£6m new funding to give greater control to communities

£6m new funding to give greater control to communities

Communities Minister, Stephen Williams MP announced on 18 February 2015 a new £6m funding boost to the Community Rights programme.

The boost to the Community Rights programme will give even more people greater control and influence over what happens locally.

Up and down the country, communities are taking action from regulars running their local pub and protecting other treasured assets to ambitious plans for new development, new jobs and better-targeted services.

This new funding will mean:

  • Likeminded communities will be able to network and learn from each other through the new My Community Network

  • Communities will have access to tailored advice through a phone and online advice service to help them use the range of community rights and other neighbourhood approaches

  • 100 more neighbourhoods will be supported to use the Our Place approach, enabling councils and other public sector providers, voluntary and community groups, local businesses and the community to work together to tackle important local issues from job creation to health priorities

  • 100 communities will receive support to take the first steps in identifying important local issues and develop Community Action Plans

  • 50 communities will receive support to develop economic plans to address local economic priorities like job creation and enterprise

  • 50 local authority/community partnerships will receive advice, support and grants to support the transfer of multiple or complex publicly owned assets into community ownership

Stephen Williams MP also announced today the awarding of six new contracts to support communities in using the Community Rights in 2015 to 2016. These contracts have been awarded to Locality, Co-operatives UK and The Community Development Foundation (CDF).

These six new contracts are:

  • Advice service and network - Locality and the Community Development Foundation with the Local Government Association, National Association of Local Councils, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action and Anthony Collins Solicitors

  • Community economic development – Co-operatives UK with New Economics Foundation, Community Development Foundation, The Community Development Finance Association and Locality

  • Community ownership and management of assets – Locality with a wide range of delivery partners including The Local Government Association, National Association of Local Councils, Community Matters, Plunkett Foundation, Civic Voice, Ubele and Voice 4 Change grant administration – Groundwork

  • Neighbourhood planning and community Right to Build – Locality with URS-AECOM, a leading planning consultancy, and a number of other specialist sub-contractors including Design Council/CABE, the Royal Town Planning Institute and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

  • First steps and our place - Locality with a wide range of delivery partners including The Community Development Foundation, The Local Government Association and The National Association of Local Councils

The delivery partners also include Civic Voice, Ubele and Voice 4 Change and will help the Our Place! programme reach into harder to reach communities.

Stephen Williams MP said: "This government has trusted local people and given them new rights, introduced by the Localism Act, so they decide how to run their community. Real innovation and impact does not come from the old ways of working but from new ideas, new collaborations, new partnerships and most of all from local people who have the best knowledge.

"The 3,000 uses of the rights so far is proof that communities are revolutionising the way their neighbourhoods work and this further commitment will ensure the Community Rights movement goes from strength to strength."

From March, Community Rights support will be provided differently with the focus moving towards shared support through a network allowing communities to benefit from the successes of others.

This will be matched by expert advice via a new website alongside a phone support service and specific programmes targeting any 'gaps' in provision.

The new monies announced today complement the £22.5m funding for Neighbourhood Planning and £3.5m for the Community Right to Build giving communities more of a say in where new homes, shops and offices should be built and what they should look like.

The total contract value to 2018 is £32m and for 2015 to 2016, the total value of the six contracts is £15.2m. This includes today's new allocation of £6m and the previously announced £22.5m of funding for Neighbourhood Planning.

Cllr Ken Browse, chair of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), said: "NALC is delighted to be involved in helping to deliver and support these important programmes that enable local (parish and town) councils and communities take more control over the way there local area is designed and shaped, along with more influence over local public service delivery."

See the interactive community rights map

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