The Department for Communities and Local Government
recently published the empowerment White Paper ‘Communities in Control’. The policies in the paper are intended to pass more power into the hands of local communities.
The Government says it wants to give real control over local decisions and services to a wider pool of active citizens. The White Paper identifies seven issues which the Government considers to be key to achieving their ambitions. They are written from the perspective of individual citizens:
• Being active in your community: How can I be an active citizen and volunteer?
• Access to information: In a way that I can understand and use
• Having an influence: On decisions being made on my behalf
• Challenge: Holding to account the people who exercise power in my locality
• Redress: Getting swift and fair redress when things go wrong
• Standing for office: Understanding more and getting support
• Ownership and Control: How can we own and run local services ourselves?
Policy examples include:
• Extending the duty on public bodies, such as local Councils, to involve local residents in decision making
• Supporting people, including those who are disabled or those on benefits, to take up volunteering opportunities
• Supporting innovative programmes to help young people from diverse backgrounds to become effective leaders
• Removing barriers to commissioning services from faith based organisations
• Giving Councils a new duty to respond to petitions and ensuring those with significant support are properly debated by the full Council.
to view the White Paper in PDF format.