How do we do local politics differently?

How do citizens feel involved?

How do we use technology?

If we are to work out how to do local politics differently in the UK, shouldn’t we draw on some of the best examples from around the world?


Local politics in the UK is becoming more interesting. In the local elections of May 2019, the number of independent councillors nearly tripled. Dozens of councils are following the path first trodden by Independents for Frome, which took all the seats on the Town Council and revolutionised the way that it operated and the things that it did. 300 councils have declared a climate emergency.

But we should not be putting new wine into old bottles. We have to change the stultifying way in which councils run and in which they relate to their citizens.

This set of discussion cards, and the way to hold an event using them, is based on three events held to explore new ways of doing politics in Herefordshire, where an alliance of independents and Greens displaced a Conservative administration in the May 2019 election. Read more here.

Holding an event

The purpose of this kit is to help your group learn about ideas from around the world where people are using kinder and more accessible ways of making political decisions.

Our instructions assume 25 people at an event – but they are adaptable for any number between 12 and 40. Similarly, they are written for a two hour event, but can be adapted for any length between an hour and a half and three hours.

There are 60 discussion cards, each with an idea from around the world. Download them here, along with the instructions.

If you hold an event using these cards, do let us know, using our Tell Us What You Need page.. We’d be interested to hear:

  • Which ideas came top
  • Whether you know of ideas which you think we should add to future versions of the cards

Here are a few examples of the cards: