Our Society in Dudley Borough is about changing relationships.
Our Society in Dudley Borough is an approach and activity being developed in Dudley Borough responding to the government’s Big Society, localism and decentralisation agendas. This approach is being taken by the Dudley Community Partnership, and will inform the actions of key organisations in Dudley Borough, such as Dudley Council.
There is an urgent need to do more and to do some things differently to meet the challenges presented by decentralisation, a retreating state, service diversification and the effects of austerity. Changes in national policy inevitably mean that the relationship between the local Public Sector and the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCFS) and with citizens will be different in future. There will be less public sector delivery and more commissioning and establishment of alternative delivery mechanisms. There will be more transparency and greater involvement of citizens in decision making, influencing services and challenging services.
Achieving this will require some degree of transformation of the balances of power, requiring public sector organisations to become more open to influence, as well as undertaking a wider enabling role, in helping build capacity within the communities and people of the Borough to hold greater responsibilities in designing services and perhaps bidding for service delivery contracts.
Agreement as to how and to what degree the relationship between the public sector and the VCFS will change locally is required, to ensure the Borough can bring about effective change. Both sectors and different organisations will have their own expectations of how new national policy will effect local delivery. Our Society in Dudley Borough recognises that outcomes and activities sought in a Big Society already exist across many areas of our Borough but that these are not enough.
Our Society in Dudley Borough was inspired by the national Our Society network which aims to connect people who are genuinely concerned to move power into communities and who help others to improve their shared lives and environment.
Like those involved in the national Our Society network, we see value in many of the ideas advocated under the Big Society label and proposed in the Localism Bill – local decision-making, mutual support within communities, strengthening civic institutions and wider civic participation. We believe they belong within a wider context of social action that has a long history and a future beyond the programmes and initiatives of different governments.
Activities in Dudley Borough under the Our Society banner aim to:
- provide spaces where people can share their stories and struggles as they see them
- inspire by shharing news of successes and achievements
- make connections with others who are engaged in related activities
- facilitate learning from others’ experiences
- share expertise and offer valued services
- explore new opportunities
- lay the foundations for a changed relationship between citizens, communities and local public sector agencies
On this site you can find out about:
- who is involved
- what’s happening
- what we’re reading and looking at to inform our thinking
- our Community Rights made Real research and learning project