Club Social Activities/ Dr Terry McCormack - Action Communities in Cumbria

Mon 10th October 2011 at 12.00 am - 2.00 am

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Dr Terry McCormack gave an overview of the work of Cumbria Action Cumbria when he visited the club in October. The charity receives direct government grants to work alongside communi ties to help them with things they want to do locally but which often meet official hurdles.

The development of village halls and community centres is a key focus, as is action to mitigate flood risk in many of the county's valleys.   Terry explained how they bring official bodies together and help them to work collaboratively in the community interest. Often a particular group with statutory powers may believe that they have the final say on a proposed project whereas, with a will and the help of an outside agent like Cumbria Action, the various stakeholders can begin to identify common ground, in effect to practice compromise rather than unilateralism.

So the picture was drawn of 'bottom up solutions' rather than 'top down' prescription, which brings to life the aspirations of 'The Big Society' an argument that proposes local people invariably know best and that throwing money at a problem may not  always lead to a solution.