Taking Back Control: Proposals for how to give power and agency back to our communities


If we want to increase the power of communities we need to bring a fresh philosophy and bold proposals that can enable citizens to create visions for their own areas and give them the resources to put their aspirations into practice. Importantly, we must not confuse devolving power to political institutions with community power. Citizens, individually and collectively, also need to be able to strengthen their own power and not simply rely on state actors.

To do this, government needs to build the foundational power of our communities. This means strengthening and building the institutions that enable citizens to exercise their creative and economic power, to deliver their ideas and hold public and private sectors accountable. Without foundational power, we will severely restrict the ability of citizens to take back control over their local areas.

The aim of this Green Paper, developed in partnership with Power to Change, is to develop a series of proposals that could be adopted by government and policy makers to achieve this. It is in line with Demos’ vision to build a Collaborative Democracy, in which citizens, politicians, policy makers and other experts find news ways to work together in order to improve policy-making, strengthen citizenry and increase trust in politics.