Separate the people from the problem; hard on the problem, soft on the people
Focus on interests not positions
Invent options for mutual gain & don’t accept a ‘fixed pie’
Use objective criteria to assess options
Positional bargaining versus principled negotiation DEBATE DELIBERATION search for weaknesses in other position search for strength in other position countering other position at the expense of the Relationship many people have pieces of an answer to a workable solution investing wholeheartedly in your beliefs temporarily suspend judgment oppositional, prove others wrong collaborative, common understanding goal is winning goal is common ground for action listen to find flaws and counterarguments listen to understand and find agreement defends original solutions looks for better solutions
Fundamental understandings of power – zero-sum or positive sum?
Hard to shift the way we do politics but possible e.g. Tameside MBC, Rossendale MBC, Stockport MBC
Transparency is critical e.g. Chorley BC
“ Councillors are white, male and old. I want a better spread of councillors but I don’t want it to be me that loses my seat! I love being a councillor. Some councillors complain but they’re all there at election time trying to get back in.”
“ An ideal role for ward members would be to challenge and be assertive […] and be real community leaders are prepared to say no. Lots of promises are made. There’s no challenge, they won’t say no.”
“ The Asian community want ‘a mosque’. If I said ‘yes here’s a mosque’ I would lose votes so I can’t. But I can’t tell them no because I’d look racist […] Muslims want to use the church – there’s only eight people there on a Sunday, but I can’t ask them because of politics”
Devolved decision-making and pork barrel politics?
Local councils – ‘Trumpton on Steroids’, but slow progress e.g. Parish Charters – good eg in Lancashire CC
Changing relationship with citizens – a topsy turvey world?
Much cynicism; concern re: communities forced to fill gaps
We’re a long way from where we started – guess who?:
The growth of the state has promoted selfishness and individualism rather than social solidarity. There needs to be a thoughtful reimagining of the role of the state.
The state’s role is to nurture solidaristic human motivations. The state needs to exercise self-restraint; voluntarism can balance the power and dominance of the state.
60 years of state welfare - well-intentioned - eaten away at capacity for mutuality & self-help
LGIU 2011 survey on risk: 64% saw community sector capability as low; 66% felt community unmotivated to take on responsibilities, assets, services.
Under 20% had formally assessed community appetite for more involvement
London Councils 2011 Big Society report: reluctant to extend use of ‘Big Society-type providers’ unless difficulties of transferring risk, the fragmented nature of the third sector and variable quality and capacity can be dealt with.
London councils felt was little evidence of 'groundswell of enthusiasm [by citizens] to “join up and take part”'
LGIU survey – 50% councils ‘risk averse’; over half felt Scrutiny not effective in managing risk
Risk avoidance or risk monitoring, not active risk management
“ I have a heart attack if we involve volunteers as the council – the health and safety and legal departments. If they work for us there’s all the risk and liabilities. They’re not supposed to do half of what they do.”
Risk assessment biased towards the worse-case scenario, do not take account of full costs and benefits
One version: Stop whinging and waiting for someone to give you a check-book to start […] We’re bored to death of waiting for permission to get on and do things to improve out own lives […] this is the art of the possible […] the biggest nightmare is the mindset that looks for reasons why we can’t do anything. “
Other options: better information on behaviour of communities, community versions of a PQQ; mechanisms to share risks and reward e.g. community dividends; proactive Scrutiny role e.g. Rossendale BC