A good day at Circomedia looking at ways to make Neighbourhood Partnerships work better. Plenty of NP members and councillors there - Labour Green and Tory. For the Stockwood/Hengrove partnership, there were two of us Stockwood residents, but no sign of any of these wards' councillors. Pity.
Clearly some Partnerships are already very proactive and forward-looking, and it's intended to expand the role of NPs later this year (a cynic might think we can do little more at present than decide which road repairs won't get done - and get the blame for it!) So there's hope even for NPs like ours that rarely - if ever - stretch beyond the bread-and-butter workload prescribed by officers.
To work, though, it's got to attract a wider range of residents, not just the narrow demographic broken down by age and sex that we saw today and we see at NP meetings. And can it break free from the local authority stranglehold by a bit of 'arms-length' creativity, or with urban parish councils? Though even with that independence, a top-down austerity agenda will emasculate them from the start.