Thursday, 3 March 2011
New Politics, Fresh Ideas
On Monday, I attended an event at the Ipswich Corn Exchange, organised by the Local Government Association, looking to get more people interested in being a councillor, was very disappointed by the attendance, only 11 people from all over Suffolk. I hope poor promotion was the reason rather than a lack of interested people. If it is because a shortage of people, does not leave much hope for 'Big Society'.
There may have only been 11 people at the event, but it turned into a good meeting, as they had an opportunity to listen to then question a councilor from all the three main parties plus an independent. What was interesting is that a number of those there wanted to know what were the fundamental differences between the policies of the main party's.
Cllr Cenci mentioned 'Big Society' but those there seemed to be as confused as the rest of us to what the term actually means. At least three of those I spoke to afterwards want to be local councillors and Labour did seem to be their preferred party.
Last night, I attended another 'political' meeting with a much larger attendance, it was a chance to debate politics and policy with the public and also in the presence of Deputy Labour Leader, Harriet Harman.
This meeting at the Suffolk New College was all part of Ed Miliband's plan to listen to the public to help us create a new way of doing politics, the project goes under the name of 'new politics and fresh ideas'
I came out of the meeting really enthused, the people there were not Labour members, many were Labour voters but there was 'floating voters' 'non voters' and Lib dems, maybe even a couple of Tories but the table led discussions were just what was wanted- 'fresh ideas'.
I would urge you to get onto the website that goes alongside the meetings and register, it really does give you the opportunity to help bring fresh ideas to the table, and many will find their way into future Labour policy.
The website is here - new politics and fresh ideas
Labour have always been the constitutional reformers. And we passionately believe in the value of our public services. Throughout our history we have striven to put power in the hands of people. We believe that world class public services help people achieve much more in life. Widening access to power is as important as widening access to prosperity and opportunity.
Labour worked hard to change the way politics and public services were run. But most people feel the changes did not go far enough and that further radical reform is still needed. Decisions still feel as if they were being taken too far away. On the decisions that really mattered, many did not feel they were allowed either enough control, or enough influence.
Tell us your fresh ideas