Fri. May 7th, 2021

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Is now the time for flatpack democracy?

2 min read

Our Island, one of the groups hoping to take control of the Isle of Wight Council in the May elections, has invited the founder of Flatpack Democracy to share experiences on how the ideas behind the movement have taken hold elsewhere in the country.

Peter Macfadyen will be giving the online presentation on Monday evening (January 25), which Our Island hopes will give a boost to their campaign. They describe flatpack democracy as a group of people working together to focus on the needs of their community, respecting and welcoming their differences and using the wisdom and experience in the community rather than following party political ideology. The presentation will examine how the energy and capacity of individuals and groups that are rebuilding communities in the face of Covid can be harnessed to rebuild the Island’s ‘moribund local council’ to properly serve residents in the future.

In the UK, there are over 100 places where serious attempts have been made to engage with the system, with around 20 resulting in councils run on flatpack principles.
The session will also include discussions on the need for people to work together with common aims and purposes, priorities for the elections and a new council and the potential for communities to also take control of town and parish councils.

Peter Macfadyen said: “What follows Covid will not be ‘back to normal’. We can be sure that central government will not be providing resources and support to rebuild. Given this, it is even more essential that local councils are ambitious, effective, and working with their communities, not just for them. There is no sign that political party based politicians and division amongst various groups can achieve this. We need to elect individuals working together with a clear focus on building back better.”
Former council leader Jonathan Bacon, of Our Island, said: “Reading the flatpack democracy book and listening to Peter Macfadyen was the inspiration for the Our Island movement, which aims to act as the conduit to bring these ideas to the Isle of Wight. We are very pleased that Peter is able to deliver this session and support what we are trying to do. It promises to be an interesting and inspiring evening.

Anyone with a general interest in the principles of flatpack democracy, as well as those interesting in standing as a candidate, can register by sending an email to ourislandiw@gmail.com.
You can find out more at flatpackdemocracy.co.uk/.