Introduction to the Youth Group

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 made which have everything to do with our future and yet we don't ever get a say.  The fact that TCG is listening to young people and care about their future and want to support us is amazing to me. That's why I've stepped up to take on the role as coordinator for the youth part of TCG.

This is a great chance for young people to actually be part of a movement that listens to them and acts on what they have to say. I think it's the best chance for young people in the district of Torridge to get a brighter future and I really hope more young people come on board and we work together to see this happen.

If you wish to contact me

my E-mail is

Pic of me

Peter Macfadyen endorses

'Flatpack Democracy' author and Leader of Frome Town Council, the country's only fully independent town council, endorses as a valuable resource and focal point for aspiring and extant independent political movements in the UK.

Change:HOW? #20 Peter Macfadyen

Peter is the Mayor of Frome, northeast Somerset, the author of Flatpack Democracy, and has worked in areas of social justice for 35 years. He is one of the founders Independents for Frome, created to support a group of individuals to stand and get elected to Frome Town Council in 2011.

Ten of the seventeen who stood were elected. This has given IfF an outright majority on the council that has allowed a raft of ambitious ideas to be implemented over the last three years.

One of the keys to their success is that the group operate a ‘Way of Working’ . This enables them to make decisions in the best interest of Frome, while not emulating the Party Political system.

By operating broadly as normal people do in normal everyday life, they have taken the opportunities presented by Localism whilst looking for ways to change, for the better, the relationships between people and those they elect.


Torridge Common Ground Newsletter – November 24th

This is a brief update on what's coming up next for the good crew of... Torridge Common Ground

That's the first update; the voting to decide our name closed at mid day yesterday (23rd November 2018) and Torridge Common Ground just pipped Torridge Together, though it was a close run.

6th December at The Old Custom House in Bideford, from 7pm.

This will be a special session where we have invited three people who are experienced in different ways that will be extremely helpful to all of us getting a clearer idea of how to make TCG be successful. Stephanie Leonard works in organisation and movement building. Deanne DuKahn works in political campaigning. Warren Puckett works in digital democracy and social media campaigning. They are all very experienced and highly respected.

And very excited about learning from us as well. It is key to the team that people work in advance at coming up with the best questions to hit this panel with, ones that you feel would be most useful to understanding how we can work together to win a district council run by the community for the community.

Now that we know our name is TCG then our Outreach and Media groups can start shaking up interest in the public to attend this really useful event. It'd be great if outreach and media were able to create flyers and posters and draw on their creative genius to find other ways of getting the community interested in being empowered.

Peoples' Assembly on the 17th December

In the last letter we said that the Peoples' Assembly would be held on the 19th of December but it will be on the evening of the 17th instead. Much apologies!

19th December will be Facilitation Training and Organisational Mapping workshop.

This evening session will be run by Stephanie Leonard and Jamie Kelsey. It will be a three hour session and is open to everyone. The session will be building on all those who have become interested through the assembly the night before and for those of us who are veteran TCG. Facilitation training will allow groups to then start their own TCG meetings where they live, all run the same way, with the same principles, with listening at the heart of the process.

The organisational mapping will allow TCG to start going to the next level of organising throughout the district as well as mapping a clear picture of the way ahead. The sessions are free and we would like as many people to sign up and attend as possible. Further details of venue and times will be forthcoming.

Working Groups

Next week will see the working groups meeting up. Looking forward to what goes on. Now we have a name, some firm dates with details of what is on offer, it'd be great if some well designed posts go up on FB and Twitter about the events coming up. And worth thinking about a general flyer that is designed to hook peoples' interests.

IT'd be really useful if the details of when and where each working group are meeting next week are put up on the FB page once it is up and running. Carl will be looking at adding separate pages on our website so that each group has its own page and people can input what they are up to and anyone can comment and add support. That's coming soon!

All power to Torridge Common Ground

Have a good weekend!


Hello Everyone.

Carl here from the media group.

Firstly can I say what an adventure this is going to be, so far things are very interesting in the processes I have witnessed during our meetings and long may it continue to grow, opportunities and new projects for the community of Torridge are going to be within our grasp as we progress.

I would like to also add here that these are my words on this page, I have been asked to help start the website going and I have been involved with group meetings, these words here on this page however are not intended to be the views of the media group, or any other group within our venture.

In time I am sure each group will like to have their news and their progress here online on this website, I am sure that this will happen, but we have to start here we are.

So? Why did the newsletter send me to this page?

Well, we came up against a situation where it was suggested that the name could / or should be changed, I could continue here and start listing the for and against arguments of changing the names, I too will have my own thoughts about this process and I too have reasons both for and against changing the name, when I follow the link below I will make my choice.

For the members that were not at our last meeting i believe it only correct that I run through a short quick overview if what transpired, I don't believe that there is any need here to even mention who said what or even why because we start going down the path of "He said, She said" and that's counter productive.

One of the concerns raised was that the current name of "Torridge Common Ground" was way to close to an already established organisation that's well known, this organisation and others can be seen here on this link Search Google for CommonGround

The name "Torridge Together" was put forward as a new name.

A counter to that suggestion was raised that suggested that this would be the case with most names therefore no matter what the name is there would always be conflicting opinions, we have a name now, we have been using it and the previous consensus was that we are good to go..therefore stick with what we have.

The vote went through and the vote told us that the name change was more popular, the vote to change names had won at the meeting and the meeting came to its end.

We did however call members back together, a concern was raised that although a name change NOW isn't going to have huge impacting consequences, if we did the same thing 6 or 12 months from now and followed the same procedures as we did on the evening of the meeting there would be a huge disruption of our progress, we were able to make a serious change way to easy without the input of all members, we are currently lacking in a  procedure to handle such a decision.

After a great talk we decided 2 things that we needed to do.

1.Put into position a way of working that will help safeguard the fundamentals of the group.

2.send out and let the entire group have the opportunity to vote on the name change.

So, here we are with the second part, below you will see a button that links to a voting system, please go ahead and place your vote, follow the link and you will be asked to choose one of the names.

Choose the one that speaks to you!!


O..The voting is now open, we ask that voting is limited to those currently on our mailing list, if you are not sure if you are on it then email me at to make sure.

Voting results will be finalised on Friday 23rd November at HIGH NOON,  🙂


Voting has now closed, the final numbers indicate that the results were 45% voted for "Torridge Together" and 55% voted to remain as "Torridge Common Ground".

Jamie Kelsey Fry

You are warmly invited to come along to the Old Custom House, Bideford on Thursday 6th Sept at 11am to find out more about creating participatory politics in Torridge and explore being part of co-creating a Peoples Constitution.

Jamie Kelsey Fry will be opening the event with a talk and discussion on the new and emerging participatory politics.

Jamie is a contributing editor to the New Internationalist and a leading authority on the global movement for ordinary people to reclaim power through participatory and digital democracy practices. He has worked with the Spanish municipalist movement who have regained power over twenty of their cities and towns including Madrid and Barcelona. He has also worked with the Danish Alternative party, the Icelandic pirate party (who facilitated the world’s first crowd sourced constitution) the VT aiwan movement and the independent party of Frome who have run their town since 2013.

This should be great. Don’t miss it!

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