Power to which people?

By Tim Hughes

Former Director (2017 to 2021)

Published on

7 Sep 2021


One of my final acts as director of Involve has been to take part in a Radio 4 documentary, which asks the question: "Power to which people?"

The programme uses the case study of the Stop the Edmonton Incinerator Now campaign to explore who has power in decision making, why some communities are more successful than others at getting their voices heard by decision makers and whether there might be a different and better way of doing local democracy.

Here's the show blurb:

What does it take to run an effective local political campaign? Chinwe Kalu-Uma returns to the area where she was brought up, Edmonton in North London, to meet campaigners against plans to expand a local incinerator. These kind of facilities, however necessary, tend to create local opposition. So why is it that some communiities are better organised when it comes to in resisting development? Chinwe meets people involved in other campaigns against incinerators in Cambridgeshire as she sets out to find if there if a right way and a wrong way to exert power, and asks if the political process can become more user friendly.

In the show, I talk about why we think democracy doesn't work for people as well as it should and our experience of using citizens' assemblies to involve people in local decision-making. 

You can listen back to the show via the link below.