Introduction A challenge for Public Square is to understand how innovation in involving communities in decision making can go from isolated examples in different places – and with different labels – to a whole-system change. On Saturday 16 February Mel Stevens and I held a workshop at the Notwestminster event in Huddersfield where we posed this question to a wide group of people interested in local democracy. We introduced Public Square then asked a series of questions about decision-making. Here’s a quick download of the conversations we had and some reflection about what we can take forward to the programme.
We’re asking members of our advisory groups to write about Public Square and their interest in the programme. First up, Catherine Howe exploring some of the problems with our current democratic system and how Public Square might help to address them. ‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’ (Winston S Churchill, 11 November
In November 2018, we invited people with an interest in local decision making to Manchester for Public Square’s first public event. We wanted to discuss with them how to improve local democracy. The attendees included people from community and voluntary organisations, active citizens, academics, and people working in local government. What we talked about Introducing Public Square The project team from The Democratic Society and mySociety introduced Public Square, describing our vision for the programme. You can see an edited-down version of the slide pack that we showed on the day below. And you can read ‘What is Public Square‘