Centre for Local Policy Studies Summer School

29th Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa

‘The Big Society, Community Activism and Equality’

The Centre for Local Policy Studies 4th Annual Summer School takes place on Wednesday 29th June to Thursday 30th June 2011 at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa.

Questions raised by the ‘Big Society’ debate have captured the public imagination and require much closer scrutiny from public and private sectors alike.  However, the rising cost of living, cuts in public spending and the tightening of service provision are all taking their toll on some of today’s most vulnerable communities, prompting questions such as

  • How will the public be empowered to engage in the Big Society?
  • What should a Big Society look like?
  • Who really benefits and who loses out?
  • Is it really something that will create greater freedom and a bigger say for communities in how public services should be run?
  • How will the impact of the Big Society and community-focused responsibility for the greater public good play out in a climate of financial austerity?

This summer school will attempt to find answers to these questions through a mixed programme of presentations, practical seminars and discussion forums including:

  • The Economic Impacts of the Big Society Policy Framework – Equality, Human Rights and the Big Society;
  • The Equality Act and What This Means for Public Policy – Public and Private Sector Involvement;
  • Engaging with the Big Society – Implications for Different Groups and Communities – Community Activism.

Delegates will benefit from an excellent line-up of contemporary keynote presentations and experienced practitioners:

  • Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper and International Transitions;
  • Anna Coote, Director of New Economics Foundation;
  • Elizabeth Henry, Chief Executive, Race on the Agenda;
  • Richard Caulfield, Voluntary Sector North West;
  • Neil McInroy and Matthew Jackson Centre for Local Economic Strategies;
  • Stuart Speeden, Centre for Local Policy Studies;
  • Lucy Brill, Coordinator UK Poverty Programme, Oxfam;
  • Karen Chouhan, Equanomics UK.

Open Forum: ‘Big Society and Community Activism’

An ‘Open Forum’ forms part of the Summer School is aimed at bringing together practitioners, academics, community activists and policy makers, for a much more in-depth analysis and debate. 

Focusing on the impact of recent government policies and the changing relations between the state and civil society, the Open Forum will explore the role and place of community activism in engagement and partnership roles within the context of the Big Society.

The Open Forum takes place on Wednesday 29th June 2011 at 4pm.

Find out more about the Open Forum, including a list of participants on the panel >>


  • £75 per day for representatives from the public sector and local authorities;
  • £50 per day for representatives from the voluntary and community sector, trade unions and students;
  • £20 for Open Forum only on 29th June 2011 (free to representatives from the voluntary and community sector, trade unions and students).

Book Your Place

To book your place, please contact the Centre for Local Policy Studies on 01695 584765 or email clpsorg@edgehill.ac.uk.

For further information, please email Nasreen Kaleem at kaleemn@edgehill.ac.uk.


The Summer School takes place at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa. Rated 4*, the hotel offers contemporary accommodation in relaxing surroundings with accessible facilities.

The Dunkenhalgh is a short distance from Junction 7 of the M65 and easily accessible by public transport via Blackburn or Accrington Railway Stations.

Discounted rates are available for those wanting to book overnight accommodation.