Why we urgently need a Community Care Act
And what should be in it
NLGN’s Director makes the case for a new law that would shift power from public institutions and into the hands of citizens.
The factors eroding the very foundations of our political and economic system will barely be addressed in this election. No-one will admit that the legitimacy of our democracy has been weakening for decades. No politician will lead on the profound threat to our public services, or admit that their obsession with economic growth at all costs has helped degrade our communities and environment As a result, this is an election that will be decided by entirely the wrong debates.
On the front-line of delivery, it is much harder to ignore the reality of these challenges. Public servants confront the consequences of weakened legitimacy, spiralling demand and economic dysfunction every day. Unlike national politicians, they are being forced to adapt, simply to survive.
As I outlined in a recent blog for The New Statesman’s Citymetric, this is leading to an emphasis on community power – the simple idea that institutions have to drop their paternalistic mind-set and hand power and resource over to communities to solve their challenges themselves. It is an approach that restores trust in public bodies, enables a move to preventative services and helps create sustainable local economies. This community power idea is now at the very heart of NLGN’s work.