by Russell Todd
Russell Todd argues that community development within Communities First changed to becoming increasingly about disciplining individuals’ behaviours so that they could conform to Welsh Government priorities, and offers readers inspiration for how they can collaborate in now-flourishing independent projects that enable grassroots social justice.
It is just over a year since Communities First ended, a programme that had been part of the Welsh Government policy ‘furniture’ since the very first Assembly term. The announcement of its demise brought uncertainty to some, but was cautiously welcomed by others, Communities First having long departed from its initial aims. As it fades to memory, for the first time in the devolved era community development is bereft of even modest levels of state sponsorship and support; is increasingly fragmented and unrepresented; and lacks any coherent strategic policy framework. But nonetheless there are grounds for optimism, with an emerging fabric of independent community organisations feeling liberated from managerial state regulation of community action.Sign in to read more
Russell Todd is a community development consultant with a career in the field in Wales stretching back almost 20 years. He was also a trustee of Community Development Cymru from 2013 until its closure in early 2018. He works across Wales and beyond for Indycube as its Connector. He founded The Community Development Podcast in 2017 to help connect the workforce, share learning and promote the merits of community development.