Unless you've been living in a cave for the past month, you'll have heard the Blues and the Yellows (I'm referring to the government as a football team to make this blog sportingly topical) mention the words Big Society. Davey C (a bit like Stevey G, except he's captain of the whole country not just a football squad) wants communities to feel empowered to come together to address local issues and for charities and voluntary groups to play a role in delivering public services. Now before you mutter, it's just another way of saying funding cuts and dismiss the idea, actually think about the possibilties for you as an individual and for your community.
Did you steer round one too many potholes this morning? Why can your mate who lives 20 miles away recycle food yet you've only just got recycling bags for paper in your area? No doubt you voiced your concerns to a work colleague, spouse, yourself. But did you consider blogging about the issues?
William Perrin did and his actions took him all the way to Downing Street for last months seminar on the Big Society agenda. After countless phone calls and emails to his local council about broken street lamps and abandoned fridges (which resulted in his area being amongst the first to get new street lamps), William tapped in to the power of the blog and created Kings Cross Enivronment. It's a permenant online community where users can share their news, views, events or grumbles from street tipping to your next local blood donor session. The success of Kings Cross Enivronment spurred William to create Talk About Local, a website that offers loads of advice on setting up your own online community to help people communicate and campaign more effectively to influence events in the places in which they live, work or play.
The idea is that by representing your local community in an online community,you can increase community engagement, raise awareness about the issues that matter to you, and reach an audience beyond your postcode. And let off some steam while you do it!
This is your chance to have a say, take it.
To read the Building a Big Society document, click here.