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Localism and Big Society Noel Singh & Derk van der Wardt Strategy, Partnerships & Communities Leicestershire County Council LRALC and Leicestershire County.

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Presentation on theme: "Localism and Big Society Noel Singh & Derk van der Wardt Strategy, Partnerships & Communities Leicestershire County Council LRALC and Leicestershire County."— Presentation transcript:

1 Localism and Big Society Noel Singh & Derk van der Wardt Strategy, Partnerships & Communities Leicestershire County Council LRALC and Leicestershire County Council Liaison Event Monday 9 th July 2012

2 “The time has come to disperse power more widely in Britain today” (Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Coalition Agreement, May 2010) “Trying to improve people’s lives by imposing decisions, setting targets and demanding inspections from Whitehall simply doesn’t work…it leaves people feeling “done to” and imposed upon” (Plain English Guide to Localism Bill, January 2011)

3 The Government’s “six actions of decentralisation”

4 What is “localism”? “Localism describes a range of political philosophies which prioritize the local. Generally, localism supports local production and consumption of goods, local control of government, and promotion of local history, local culture and local identity. Localist politics…are typically contrasted with regionalism and very centralised government” (Wikipedia, March 2011)

5 The Localism Act New freedoms and flexibilities for local government New rights and powers for local communities Reform to make the planning system clearer, more democratic and more effective Reform to ensure local housing decisions are taken locally

6 Localism Act – The Headllines –Greater innovation in public services through opportunities for social enterprises/community groups to express an interest in running local services using community right to challenge - councils must consider and respond to this challenge –Make it easier for communities to take over facilities and amenities threatened with sale or closure e.g. more time to organise a bid and raise money – community right to bid –Community right to build – ability for local people to bring forward small developments and keep any profits e.g. from letting homes

7 Localism Act – The Headlines –Local authorities required to keep a list of assets of community value and communities can nominate assets for possible inclusion on this list –New ability to trigger a local referendum on any local issues that people think is important – public bodies required to take outcome into account in decision making –New right for communities to draw up a neighbourhood (development) plan – where new houses, businesses and shops should go and what they should look like – Leicestershire pilot

8 Big Society – National Agenda 1. Give communities more powers 2. Encourage people to take an active role in their communities 3. Transfer power from central to local government 4. Support creation and expansion of co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises 5. Publish government data

9 Big Society Four Leicestershire Big Society aspirations…

10 1. Everyone can be involved in their community

11 2. Everyone has opportunities to influence decisions that affect them

12 3. Local people are able to shape and deliver public services

13 4. Local people and organisations grow the Big Society together

14 Big Society and LCC For Leicestershire County Council Big Society is: “Helping communities to help themselves” = Empowering Communities = Opening up Public Services = Promoting Social Action Big Society is nothing new – we need to build on what is already in place

15 Extra ‘Push’ for Big Society by LCC Big Society Grant Fund (£340,000) Community Forum Budgets (£320,000) Support to Social Enterprises (£40,000) ‘Think Leicestershire’ programme (£70,000) Funding to support engagement and representation with: –Parish Councils (via LRALC) (£20k) –Rural Communities (via RCC) (£25k) –Faith, Race and LGB Communities (via TREC) (£35k)

16 Big Society Grant Fund

17 Big Society Grant Fund – Eligible Activities Community Consultation exercises Producing community/parish/neighbourhood plans Piloting a service or activity Set up costs associated with starting a service Technical/legal/specialist advice associated with setting up a new project, service or facility (including architects, surveys, legal fees, insurance) Production of a Business Plan/Feasibility Study Contributions towards larger capital projects (up to £15,000)

18 Big Society Grant Fund 2012-13 Strategic Priorities An ageing population/older people (including vulnerability and mental health) Troubled Families Unhealthy lifestyles (e.g. smoking, obesity, physical exercise) Economic Growth (including worklessness/ unemployment)

