Nick's Tips for will be incrediblesLast update: 21.10.11 First posted: 21.10.11 by Estelle in Resources
More and more Incredible Edibles
There are about 24 IE groups now in Britain, every day folk get in touch asking us for advice so we thought it time for a downloadable file of Nicks 17 ish tips for activists.
here are the tips again with a download and keep link at the bottom.
1. Apply the thin end of the wedge, You may have 16 things you want to get
done, drop 15 for now and concentrate on one small, simple, possibly
inadequate, but doable issue.
2. Ask for the earth not the moon, Make sure what your asking for is within the
askees power. Magic is not possible.
3. Don’t devote all of your time/energy on winning over politicians. local
governments consist of a few hundred elected officials and many thousand
officers. Go figure who makes the majority of the decisions!
4. Don’t overstate your case, be calm reasonable, measured and friendly. Your
passion is a driver but it’s often counterproductive to allow it to show (this is
England after all!).
There are lots of bonkers people out there that make a career out of harassing
council officers who have no choice but to respond professionally. Do try not to
appear too mad!
5. Find a friend, an insider in the council is worth their weight in quality compost!
Look in community engagement/community safety teams; any department
prefixed by the word community is worth a try. Gardening is a key tool for
community cohesion specialists.
6. Learn the language. Local government officers have a secret code that
contains the directives they must fulfill. Finding the form of words to couch your
request is the key. Find an off duty council officer who is a gardener to help you
7. Parish councils may add support to your case but their hands are tied and for
most things its the city/county level where decisions are made.
8. Don’t be a lone voice, find others who share your aims, preferably in an area
that has problems, Deprivation, minorities, disabled, children, etc, these all have
targets attached for local authorities
9. Lighten their load. Show the council that what you plan to do reduces their
work load and costs, and that its sustainable, the community will run it for ever!
10. Harness institutions. Councils like handing things over to bodies, church
groups charities etc. If necessary become a body, community association, local
food group etc, you will find help with constitutions, insurance etc on this site.
11. Kill em with kindness, your appreciation for the smallest most pathetic step in
the right direction should be rewarded with a truckload of appreciation and
national press coverage. Stroke the dogs belly and it will be your friend for life.
12. Smother your enemies with love, they can’t oppose you because you are so
dam nice to em!
13. Work on establishing precedents. With a few notable exceptions, all but the
most senior council officers are apprehensive of doing the wrong thing and are
most comfortable following what’s been done before.
14. Work in partnership. A partnership between your group and others including
the council has a special resonance with the local authority mindset.
15. Carrot not stick. Show em the rewards for doing what you want, positive
approbation is a rare and treasured thing for the bureaucrats , they will come
back for more. Threats don’t often work.
16. Get the press on your side, they love a campaign and green issues are hot
just now. Get loads of faces in the picture. Write the piece yourself. Make it
positive, mention several organizations working together.
17. Link in with other issues, healthy eating, exercise, digging as a sport,
17a) Be patient but persistent, the wheels grind slowly, but they do grind.
17b) Be reliable and safe. Do what you say your going to do and don’t wash
your smalls in public, be a safe hand for council officers to work with, in
time they will begin to trust you.
17c) The article New start magazine http://www.incredible-edibletodmorden.
co.uk/resources/press-media-links should impress council
officers especially those involved in regeneration, use it. In fact use all the
media links, media approbation oils the wheels something lovely!
17d) Be lucky and think HUGE!
Download and keep Nick’s tips
17 tips 2.pdf
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