The coalition government is getting ready to introduce a range of new rights for communities in relation to local services, assets, development and neighbourhood planning. These measures are contained in the Localism Bill currently being debated in Parliament and expected to be passed in November 2011.
The Community Right to Challenge will give local communities the ability to register an interest to bid to take over a local public service which they would like to run better or differently.
The Community Right to Buy will give local communities new powers to protect land and buildings that are important to them and to save facilities that may be threatened with closure, and more time and flexibility to bid to purchase assets of community value when they come up for sale.
The Community Right to Build will allow communities, where they have the support of local people, to bypass the usual requirements of the planning system to develop new homes, businesses, shops etc.
Neighbourhood Planning is a bottom-up approach to planning for the future of an area led by the community. Once produced a Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the formal planning process and set the tone for future change and development.
Urban Forum wants to know how community groups and residents can use these new rights, particularly those who traditionally lack power. We are keen to know your thoughts on this - as an individual, as a member of a group or from the perspective of community members you work with. We are sending this survey to Urban Forum members but it is for all local VCS organisations, so please do pass it on to your own networks and contacts. The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday 8 June.