All In One: “Your Borough, Your Say” they say

Steel yourself for completing the All in One

So, done the All in One yet have you? Did you steel yourself, inhale deeply then let fly with a rant against lickspittles and toadies that would make even George Galloway blush? Or did you create a love letter to Richmond Council, a paean to the people who make things tick in this lil’ old town, this Greenest of London Boroughs, this perfect patch of ENGLAND? Or, as is most likely, did your response fall somewhere between the two. You’ve got a few more weeks in which to get your All in One off to the Council either on paper or online. As they say it’s “your borough, your say” and unlike the Barefoot Consultation and the Twickenham Conference it’s borough wide initiative as opposed to something just for the twickerati of TW1 and TW2. So what’s it all about?

There’s no point going back over the earlier Twickenham consultations here as both the Barefoot Consultation and the Twickenham Conference have already been covered on here. However, one thing this consultation does do is highlight just how difficult it is to get the balance of priorities right when running a local authority spanning half a dozen London suburbs. What’s most important to you? Local parks or affordable housing? Support for older people or cycling? What most needs improving? Provision of parking or recycling? Activities for children or support for local businesses? Are you in Barnes or Hampton? Fortunately there is a bit of space to explain what you mean by your choices so if you think parking enforcement needs to be improved you can explain that yes, you really do mean made more flexible rather than even more draconian (is that actually possible?).

And then of course there’s the killer “Are you prepared to get involved” question which is one of the big themes of current Tory administration in York House. The Council will be hoping for some success on this front especially as the findings from the Barefoot Consultation showed that although 75% of those attending agreed that the process enabled them to get their views across, only 26% of respondents thought the Council would act on the recommendations. LBRuT is now saying, “You want action? You can do your bit too”. After all, we’re all in this together as David Cameron is inclined to remind us. A lot. “All In One, and One For All” perhaps. Nope? Okayyy…

For Twickenham residents, the All in One forms the third part of a trilogy: Barefoot Consultation, Twickenham Conference, All in One. OK, so it might not quite match Lord of the Rings for drama but it has been good for Twickenham in raising awareness even if all the actions are still pending. For other parts of the Borough this is the first time they get to have their say. Will they follow in Twickenham’s barefootsteps?

So, if you’ve completed your form, or even if you haven’t, feel free to share your thoughts on your All in One on here. Don’t be shy, we’re all adults. Meanwhile the link to LBRuT’s All in One is here but you will need your reference number to from the form to complete it online.


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2 responses to “All In One: “Your Borough, Your Say” they say

  1. Good to see Newsbiscuit get a mention on here – a funny site but occasionally let down by quality control. On that theme but without the jokes, here are three links all from today’s Guardian which illustrate different aspects of the big society debate (small b, small s) though none are specific to Twickenham:

    1) The government is encouraging public sector workers to set up co-operatives to provide services. It seems like a strange thing but the intention seems to be that some services can be better provided by those with an “emotional stake” in what they are providing. It sounds high risk for those wishing to become the John Lewis of waste collection or nursery provision and low risk for local or national government. But perhaps there’s a germ of an idea in there given that when services are outsourced to large corporates the pursuit of profit can lead to a lack of consideration for local circumstances and, in some cases, what seems to be any sense of responsibility for providing a decent service.

    2) The familiar yet depressing tale of budget cuts hitting the local harder than the national. In this case, funding is being withdrawn from a number of museums. They are being asked to look at new funding models to cover the shortfall from DCMS.

    3) And finally, a new initiative from Nick Hornby based on a successful American idea to get children involved in literacy. Sounds like the sort of thing that provides a great opportunity to give something over and above the state funded services. But just read the comments! Most are supportive but many rubbish the idea because it’s based in trendy Hoxton rather than Moss Side or Toxteth. Since when did ideas only have validity if they are equally available to all at the outset? No doubt those critical comments have been typed on the iPads of people who regard the whole internet as unjust because not everyone can afford mobile broadband. It’s a shame when a local initiative is slated for what it doesn’t do rather than what it does. This site doesn’t do party politics but if it did it would say that if ‘big society’ means anything at all then at its most basic it surely has to be “get involved and make a difference”. Good luck to Hornby and co.

  2. This sums things up nicely:
    Impatient horde of Big Society volunteers still unsure what they should be doing