The world of the public sector partnerships is a acronym heavy one it seems – with it’s BIDs , LEPs, ATCM, GLC….I could continue, but I predict you’ll soon be glazing over.
It was this language issue which really struck me during this week’s the Future of the High Street conference in London , however snappy, the need to create these ‘bodies’ leaves most of us feeling like we’re dealing with a forest of organisational bureaucracy.
Hosted by Public Policy Exchange, it was attended by a whole bunch of people who really do care about High Streets and who came together to find solutions and share ideas – officials from local authorities, regulators, councillors and business representatives.
But this debate is one which needs some local voices too – a point I was able to make to the forum and one which seemed to be well-received by those attending who recognise the need for engaged communities to move this agenda on from talking to action.
As several of the speakers made the point, most of the initiatives are not exactly rocket science – addressing parking issues, having residents living in the town centre, working technology into the mix to more effectively compete with the e- tailers.
We heard examples from around the country including a community kitchen initiative in Croydon, the importance of arts infra-structure in Stratfird upon Avon and ethical trading concerns in Winchester.
So how do we join up some of these dots? What structures can be put in place to ensure local communities play a part in the success? Where do hyperlocal publishers fit into the process?
Here at Talk About Local we’ve always felt there’s an important role for hyperlocals here – whether it’s amplifying a particular local issue, galvanising action around, opening vital data sets it or helping mediate the conversation – and we are interested in working with any organisations looking to foster those kind of relationships.
In a land where the acronym is king, maybe some straight talking can be queen.