Ideas from the Community
A voluntary initiative supporting community engagement in local policy making
How we work

Please use the Feedback Form to give us your own Ideas for how we should develop this initiative.

IG 001     Interest Group:      The Community Ideas Initiative (CII)
  Chris Baker
Editorial Team:
  Chris Baker (Editor); others tbc (please contact if you would like to help edit the Ideas and content of this web site)
Web Team:  tbc (please get in touch if you can offer help to develop the functionality and appearance of web site)

Note:  In this context this whole intiative, itself, is an Idea - and is open to suggestions from the wider community for how it should run and develop.  This core Interest Group IG001 will aim to establish, promote and progress this initiative, developing the structure, its operational aims and principles and exploring the scope for future development.

Next Meeting:  see Home page for date/place
Agenda:  this is an informal meeting for anyone who would like to find out more about the initiative, to report progress and to consider proposals for action.

We welcome any constructive and practical suggestions for how to develop this initiative, following the headings below, where possible. We would prefer inputs to be sent in via the Feedback form. This will help us to maintain simple records and to develop an archive. At the Editor's discretion, and following the principle of openness, Development Ideas will be posted on this site.

In addition to written inputs, we welcome offers of practical help. Current invitations to help are indicated under the header above but don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to be involved in implementing, promoting or developing this initiative

The current scheme will concern itself principally with issues affecting the local communities of:
Dorridge, Bentley Heath and Knowle

We will work in close association with similarly constituted and geographically adjacent groups on issues of common interest.
The initiative is open to Ideas that concern or would be of interest to a wider range of communities.

The essential principle that we will try to follow is to publish ideas (see Action list below) to allow input, together with a proposed inception date. At or after the inception date, the Editor, taking into account inputs received, may make a decision to adopt, modify, reject or defer the proposed action. The Editor may publish an explanation for that decision. All decisions regarding this initiative shall be the responsibility of the Editor and shall be final. The result of actions may be posted under the same item

Proposed and adopted actions:
[Inception Date is given in brackets; R indicates Result]

IG001/002:  011211 [151211] Update web site and quietly launch the initiative.
R:  Updated web site on-line 151211

IG001/001:  011211 [151211] Assemble Initial Ideas set.
R:  Met with small group of Dorridge residents [date] Station Cafe Bar to draft initial Ideas set. This was edited amplified and augmented by background ideas trawled from Letters to the Editor, Blogspot etc. Uploaded to the web site as a first draft [date]

010110Seek expressions of support from businesses, community groups, SMBC,

002  Idea:  Make the 'Dorridge' Sustainable Community Group a Formally Constituted Entity (DFCE)

a.  [Chris Baker + others] to establish 'Dorridge' SCG as a social enterprise


Things to consider

i.  would allow the SCG to receive grants and other forms of financial support, enter into contractual arrangements with third parties, to hire staff and services, provide community services and to acquire and manage assets on behalf of the community 

ii. this step may be unnecessary if the initiative is limited to activities which can be supported entirely by voluntary contributions and where exposure to personal liability is strictly limited.

iii. it might be more practical, initially, to operate the SCG as a project within an already established and formally consituted organisation.

The Dorridge Sustainable Community Group is, at present, a notional entity.  That is, it exists only insofar as it comprises members of the community who have voluntarily submitted ideas and comments and, thereby, take a degree of informal ownership and responsiblity for the content, structure and direction of this initiative.

There is no formal membership, register nor voting rights.  As at present, the operational structure of the initiative is fluid!


In general, we would propose to keep records for statistical purposes.  We will retain for our own records, ideas, comments and other communications regarding the initiative. We will not publish names nor any other personal details without permission.
At present, we are simply keeping all emails sent via the Feedback form route.
At some point, we might do some simple statistical analysis to monitor the level of interest in each Idea but, emphatically, we will never present this as representing the level of community support for the Idea.

We have no plans for conducting social research or statistically valid polls.

In general, Ideas and comments will be treated as anonymous and published at the discretion of the editor. Responses will usually be from named organisations. 

What are we and what will we do?

DDSCG is not a representative nor campaigning group, except insofar as it encourages, promotes and supports: 

  1. The generation, publication and development of Community Ideas as an open process,

  2. The active engagement and participation by members of the community in local democratic decision making

  3. The use of the ideas posted on this site by community decision makers, businesses, organisations and other actors

  4. The integration of this community activity into local democratic decision making processes.

  5. Greater community engagement and cohesion,



We will work within any wider network of national and international groups with a similar agenda in order to share information and to promote the Ideas submitted to this site.

In particular, we will actively promote this initiative and the published Community Ideas to SMBC, businesses, developers and other community organisations to inform their own thinking and decisions, as a resource, and as a way of engaging with the wider community to address issues that affect them.

It makes sense, so far as possible, to have a common, shared list of ideas, analysis and technical information.  This can be used to inform discussions, to avoid doing the same job twice and to make sure all the issues and options are out in the open, where anyone can see them and where it's easy to make a contribution.

We will encourage the formation and wide participation in open Interest Groups to explore, develop and deliver Ideas where there is a consensus for action.


This initiative is, at present, unfunded, relying on volunteers and our own personal resources to launch, develop and to support all activities, including this web site. We even buy our own beer. We are especially grateful to the local businesses and to others who let us use their premises for our meetings.

We will seek to identify potential sources of support and funds to establish, improve and extend this community initiative.

At some point, it might be helpful or necessary to create an entity to secure funding and to ensure financial accountability.

Pro tem, we will invite volunteers to offer their services, time and expertise freely. 


001. Idea:  Extend the Scope to cover Adjacent Communities (ESAC)

a.  [Editor, others]:  explore with the Knowle Society and other community organisations the scope for initiating similarly consituted and linked initiatives.

Things to consider

i.  Many of the Ideas are already about issues that concern both Knowle and Dorridge communities e.g. pedestrian safety and traffic calming on Station Road.  Other Ideas could apply equally to Dorridge, Knowle and Bentley Heath e.g. Delivery Service and Integrated Community Bus Services.  It would make sense to identify issues of common concern and, possibly, to form joint Community Interest Groups.

ii.  Possibilities might include: simply broadening the scope of the initiative to include Ideas for Dorridge, Bentley Heath and Knowle; developing an umbrella initiative to include separate sections for Dorridge, Knowle and Bentley Heath; developing an umbrella initiative which links separately managed community web sites, supports common formats and links for common issues.  

iii.  If we change the scope of the initiative, we might need to change the name.

iii.  This might mean that we should change our name. Any views?

2. Governance:  at present, the acting Editor owns the web site and takes sole responsibility for editing, adapting and publishing contributions to the Ideas Wall and, in practice, for the whole initiative. How should this initiative develop to allow more shared ownership and responsibility? 


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