public participation

Deliberative Democracy: exploring fresh approaches to consultation

Deliberative Democracy: exploring fresh approaches to consultation Introduction Test Valley Borough Council led a Government-funded pilot to explore how a deliberative approach could inform decision-making on important local policy and service issues. Following that pilot the Council are keen to adopt that model for citizen engagement where it offers the best approach to informing decision-making. The Council commissioned the Southern Policy Centre to lead a seminar designed to help their senior managers understand how deliberative democracy works and discuss when…

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Tainting a good idea

Combined authorities in the balance It may be Budget day before we learn whether any part of central southern England will reach agreement with the government on a ‘devolution deal’.  But the chaotic process of recent months may have damaged the credibility of what is, at its heart, a very good idea. In the past few weeks, the Hampshire and Isle of Combined Authority, widely regarded as the best developed and most widely supported devolution proposal, apparently stalled. Negotiations then…

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Assembly South report

Assembly South report Introduction Assembly South was part of an important new experiment in how to organise democracy effectively. It consisted of a group of 23 citizens and 6 councillors from the Solent and Isle of Wight area who met in Southampton over two weekends in October and November 2015 to discuss the future of local governance. The aim was to select the citizens randomly to be broadly representative of the local adult population. During the two weekends, they learned…

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Year One at the Southern Policy Centre

Why a southern think tank? We were launched in 2014 by Greg Clark and Lord Adonis to provide public policy focus for central southern England: the area from Dorset to West Sussex, and the Isle of Wight up to Oxfordshire. The region faces challenges distinct from both London and other English regions. Our public spending per head is low, our landscape is very mixed and we have a fast ageing population. Average incomes are above the national average but living…

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