King's Cross Development Forum is a long established local group which is considering becoming officially constituted as a Neighbourhood Forum under the new Localism Act 2011. Planning structures are changing and resources are scarcer, and local government capacity is increasingly challenged under the new funding regime. A process of working with KXDF may be one effective way to work locally for safer and more pleasant streets where we live and work in the King's Cross area.
Advantages may be
- a better more cogent and more traceable line of communication on local issues.
- the appearance, at least, that local groups are better heard or more comprehensively and responsibly consulted by local government.
Disadvantages may be
- a tendency for local government skills and capacity previously used in responding to change being transferred to the voluntary sector - ie unpaid/retired/voluntary interests usurping the work (and expertise) of skilled council officers.
- a possibility that resources are not available to carry out well-intentioned community improvements.
Attending the meeting on 9 February would be a way to further investigate the possibilities.
Meanwhile, David Engwicht posits some DIY tools and strategies to bring the environment back to being a social space:
Wave to motorists. (Shaking your fist just tells them to go faster.)
Put something intriguing in the street.
Encourage local businesses to connect with the street by placing an activity or linger node outside their premises.