John Harris

Journalist & Author

How to take over your town: the inside story of a local revolution

They are passionate about their community, know what the issues are – and are sick to death of party politics. Meet the independent groups from Devon to London who are seizing control

A quiet revolution has begun in the Devon town of Buckfastleigh. Its compact high street, functional-looking industrial estate and population of 3,300 suggest a place modestly getting on with business. But, while it may go unnoticed by those whooshing past on the A38, or tourists at nearby Buckfast Abbey, there is something happening in Buckfastleigh.

That something is a radical reinvention of the way that power works at a local level, based on a kind of politics that has nothing to do with the traditional party system. And it is authored not in a Whitehall ministry, but in towns, villages and neighbourhoods – where it is having a real impact on some of the services people most care about.

We’re passionate about our environment and we know what the issues are, and how to sort the problems out

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