Neighbourhood Democracy Movement

Exploring how to grow a movement for real democratic reform.

We believe that it’s time to shift our approach to democracy and embrace the idea that everyone can play a part in thinking, deciding and acting in their streets, neighbourhoods and villages.

The Neighbourhood Democracy Movement (NDM) was created during the early days of the COVID pandemic when more people were able to get involved in local action and decision-making without seeking permission from government or civil society organisations. Many people discovered their own citizenship, connected with neighbours and found that their community was able to tackle problems themselves.

We’ve been inspired by what we have learned from India, from people life Varun Vidyarthi and Joseph Rathinam. We are aware of the growing power of the peasant movement that is blossoming in South America. We are excited by the reemergence of Municipalism as a response to austerity and social injustice. We have also tried to celebrate new forms of mutual aid and peer support as we’ve seen it emerge in places like Frome, Doncaster and Netherton.

This emerging energy and self-awareness is hard-won and there are many factors that can make it hard to sustain. Lack of time, economic security, decision-making structures and resources makes it difficult; so does a culture which assumes that someone else, some public body or agency, should solve problems that they are often ill equipped to solve.

You can read our many articles on different aspects of Neighbourhood Democracy here.

Citizen Network hosts the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement (NDM) and we have an active list of people who have expressed support for these ideas and interest in staying in touch. We are currently exploring with our allies, Opus, Control Shift and others what role the NDM could play in the future. In the next few months are focus will be on supporting the South Yorkshire Fearless Cities Summit in South Yorkshire and we will consult with the global community how best to cooperate and support global and local action in the future.

The Fearless Cities Summit will be hosted in Sheffield on 1-4 November 2024.

Please save the date and sign up below to receive information about the Summit.

If you want to sign up to be part of the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement please fill in the form below.

Glyn Butcher


Member of PFG and Citizen Network Ambassador

James Lock


Director of Opus Independents Ltd

Simon Duffy


President of Citizen Network

Also see