Presentation on theme: "Localism and town and parish councils – front runners’ experiences James Kingston Decentralisation and Neighbourhoods Team Department for Communities and."— Presentation transcript:
Localism and town and parish councils – front runners’ experiences James Kingston Decentralisation and Neighbourhoods Team Department for Communities and Local Government
The strategic context Financial climate is difficult and will remain so for the next few years Innovation is needed Town and parish councils can use local knowledge to provide better tailored local services Central government is an enabler
The role of parish and town councils Greater powers over issues that matter to neighbourhoods may drive demand for what town and parish councils can do Town and parish councils offer : oformal democratic representation and accountability; othe ability to influence decision making by other bodies; and othe ability to deliver services, either taking responsibility for existing services or providing additional services.
The Localism Act – new rights Powers to communities Powers to councils Right to challenge Neighbourhood planning Right to bid (assets of community value) Freedoms on governance Freedom on social tenancy allocations General power of competence Power to individuals Power to veto excessive council tax rises Directly elected mayors in big cities
Neighbourhood planning A radical new right through the Localism Act Communities will have greater influence in deciding where facilities should go through local referendum On completion, a neighbourhood development plan (NDP) or order (NDO) will become part of the local development plan. How does it work? 1. A community applies for a neighbourhood area to be designated 2. Parish \ Town council or neighbourhood forum work up details with community 3. Proposal submitted to local authority to check proposal 4. Local referendum held ensuring that communities have the final say on whether a NDP or NDO comes into force in their area
Experiences of NP front runners Positive about having the power ‘to get on with it’ and bring benefits to local area for long-term Motivations – most see neighbourhood planning process as an opportunity to be proactive about planning in their local area, rather than reactive. Existing parish arrangements helpful Neighbourhood planning working outside parished areas Evidence and assessment – proportionate Build on existing planning work at a neighbourhood level Diverse content of neighbourhood plans – strong focus on provision of affordable housing, public realm, town centre regeneration. Involvement of business Strong partnership working with LPA
Right to challenge Right to bid New community rights 1. Community or parish identify assets of community value 3. Communities get time and support to bid for assets 2. Local authorities hold and control a list of assets of community value 4. More communities take control of local assets 2. Expression of interest from VCS, charity, parish, or staff 3. Relevant authority reaches a decision on the expression of interest 4. Authority either accepts, or accepts with modification and then undertakes a procurement exercise, or rejects and a reason for rejection published 1. Relevant services are subject to challenge
Community budgets Giving people more control over services and budgets redesigning services to focus on end results and the needs of user not bureaucratic silos Pilots - working with 10 neighbourhoods to develop budgets for specific services Milestones from here Mar – Dec 2012:co-design work – providing the support and collaborating to develop an NLCB operational plan for each pilot area Jan – Mar 2013:getting ready for implementation Apr 2013:implementation
Experiences of NCB pilot areas Still at the early stages Town/parish councils provide roles and responsibilities ready made T&PCs - knowledge of community. Should they engage or represent? Importance of strategic/political buy in. Finding/testing limits in terms of what can and can’t be done No definite answers yet – still discovering Is Govt getting in the in the way? No specific requests for Govt to do things differently yet.