It’s all very well for the government to talk about devolving decision-making to local community groups, but what is this really going to mean in practice? Will Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Watch be levering their own taxes, and Byker Grove be demanding more rights over the use of their name? The issue is, of course, a very serious one. And none more so than for the poores_t communities who rely heavily on multi-agency support … Where should the church fit 1n to all of this?
Fran Beckett and Bob Holman are both hugely qualified to talk about, and personally_engaged in this debate that stnkes at th’e heart of the question of state intervention. Fran has been Chief Executive of the Church Urban Fund since . 2002; a committed inner-city dweller and church leader, she is no ivory-tower policymaker. Bob combines brains and hands-dirty involvement equally well too. Leaving the chair of the University of Bath in l 976 to become the leader of the South Downs Community Project, he later left to work . with the Easter House Estate m Glasgow, where he lived o_ut his mantra to simply ‘be here• Be there, we say.