New Organising Conference

Over the weekend, we attended the New Organising Conference in Nottingham and took part in a workshop all about Section 114 notices - the technical term for councils going bankrupt!

Despite being in the final slot on Sunday afternoon after a very jam-packed weekend, we still had a great turnout for the session. It was convened by the wonderfully knowledgeable John Page, with contributions from us at Save Birmingham and Ravi Subramanian, the Regional Secretary for UNISON West Midlands. 

There were lots of people in the room from both Birmingham and Nottingham, two cities that are in the midst of dealing with their local councils effectively declaring bankruptcy.

A section 114 notice is inevitably accompanied by plans for savage cuts to both services and jobs. During the session, we explored how we can defend jobs and services through trade union and community action, and also asked the question: ‘who is the decision maker?’ after a section 114 notice is served. 

In groups, we carried out a really useful exercise mapping out a Power / Influence grid:

In campaigning, you want to focus on moving stakeholders into the top right quadrant - those who support your cause and also have the power to affect change. 

 

Having mapped our stakeholders, we then picked a couple of players from this section of our maps and thought about how we could further influence them; what mobilises them to action and what factors demobilise them? 

One of the groups chose Angela Rayner as their focus. As the new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what can she do to address the financial problems that so many of our Local Authorities are now facing around the country? And what would mobilise or demobilise her?

 

A challenging and thought-provoking session to finish off a busy weekend of organising!

The New Organising Conference is convened by the Ella Baker School of Organising and the Network for Social Change

 

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