Tuesday, 28 July 2015 19:39

Communities 'in control of local area'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Communities 'in control of local area'

A FURTHER 250 communities are taking greater control of local issues, says the government.

More people were using the Community Rights programme to have a greater say on everything from job creation to health priorities, said communities minister Marcus Jones.

Government funding was supporting a series of new programmes to give people greater local control and influence following the launch of a support programme in February, he said.

These include a £1m Community Economic Development programme which is supporting 50 communities to identify practical opportunities to develop their local economy.

It is being delivered by Co-operatives UK with the Community Development Foundation, New Economics Foundation, Community Development Finance Association and Locality.

Meanwhile, a £3m Our Place and First Steps programme is supporting 64 areas to transform services at a neighbourhood level.

Mr Jones said: “There is a growing movement of people up and down the country who are taking advantage of our Community Rights support programmes.”

He added: “Local people know what’s already great about the places they live in and how to make them even better.

This could be by taking control of the local community centre, redesigning services for older people or helping young people into employment.

“Our support programmes will help them to harness their skills and knowledge to tackle a wide range of issues that are important to them and make their areas even better places to live and work.”

Locality and partners are supporting 51 areas on the £1.5 million Community Ownership and Management of Assets programme.

This includes Gedling borough council who are working with a diverse group of community organisations including sports clubs, an art groups, neighbourhood groups and a play group.

Their aim is to transfer ownership of community centres in the borough to community groups.

Councillor Kathryn Fox, Portfolio Holder for Communities said: “We’re working with community groups to review the possibility of transferring some of our community centres.

The government is also funding the My Community Advice Service and the My Community Network to help support people who want to take more control over heir local area.

Already there have been over 800 enquiries to the advice service; over 12,000 people have visited the website; and the network has over 500 members.

Details about the advice service and network can be found at mycommunity.org.uk.

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