A most interesting and thought provoking event.

The Big Society Rural Advice Seminar held at County Hall on 16th April focused on 'Community Ownership', organised by the RCC in partnership with Leicestershire Rural Partnership (LRP), it was attended by over 90 delegates representing communities, organisations and agencies from Leicestershire & Rutland.

As a stallholder I was impressed by the range and breadth of the network and delegates involved. It was a great opportunity to promote my service.

Some agencies provided information and advice through the market place stalls.

The Plunkett Foundation provided information on 'Community Shops', along with tips on how they can be established and sustained within rural communities.

John Longden of 'Pub is The Hub' provided an excellent insight into the value and versatility of the local pub, and outlined some innovative community led initiatives to maintain and diversify pubs across the country, with quotes from publicans provided in a short video.

Sam Howlett, RCC Community Development Officer outlined how support for 'Community Solutions' enabled groups to initiate new projects, and included an overview of some of the key support services provided by the RCC and its partners.

The final part of the evening saw volunteers from the Anstey & Thurcaston Community Footpath project, and Bosworth Vision (a group leading the development of a Neighbourhood Plan in Market Bosworth) showcase their community projects and provide information, tips, and advice for communities tackling similar projects in their own area.

A most useful format, with stalls, the opportunity to chat with other councillors etc and the presentations.