I read an interesting article on Pits N Pots written by ex Stoke on Trent councillor Bill Cawley, on how inexpensive ideas could be implemented to improve the position of people of the area.
The article includes
Participative Budget Making, Young people involvement in community projects, Community Participation Schemes,
Developing Neighbourhood Communities, Establishing a pilot LETS scheme in the area, Developing Micro Credit/ Credit Union support to New Businesses, Use of derelict land, Registry of Good Deeds, Tackling isolation amongst the old, The Litter Movement- a litter free community.
It's worth a read, and some of the items listed can also be implemented without council control, it's a case of just getting it done.