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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Sarah Banks

Banks, S. & Orton, A. (2007). The grit in the oyster: community development workers in a modernizing local authority. Community Development Journal 42(1): 97-113.

Author(s) from Durham


This article offers a brief overview of the challenges facing UK local authorities, including the need to enhance public participation in decision making and service delivery, improve service performance and increase partnership working. It explores the potential contribution of community development work to meeting these challenges, drawing on a case study of one UK county council. The essential tensions and conflicts in the role of community development workers in a local authority are highlighted, showing how the modernization process introduced by the New Labour government is adding further layers of complexity and ambiguity.