We produce a wide range of publications from research reports to policy briefings, as well as our members' magazine, Clearway, and a monthly Policy Round-Up. Our Handy Guides provide practical information covering topics such as LSPs, Planning and local government. All our publications are designed to provide accessible and relevant information to help you get to the heart of what matters.
Don't know your Handy Guide from your Briefing? Read our explanation of what our different publications are.
The Local Grants Forum is a partnership of national voluntary organisations. Members of the Local Grants Forum participated in a listening exercise with Government officials on 26 September 2011. Our members have a great deal of experience of building the capacity of local communities at grassroots level. We would welcome any further opportunities to discuss with the Government how its policy objectives can be translated into practice and how to avoid any unintended negative consequences which could arise from these proposals. Members of the Local Grants Forum are jointly submitting the following key points in response to the White Paper.
Urban Forum has conducted a detailed survey of activists in local VCS organisations on their perceptions of community rights (Community Right to Buy, Right to Build, Right to Challenge, as well as neighbourhood planning) and community groups' abilities to take advantage of new opportunities.
This report summarises and analyses the results of the survey and draws some conclusions about support needed to overcome barriers to taking up community rights.
In July 2011 the Government published a draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which sets out their requirements and strategy for economic, environmental and social planning policies in England.
The National Planning Policy Framework is important to communities because it will affect what sort of building and development happens, and when and how communities can influence development in their area.
With less public money around for regeneration, there's growing pressure on public services. Combine this with sluggish economic growth and the buffeting of global crises and it's hardly surprising that many of our communities are in peril. Throughout the UK, life for families in communities faced with longstanding problems of unemployment, poor health, environmental degradation and poverty is fairly grim. However, we must not give up. Now more than ever we need to dig deep and create new ways of addressing these issues.
So finally the government has published its Open Public Services White Paper, outlining its vision of where it wants us to be by 2015: (nearly all) public services outsourced - from running elections (remember the Bush election in 04?) running the fire service, to doing the commissioning and procurement. We can expect to pay for our services, with promises only for safeguards against this when tops ups are ‘inappropriate.' In addition, where we live – parks, libraries, museums, parking, you name it – wherever possible to be placed in the hands of parish and town councils to raise the money to plan, pay and commission them.
On 13 December the Government published the Localism Bill, setting out plans it says will give communities and local government greater powers and freedom from Whitehall. Alongside the Bill, they also published an ‘essential guide to decentralisation' explaining what they wanted to achieve, why and how.
The Bill has passed through the House of Commons and is currently in committee stage in the House of Lords (as of 12 July).
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles tabled 237 amendments to the Bill on 11 May, the relevant of which are summarised in this briefing.