The U is interested in people and in the ways they get along with each other. At the same time, this organisation seeks to promote a low-key vision of community relations, much less high-energy than the schemes promoting asset transfer, citizen councils, allotment cooperatives or mutual pub ownership. We call it a nod and a wink, and we think it is just as important as the efforts behind more time intensive, tightly-knit groups (though those are valuable in their own way).

In short what The U believes we need in community relations are: Good channels for new information to enter; Effective means for information to percolate; and Open, hospitable relations with our neighbours rather than the solidarity of tightly-knit community.

The U’s mission to champion the nod, the wink and the over-the-shop-counter exchange of news that form the first crucial experience of reciprocal communal interaction for the majority of people in the UK today. In this report, we explore the social impact behind the loose ties of neighbourhood friendliness and what can be done to promote them.

Social action

Posted on: 1 January 2012 Authors: Genevieve Maitland Hudson,


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