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
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  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 18th Dec - 2:17am
    g I have little faith in political parties these days to change things through themselves, 3rd sector organisations and academia are often much better at...
  • User AvatarTeena Lashmore 18th Dec - 12:55am
    This debate is so important. Before, I have said the London position and solutions should be for London and not used for everywhere else because...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 18th Dec - 12:34am
    In the event of a draw between Conservatives and Labour, continuity of a Con Lib Dem coalition would have a lot going for it because...
  • User AvatarChris_sh 18th Dec - 12:32am
    @Paul Walters Re the UN convention. So any pain up to but not including severe is OK. However, each person has their own pain threshold...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 18th Dec - 12:29am
    “Nick Clegg has publicly ruled out the option of a ‘supply and confidence’ arrangement in the event no single party wins a majority in May...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 18th Dec - 12:24am
    EVEL and devolution of powers within England are separate issues. We should not be using a long and complicated debate about how we might devolve...