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Alison Seabrooke

I work on projects in a range of policy areas:

Radioactive Waste Management (RWM)
Providing strategic and practical advice to a UK public body and BEIS on a community consent-based approach to a nationally significant infrastructure project. (July 2016 – )

Sutton Coldfield Town Council
A review of the health and wellbeing needs of residents of Sutton Coldfield and recommendations on the priorities for community engagement and investment. (May 2018 – )

BBC Children in Need
A review of its UK grant-making and grant management processes; recommendations to the board endorsed and implemented. (February 2017)

NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan
Reviewed neighbourhood and community-led, non-clinical approaches to health and social care across rural and urban areas in a Midlands county, for their STP submission. (July – November 2016)

Trustee ASDA Foundation 2012 – present

You can read more about my work in my blog posts.

Between 2005 – 2016 I was chief executive of the Community Development Foundation (CDF). Originally established in 1967 as a non-departmental public body (NDPB) and charity, its role covered all four nations, working across policy, practice, research, evaluation, programmes and consultancy. I led CDF’s work building its business portfolio and partnerships, achieving operational efficiencies and delivering £ms in contracts across multiple policy areas, with all sectors, through a highly collaborative and productive staff team.

On cessation as a public body in 2010, I swiftly shifted CDF to its independent social enterprise status, whilst securing Big Lottery Fund’s £200m endowment to set up Local Trust and deliver the Big Local programme and Cabinet Office’s £80m Community First programme.

Between 2012 – 2016, Trustees agreed a strategy to invest CDF’s reserves in communities, in response to the effects of the financial crisis. In 2015 I presented options to Trustees for future investment in community development and in December 2015 it was agreed to pass substantial funds and intellectual property rights to Local Trust, established with similar charitable objects. CDF ceased to trade in March 2016, a decision that commanded respect as one that could be adopted by other charities.

The articles below provide an insight into some of my interests and experience.

Who gives a Pluck?

There is nothing like reading a good book, but I am bad at it. Daily demands, aka a lack of personal discipline, reduces me to an online daily digest of public affairs, contemporary articles and content that might serve well in a trivia quiz. The only way to devour one is to chain me to a chair; I am, therefore, a holiday reader. This is a review of Madeleine Albright’s book, Fascism: A Warning

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Looking back, to look forwards

The Marshall Plan was a bold gesture to rebuild the economies and spirit of western Europe after WWII. As we enter a fragile period of post war politics, this article explores our need to consciously engage with our past as we attempt to shape our future, drawing on personal insights. It highlights the importance of transnational dialogue in advance of BUILD 2017, held in Detroit and initiated by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

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My most recent posts…

Looking back, to look forwards

The Marshall Plan was a bold gesture to rebuild the economies and spirit of western Europe after WWII. As we enter a fragile period of post war politics, this article explores our need to consciously engage with our past as we attempt to shape our future, drawing on personal insights. It highlights the importance of transnational dialogue in advance of BUILD 2017, held in Detroit and initiated by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

read more

What is a community?

We often debate the definition of community, particularly when designing policy or programmes. The problem is that there are different definitions of community and that we too often disconnect our professional expectations from our personal experiences.

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Health and social care; shifting markets, models and money.

Shifting the weight of demand from clinical to community care and responsibility from clinicians to citizens is critical to the future viability of our national health services. NHS England’s 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans set out how areas in England will approach this over the next few years. But how easily will clinicians and commissioners find it to incorporate community-led responses into the health and social care eco-system?

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Magnetic cities

What does it take to create a magnetic city? This post looks at the different approaches city leaders should consider when planning for urban transformation.

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The evolution of Big Local

Local Trust’s chief executive, Debbie Ladds, invited me to write an article that, on the closure of the Community Development Foundation (CDF) in March 2016, provides an insight into Local Trust’s beginnings and the relationship between the two organisations. Here’s the story.

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What next for UK Cities, as we Brexit?

The shock of the UK Referendum result has provoked a multitude of reactions and self-searching, both at home and abroad. For me, it has opened questions I hadn’t even considered before the vote, which could have a permanent impact on the UK’s nations.

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Guardian Society Profile April 2016

This isn’t the end for local activism
The head of the axed Community Development Foundation on how local organisations already hit by cuts will have to pick up the slack.

www.theguardian.com/...

BUILD Bilbao October 2016

Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues
From September 16-19, 2015, BUILD convened over 100 civic leaders and urban practitioners from GMF’s network in the U.S. and Europe to discuss strategies for leading transformative change in cities for BUILD's second annual convening.

www.gmfus.org/forum/bilbao...

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