Conference at Bradford Resource Centre, 17-21 Chapel Street, Little Germany, Bradford BD15DT
Saturday April 21, 11am-3.30pm.
Alternative strategies at a local level
In the face of austerity and public spending cuts how do we create alternates in local government, in services and in communities?
11 – 11.15 am: welcome, register, coffee
11.15– 11.25 am: Introduction – setting the scene in Bradford – BCMDC have adopted a fairly conventional strategy and have improved their process of consultation – many local groups are interested in alternative strategies that can be pursued at a local level.
11.25 am – 11.50 am – Paul Gilroy branch secretary of Newcastle Council Unison – worker-organised “modernisation” of public services – trade union strategies to resist outsourcing and ensure local workers’ skills are retained and properly remunerated
11.50 am – 12.10 pm Hannah Mitchell Foundation (http://www.hannahmitchell.org.uk/ ) on the advantages of increased autonomy for local councils and the scope for devolution.
12.10 pm – 12.35 pm Davy Jones, Red Pepper magazine – what can a local council do in the face of a central government committed to public spending cuts and restructuring/”modernising” the welfare state – reflections on the debate amongst Brighton Greens
12.35 pm – 1.00 pm questions to speakers including reflections from spokespeople from local political parties
1.00 pm – 1.45pm lunch
1.45 pm – 1.50 pm – introduction to the afternoon session
1.50 pm – 2.10 pm – alternatives at a local level:
co-operative approaches to local work, to housing and to community social centres
2.10 pm – 2.20 pm – introduction to participatory budgeting and reflections on the benefits (to community groups) and disadvantages (downside of central government agenda)
2.20 pm – 3.00 pm tea/coffee and workshops on co-operative working/organising; participatory budgeting; regional devolution; opportunities and pitfalls of elected mayors; trade union strategies; green New Deal
3.00pm – 3.30 pm final plenary including reflections from spokespeople from local political parties