Friends don’t let friends have rubbish meetings

A Notwestminster 2018 workshop from Louisa Thomson and Matt Clack

Notwestminster workshops

How can we make meetings less rubbish?

We want to make meetings better, and we need your help.

For anyone in and around local government, the stereotype of empty drafty halls remains accurate for many public meetings. Yet they remain a vital part of civic life, and a way to engage with and influence your local council.

Most Notwestminster participants will have their own experiences of dysfunctional meetings. We are in the early stages of developing a ‘standard for meetings’ that could apply across different public meetings that take place in a local area – from the Town Hall to resident associations and everything in between.

We are enlisting the help of ‘Civic Detectives’ in early 2018, asking people to attend public meetings and report back on what they experienced. Our civic detectives are helping us with an early draft of a possible meeting standard. We will be encouraging participants to discuss, debate, amend, and create this with us during the workshop.

Our workshop will be participatory and fun – unlike the meetings we want to change. We’ll ask participants what an open and productive meeting looks like, then we’ll attempt to achieve this together. Please come along and share examples of the best (and worst) meetings you’ve attended.

How to get involved

Book your free ticket for Notwestminster 2018


Be a Civic Detective – go to a public meeting and report back

Share and comment on twitter using these tags:

#notwestminster #goodmeetings

or you can Leave a Reply on this page.

Louisa Thomson

Louisa Thomson
Head of Impact and Evaluation, Renaisi

Louisa is responsible for Renaisi’s impact and evaluation work with clients in local and central government, the voluntary sector and health. Louisa was a local councillor for seven years in a London borough, and although currently revelling in the joy of having evenings back, retains a strong interest in local democracy and the changing roles of councillors. She has a PhD from the Open University which focussed on the translation and interpretation of policy agendas in local government. She is also a trustee at Manor House Development Trust – a social enterprise in one of London’s largest regeneration schemes.

Matt ClackMatt Clack
Public Health Manager, Hackney Council

Matt is a Public Health manager, leading programmes to get the rest of the council to consider the health impact of their services. This involves working with council functions like housing and transport, along with other local public services, to tackle health inequality and promote wellbeing. Matt joined local government fresh out of uni way back in 2004, and has spent most of his time in democracy-focused roles. After a few years supporting various committees he joined a scrutiny team, working with councillors to get residents better engaged in decision-making, and to improve the services provided to them. He tried and failed to establish a neighbourhood planning forum for his community, and still has the scars to prove it.

We are Generation D

Notwestminster 2018Strengthening our local democracy is something that we can only do together. Democracy needs to work better for everyone, all the time, win or lose. We think that the stronger local democracy we all want and deserve could be just around the corner. And we don’t need a tardis to get there. We just need each other.

The future of local democracy starts with us. So let’s talk about our democratic generation. Let’s talk about our regeneration.

But let’s not stop at the talking.

Notwestminster 2018 workshops list

Notwestminster 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s