In this episode, Michael talks to Donna Hall, the former Chief Executive at Wigan Council. During the UK government’s austerity programme, the council suffered the third worst cuts in the UK – about £100 million. In response, Donna explored and initiated a new way of working with the people of Wigan, one that involved a deeper, less transactional relationship with them and built from their aspirations and ‘assets’.
Although the work (now called the Wigan Deal) is not the same as community power, as described in this series, it has paved the way for the public sector in the UK to understand what it might mean to work with communities with power. The Wigan Deal was extensively described an analysed in this body of work from the King’s Fund, a health think tank in England.
The epilogue between Michael and Pritpal reflects their views, not necessarily Donna’s.
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Ratio Talks is produced with the help of sound designer Nik Paget-Tomlinson and creative director Richard De Angelis. The show’s theme song is by Luca Picardi. In this series, Michael is exploring community power — what it is, how it’s linked to better outcomes, such as health, and what its limitations are. The series is in collaboration with Pritpal S Tamber, a researcher and consultant on the link between community power and health, and a Non-Executive Director of Ratio.