering to binge drinking to sexual harassment, as a society we suffer when individuals show a lack of restraint and self-discipline when interacting with each other and with their local environment.

How many women do you know who have suffered sexual harassment? From wolf whistles in the street to full-on physical harassment, too many of my female friends don’t feel safe to walk down the street at night, and, more often than not, have experienced harassment of some kind in

Posted in Op-eds | 12 Comments

The Independent View: Participatory democracy and the People’s Budget

It’s budget season and here’s a question ….

Is it an exaggeration to claim that there is a crisis in our system of democracy? When so many people don’t bother to vote and there are communities in the UK which no longer have any faith in the willingness of parliament and local government to address their needs and concerns, to actually represent their interests, then I think not. However, the direction of the coalition government’s policy is avowedly towards greater accountability and a stronger role for local people in decisions about local services.

The reality is that, despite the rhetoric about localism …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Andrew Stunell MP writes… “Creating the Conditions” – the Coalition’s Approach to Integration

Today I was delighted to launch the long awaited Integration Strategy “Creating the Conditions” – the Coalition’s blueprint for improving community cohesion and developing neighbourhoods and communities across the country. Last summer’s riots gave a severe jolt to any thought that social alienation was a thing of the past. Couple that with the tide of marches and demonstrations by the far-right English Defence League and it is clear there are still enduring problems of cohesion and integration in communities up and down the land. If we fail to tackle those problems we not only face more flash points, we will …

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Time Banking: A simple route to community spirit?

Ever since my unsuccessful council by-election campaign in November I’ve had a burning desire to ask more positive questions of the electorate in the run-up to my next council election in May. What kind of volunteering might you be interested in getting involved in? What kind of skills do you have that you might like to pass on to others in the community? What interests and hobbies might you like to share with your neighbours? I had notions of gathering this data together and then signposting voters to voluntary groups or suggesting they get together with others who share their …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPatrick Kelly 29th Jul - 12:37pm
    It's time for the US to lead a sizable international force into Gaza with the following mission: 1 - Enforce an immediate end to the...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 29th Jul - 12:35pm
    I endorse David Allen's improvement on my 'political status' suggestion. Indeed, such a comment could easily be placed in a box corresponding to the 'Website'...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 29th Jul - 12:20pm
    Clearly all this killing on both sides is both devastatingly wrong, and is making the prospects for peace more distant. We should back the UN...
  • User AvatarA Social Liberal 29th Jul - 12:16pm
    Perhaps a little Israeli child should hold up a similar placard, something like this . . . . "You tried to kill us at the...
  • User Avatarjenny Tonge 29th Jul - 12:13pm
    Thank you John for putting it so clearly and thank you that child for telling how it is on the banner. Our political leaders are...
  • User AvatarJohn McHugo 29th Jul - 12:11pm
    The tragedy of it all is that if Israel had accepted Palestinian rights in international law as the starting point for the Kerry negotiations -...