Parliament was in recess last week and MPs were not sitting.
On Thursday 30, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport alongside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government jointly launched the Innovation in Democracy Programme. The initiative aims to trial the involvement of citizens in decision-making at local government level through new models of deliberative democracy. Three local authorities are trialling the programme using Area Democracy Forums, which will permit local authorities to convene a randomly selected but representative sample of residents, who are given information and time to deliberate, weigh up options, reach consensus, and make recommendations on a difficult issue that would usually be made by the local authority. Explaining the programme, the departments that: ‘People are most likely to engage where they see the everyday impact of the decisions that are made, and feel they can make a difference by being involved.’
On Friday 31, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee launched a new inquiry to examine the long-term delivery of social and affordable rented housing. The inquiry will investigate the effectiveness of the Government’s current strategies to boost social and affordable rented housing provision. The Committee will also look at the challenges facing different areas of the country. Elsewhere, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced a new funding scheme to support rural communities across England that wish to set up renewable energy projects in their area.
On Tuesday 4, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee hears evidence on coastal flooding and adaptation to climate change. Later, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee will hear evidence on local government finance and the 2019 Spending Review. In the House of Lords, peers will debate how to encourage more people to use bus services.
On Wednesday 5, MPs will debate rising crime and antisocial behaviour in smaller towns and communities.
On Thursday 6, MPs will debate local bus drivers working long hours.
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