Back in June I went to a party, a very good party. There was a BBQ, beer, a band, games and lots of cake. It was a street party in the street I grew up in celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I’m led to believe it took a fair amount of planning to organise such an event. A budget needed to be set, a price for tickets and the whole street needed to be invited, the list goes on. So a group of parents from my old street set up a party committee. I think they had 3 or 4 meetings in the run up to the party and exchanged chains of emails. Someone was appointed to be in charge of the money, someone else was sourcing the BBQ and others were in charge of booking a band. The group of 15 people in the committee did all this in preparation to ensure the party was a huge success. Leaflets were put through peoples doors and requests for tickets came flooding in, this was going to be a good old fashioned British Street Party.
I’m glad to say the day was a huge success, over 100 people turned up and the threatening bad weather stayed away, so we had fun dancing into the evening. The success of the day was all down to this group of 15 people, they had taken it upon themselves to ensure that everyone had the chance to celebrate this historic occasion together. Well done all.
I was in a meeting this morning discussing a very similar project… similar in some ways, but a stark contrast in others. Like the party committee about 15 members of a community had come together to take charge, take responsibility for the good of a community of over 100 people. But the responsibility wasn’t to do with throwing a cracking party. No, it was far more basic and certainly more important. Although, I hear you ask, what could be more important than celebrating Her Maj’s 60 years on the throne… Water.
The committee had come together to ensure their urban community had a clean, safe water supply that they paid a fair price for. Through DMM (Delegated Management Model) this group of individuals had stepped up to take responsibility for the water supply representing over 100 water users. Because they had stepped up and were taking responsibility for the water supply they were able to negotiate the price of the water to the end user to half what it was before. The water was pumped from the mains supply to a master meter, here it was split off to four medium meters before separating again to individual meters. Once past the master meter the water is the responsibility of the committee. With the support of Practical Action the committee has taken responsibility for the water for the good of their entire neighbourshood.
Although the party committee put on a great spread, the water committee is the winner in my eyes.