Paul Slatter, Director of Chamberlain Forum

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Paul Slatter is the director of Chamberlain forum and has been involved  in a number of ways to  bring the parties together. Facilitating sessions and using a technique called structured dialogue method, which as the name suggests is a structured way of approaching a dialogue between 2 sides of an issue. For more information on Structured Dialogue see here and for a full report – as a word document – click here.


Some key points Paul makes are:

  • Authorities should change the  language they use when referring to their partners in community/3rd sector organisations. They are not “clients” and describing them as such doesn’t help build strong relationships.
  • Techniques like structured dialogue take some time, usually about a morning but are useful and help to bring the truth of matters as it happens to a process, rather than afterwards. It’s essential that the different sides talk during a process.
  • The solicitors involved agreed that the facilitation helped move things on more quickly.

Advice for authorities:

Communication is almost more important than the technical side of the asset transfer if you want to produce a result which has a valuable connection between community and local goverment.

Advice for third sector:

The same advice to keep communication flowing as for authority officers, but with the added nuance being that they need to assert themselves throughout the process.

2 Responses to “Paul Slatter, Director of Chamberlain Forum”

  1. Good points but I would also say that the authority’s consistency is also a big issue. If a transfer requires a few meetings to sort it out, it does not help if the goalposts keep moving between meetings without explanation. There needs to be a commitment to clear consistent communication.

    • Nick Booth says:

      Indeed. Some authorities seem to be finding their feet on how they approach asset transfer – others have really yet to get going whilst many are still experiment or seeking some consistent approaches. It is of course not simply a question of what the officers have learnt and apply – it is also clearly shaped by politicians, overall and in wards.

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