19 Big Society Grant Fund 2011-12 5 Grants Panel meetings held in 2011-12 131 applications considered by the Panel 70 applications awarded funding 19 Parish Councils supported with funding for a range of projects

20 Big Society Grant Fund 2011-12: Examples of Parish Council led projects awarded funding Development of new community centres Feasibility studies to determine the expansion of existing services/ facilities to meet identified community need Undertaking Parish Plan exercises, along with Parish Plan training Local consultation exercises Development of local sports facilities and initiatives Neighbourhood Plans

21 Big Society Grant Fund 2011-12 Projects who have had funding approved have effectively demonstrated: –Evidence of need/demand from the community themselves –Evidence of feasibility and viability of the project/activity –The development or delivery of new projects/activities, or a way of extending previous/existing activities to meet the needs of a wider range of beneficiaries

22 Big Society Grant Fund 2012-13 2012-13 round of Grant Fund launched in June 2012 First Grants Panel of 2012-13 scheduled for late July 2012 Contact Grant Officers to discuss your project ideas and for details of future Panel meetings!

23 Big Society Grant Fund – Contact Details More information is available on the website Contact us by e-mail on Telephone 0116 3057020 or 3057269 Main contacts are: –Noel Singh (Policy & Partnerships Manager) –Andy Hayes (Community & Places Officer)

24 Community Forum Budgets £ 320,000 per year 25 Community Forums Between 10k and 15k per Forum Joint working with VAL, Districts and other partners Participatory process to allocate funding

25 What is Participatory Budgeting? ‘Participatory Budgeting (PB) engages people in taking decisions on the spending priorities for a defined public budget in their local area. This means engaging residents and community groups to discuss spending priorities, make spending proposals, and vote on them, as well as giving local people a role in the scrutiny and monitoring of the process’ Dept. of Communities & Local Government

26 Community Forum Budget Process Stage 1Submission of Project Proposals Stage 2Inviting comments on the project proposals - Comments from public - Comments from ‘expert panel’ Stage 3 Community Forum Budget Decision Night Stage 4Final project approval & project delivery September 2012 to March 31 st 2013

27 Community Forum Budget Process 2012 Stage 1Submission of Project Proposals -305 project proposals received (+30%) Stage 2Inviting comments on the project proposals - 2700 comments received via website - 15,000 people visited Stage 3 Community Forum Budget Decision Night: -1370 people took part in voting (+60%) -161 projects provisionally allocated funding Stage 4Final project approval & project delivery - Bulk of the offer letters have already been issued, usually within 4 weeks of Decision Night - Early indications of leverage = +/- £500,000

28 Community Forum Budget decision nights – feedback from participants Question: Please indicate how strongly you agree with the following statements: Agree/Agree strongly Disagree / disagree strongly 2012201120122011 I really enjoyed today’s workshop and I am glad I attended 89% 88% 3% 2% I felt I had plenty of opportunity to participate in the process today 91% 2% 3% I felt the way projects were prioritised was fair and inclusive 82% 73% 8% 11% NB remaining % neither agreed nor disagreed

29 Community Forum Budgets & Parish Councils Parish Councils are eligible organisation so can bid for funds themselves Parish Councils are essential to promoting the opportunities to local groups Parish Councils can support local groups with their bids

30 Parish Council Projects (1) Environmental Improvements in the Parish –Allotment garden fencing – Croft –Wild Flower Area – Old Dalby –Footpath on Back Lane Meadows – Whetstone –Park redevelopment – Huncote Mostly based on feedback from community consultation Less successful are projects that public feel Parish Councils can/should precept for: ie street furniture, upkeep of play areas etc.

31 Parish Council Projects (2) Social & Health related activities & facilities –Table-tennis facility - Peckleton –3 Defibrillators - Somerby –Youth Parish Council, Castle Donington –Community Lunches – various parishes in Melton West Community Forum working together –Birstall Youth Café –Glenfield Youth Service provision

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