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Democracy Matters Newsletter Jan 2013


Happy New Year.

This update has news about the collapse of People Can (formerly Novas Scarman) and our “Democracy Diary” in our new website as well as other useful news and information. My “Agenda for Democracy” for 2013 is on the Practical Politics blog

This update goes to over 600 people, so please let me know about relevant events – and do pass this information on to your networks.



People Can crushed by Pensions Trust

In November 2012 People Can was put into administration by the Pensions Trust, putting 75 people out of work, including George and I who ran Democracy Matters. We will carry on and are recruiting volunteer help, but we need to raise funds for expenses.

People Can’s collapse highlights the threat of pension liabilities hanging over many charities. For more details, read The Guardian and for background on the issue see the report from the Charity Finance Group.



Campaigning about poverty and inequality in London

15/1/13 The Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) is holding a networking event for campaigners, lobbyists, policymakers and strategists alike who are trying to tackle poverty and inequality in the capital. 4.30 – 6.30pm, London

“MEGACITY LONDON – ever growing, ever more unequal” will be packed full of facts, figures and analysis by Professor Danny Dorling and Dr Ben Hennig, followed by an opportunity to meet and network with others over wine. Tickets from £10: Click here to read more and to book your ticket.


Grassroots Democracy Conference 9th Feb 2013

Ever wondered how to get your local group to be more active? Or have you just started getting involved in campaigning and want to campaign for a better, fairer democracy?
Join activists from Unlock Democracy on Saturday 9th February 2013 in Birmingham for a jam-packed day of all things activism! For details and book go here.

Democracy Diary

We are creating a brilliant new website, which includes a new “democracy diary” to help campaigners plan ahead and focus on key events in the political calendar. The website is still under construction, but this page is live so use it!

Volunteering for Democracy Matters

We are recruiting volunteers to look after our “democracy diary”, develop our social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter etc), run networking events, raise funds and other activities to promote practical political education. To find out more, got to w4mp or call Titus on 07720394740 or email Our next Volunteer Briefing is 11 – 1pm 25th January, in central London.

Chance to be Chancellor

14-18 year olds have until 15 February 2013 to have their say on the budget: their choices will be collated and published in a ‘Youth Budget’ to promote young people’s opinions on Budget 2013. This also includes a competition with great prizes for those students who create an argument for their budget. To find out more and get involved visit Chance to be Chancellor and the accompanying Facebook page.

For teachers, Paying for It offers real life examples of how the economy impacts students’ lives through lesson plans, free teacher training, regular e-newsletters and up to date news. Paying for It is run by the Citizenship Foundation, in partnership with Aviva.

Promote your event in Parliament

The Work for an MP website has a useful diary of events, many of which are open to the public as well as researchers and members of Parliament. To post your event go to:

It’s our Parliament: working with Public Engagement and Parliamentary Outreach

How to increase public understanding and involvement with Parliament in 2013 – 15.
The next Democracy Matters Forum will be 5 – 7pm on 28th February, joint with Parliament Week to discuss:

  • how the Public Engagement and Parliamentary Outreach teams can work with you
  • lessons from Parliament Week in 2012 and plans for November this year
  • plan for the Magna Carta / De Montfort Parliament anniversaries in 2015
  • how Democracy Matters can support collaboration between civil society, education providers and Parliament

There will be light refreshments and opportunities for networking.

Free training on neighbourhood planning process

Locality and the Eden Project are running a free Planning Camp event for community groups and individuals involved in the neighbourhood planning process
Date: 3 – 5 February 2013
Location: The Watershed, Bristol, BS1 5TX
Please visit the Eden Project’s website to register your interest.

Community Organiser Training

Several organisations offer community organiser training:
Locality runs a Government-funded scheme to become paid community organisers.
To take part, contact local hosts which are recruiting:

A six day-community organiser training is available from Citizens UK: The next 6-day training course will take place from 17th-22nd February 2013: details here.

Queen Mary’s college in London offer an MA in Community Organising which covers the theory, history and practice of community organising.

The Labour Party’s Movement for Change Movement for Change is recruiting a Community Organiser: closing date midday on Friday 18th January.

Titus Alexander
Democracy Matters
Mobile: 07720394740

may be copied, adapted & used with attribution for non-commercial purposes, with acknowledgement to Democracy Matters

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Democracy Matters is an informal alliance for learning practical politics which grew out of nine regional events involving over 600 people. Download Campaigning is OK!


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