Neighbourhoods localism and town and parish councils
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Neighbourhoods, localism and town and parish councils. James Kingston Decentralisation and Neighbourhoods Team Department for Communities and Local Government. Neighbourhoods are the starting point. Neighbourhoods are where involvement starts

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Neighbourhoods, localism and town and parish councils

James Kingston

Decentralisation and Neighbourhoods Team

Department for Communities and Local Government

Neighbourhoods are the starting point

  • Neighbourhoods are where involvement starts

  • Local networks and organisations make our neighbourhoods the building blocks of society

Is the ethos…


Doing everything at the lowest possible level and only involving central government if absolutely necessary


Is the process…

Giving away power to individuals, professionals, communities and local institutions

Big Society

  • A society where people, neighbourhoods and communities have more power and responsibility and use it to create better services and outcomes

What we mean when we talk about Localism

Is the vision…

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 Localism Act – new rights

Powers to councils

Powers to communities

General Power of competence

Right toChallenge

Neighbourhood Planning

Power to individuals

Freedom on social tenancy allocations

Power to veto excessive council tax rises

Right to bid (assets of community value)

Freedoms on governance

Directly elected mayors in big cities

Neighbourhood Planning

  • A radical new right through the Localism Bill

  • 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?

4. Local referendum held ensuring that communities have the final say on whether a NDP or NDO comes into force in their area

2. Parish \ Town council or Neighbourhood forum work up details with community

1. A community applies for a neighbourhood area to be designated

3. Proposal submitted to local authority to check proposal

Right to Challenge

4. Authority either accepts, or accepts with modification and then undertakes a procurement exercise, or rejects and a reason for rejection published

Right to


2. Expression of interest from VCS, charity, parish, or staff

3. Relevant authority reaches a decision on the expression of interest

1. Relevant

services are subject to challenge

Right to Bid

Right to


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

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 :

    • formal democratic representation and accountability;

    • the ability to influence decision making by other bodies; and

    • the ability to deliver services, either taking responsibility for existing services or providing additional services.

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

What next?

  • Consultation on making it easier to set up new town and parish councils where they don’t exist – currently in preparation

  • The ‘Microsoft question’: Where do you want to go today?

    • What do you want to do next in your parish or town council?

    • What’s stopping you?

    • What local solutions might enable you to make it happen?

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