It’s all dog dirt and dustbins – Local by Social NW

I can’t believe it – we’ve finished our series of four regional Local by Social events. They were a blast. Really good fun. Super innovative and productive. We did two with a neighbourhood focus, one with data and app focus and the final one in Blackburn with a transparency and engagement focus.

But they were all about using innovation and change to deliver cheaper, better more responsive services in localities. I’ve already started thinking about some of these lessons.

A former co-worker once told me that in his first job in local government he was reminded by a council old timer not to get too fancy – that really all that local people cared about was dog dirt and dustbins. I don’t think that’s actually true – but I think it’s something we always need to remember when we get all high-falutin’ about engagement and co-production and behaviour change. Which is why it’s cool that so many of the things we worked on were about addressing real problems from real people – whether they be citizens, councillors or local government officers (hey, us officer types are people, too!)

We even looked at how digital can deal with dog doo – in a Cut the Crap App. And you can see a bunch of the worked up ideas on the Local by Social NW write-up over at

I think this is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen a report back from a workshop – making people do presentations. One to take away….

Or hear more about my reflections in this short podcast recorded by Lauren Ivory.

Oh – and if you listen to the podcast you might hear a little hint about the future of Local by Social…watch this space.


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