Welcome to Torridge Common Ground
A non-party-political platform that puts the shared values and practical vision of the community at the heart of local governance, empowering communities to across Torridge to transform their local economies and wellbeing for the benefit of all.
Read about our Councillors
Hi. I’m Carl Hawkins Bideford West – Town & District I am now 47 years old, my family and I have always lived in Bideford, currently, I am self-employed and work in many areas related to media and IT. My household comprises of myself, my wife Tina and my two daughters aged 17 and 13 … Read more
Hi. I’m Joel Herron Bideford North – Town & District I am a teacher, currently working part-time across North Devon, which enables me to run a small café in Bideford Pannier Market. As such, I am committed to exploring employment opportunities for young people in the area. Since moving to Bideford three years ago, I … Read more
Hi. I’m Jonathan Rose Torrington – Town & District ELECTED!!! I came to Great Torrington in 1975 and at 19 was the youngest worker in the condensary at the milk factory. I helped to lay pathways on the Commons and to build the lake and later as a town councillor, led a group of volunteers … Read more
Hi. I’m Kaye Corfe Bideford West – Town I have felt welcomed and connected to this community since moving here six and a half years ago. I now want to be a town councillor, to empower our community to grow and become more resilient. I believe in social inclusion for all and am passionate to … Read more
Hi. I’m Laurence Shelley Northam Orchard Hill – Town I am a Devonian, a past teacher and entrepreneur and Northam resident for over 20 years. As a founding trustee of Bideford Sustainability Group, I researched many local issues for articles in ‘My Town’ magazine, helped develop Morwenna Community Garden and am a passionate supporter of … Read more
Hi. I’m Daniel Bell Northam Orchard Hill – Town I have grown up in North Devon and have lived in Northam for the last four years. I trained as a footballer with Exeter City aged 11-18 and went on to play semi-professionally both locally and abroad, as well as coaching. Working as an artist, teacher … Read more
Hi. I’m Giuseppe Rossi Northam Orchard Hill – District I’ve lived in North Devon for most of my 42 years. Born and raised in Clovelly to a fishing family, I inevitably took to the sea and became a commercial fisherman. Adventurous by nature, I’ve explored the world and worked in a range of industries, including … Read more
If we are to transition to a more participatory and connected form of governance and community life, we need to unleash a new energy and readiness to do things in a different way.
What would the first steps look like in order to bring this about?
Creating an open shared space in our villages/towns which brings the whole community together with no overtly articulated purpose other than being underpinned by a celebratory and open approach, seeking to build trust, connection and relationship and being filled to the seams with masses of informality. This would do just this.
In this space parts of people which have been fractured by the extreme atomization of our culture can begin to come alive again and awaken from their dormancy.
Through creating these generous and open celebratory spaces in our communities we can begin to restore trust, find areas of collaboration and mutual decision making (Peoples assemblies). These could take place within the wider festival setting in which people can come to indirectly without the common baggage and paraphernalia we normally come to associate within the political setting.
The space could host a diverse range of events, stalls, performances games, acting as a platform to weave our local community’s together.
Some possibilities could include the following:
- Information and awareness raising stalls
- Social entrepreneur platform for new enterprises
- Music, dance, poetry, comedy and theatre performances
- re-skilling workshops, eg food preserving, soap making
- Story telling
- Village/town partner stalls eg food, energy.
- People’s assemblies, open space and world café events
- Local community groups, organizations and businesses
- Swish clothes events
- Gift circles
- Repair Cafés, Empathy Cafés, Death Cafés
- Chess, scrabble and poker competitions
- Films and talks/presentations
In the Bazaar and festival Extravaganza economic exchange would be encouraged to take place through wider forms of exchanges than simply monetary transactions. Bartering, skill sharing, time banking, giving freely, in short anyway that both parties mutually agree to.
We would want to make it as easy and cheap as possible for anyone to have a stall, the bazaar could potentially take place both inside and outside also.
To summarise, a space for everyone from all walks of life to participate and experience alternative models of economic exchange, to reconnect and build trust in their local communities and hopefully have one big Party! Now we really have something to work with.
A new story for our time
This is how we seek to tell the new stories about the places and communities we live in, they are ones based on hope, sharing, celebrating, connection with self, others and nature.
By coming together, finding our COMMON GROUND and rediscovering our power to act, we can awaken to the possibility of transforming our everyday lives for the better and in doing so create abundant and flourishing communities at a local level.
38DLive “Flatpack Democracy” mini-doc
Frome is one of the places where this all started here in the UK, people ask us what TCG is all about.. What can be done? How does it work? and why even bother?.. Take a moment to watch through this video, listen to what ordinary Frome people have to say about how this project worked out for them, listen to business owners explain how they found an increase in sales and visually witnessed greater wellbeing within the community. This is what TCG wants to achieve AND we can, but we need your help, with that help we can make a difference and move things into a brighter future.
TCG Confluence Meeting – 19th March 2019 – Draft Agenda 1/ Welcome and Introductions 2/ TCG and the new democratic vision. Independence. TCG presents an inclusive non-party-political community platform and will work with all like-minded councillors to forge a consensus on policies and actions. Listening to and reflecting the voice of the community in all … Read more
Hello and welcome to this page, Carl here with my thoughts on the recent Barnstorm event held at polyfield on the 10th March 2019, right at this moment I am putting together my thoughts on how our day went.. Please check back soon… For now i have added photos taken on the day should anyone like to … Read more
Frome is one of the places where this all started here in the UK, people ask us what TCG is all about.. What can be done? How does it work? and why even bother?.. Take a moment to watch through this video, listen to what ordinary Frome people have to say about how this project worked … Read more
Political Organising toolkit Many thanks to Stephanie Leonard for putting this together for us.. The essentials Please create an account on Act Build Change and take training 2,3 and 4. This will help you with power mapping, one-to-one, running house meetings and getting your stories slick. Turn out How are do you get people to show … Read more
Hi, my name is Dylan I’m 16 and I am the youth contact point for Torridge Common Ground (TCG). I have been part of TCG since its inception and have found it really inspiring that the team has shown such enthusiasm towards the younger generation. Young people are always excluded from the decisions that are … Read more
Jamie Kelsey Fry will be opening the event with a talk and discussion on the new and emerging participatory politics.