THE REAL STORY

Real People - - MUM FOR A MOMENT -

We’ve all watched those lux­ury prop­erty shows on TV with an en­vi­ous eye.

That huge swim­ming pool in the back gar­den or a big, bub­bling Jacuzzi on the deck­ing.

We’ll never be able to af­ford some­thing like that, we say.

But maybe we will… Com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try are now pool­ing their re­sources to make their wishes come true.

From putting money in a shared pot to buy com­mu­nal pools, to build­ing an en­tire re­tire­ment vil­lage of their very own, com­mu­ni­ties are splash­ing out like never be­fore. But where has this trend come from? Pro­fes­sor Matthew Humphreys, from Royal Hol­loway, Univer­sity of Lon­don, an ex­pert on com­mu­nity and re­gen­er­a­tion, says this type of ‘com­mu­nity em­pow­er­ment’ has been on the cards for a while.

‘Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties used to be able to do a lot more things for their com­mu­ni­ties,’ he says.

‘But there isn’t the govern­ment fund­ing any more.

‘It’s cre­ated a “bot­tom-up” ap­proach – peo­ple are get­ting in there and do­ing it for them­selves.

‘They’re the mil­lion-dol­lar in­gre­di­ent.’

So just what are th­ese groups get­ting up to, and what can we legally do our­selves?

Real Peo­ple’s Candice Ritchie ex­plores this com­mu­nity craze…

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