The Localism bill is aimed at de-centralisingpower from Central Government and bringingit back to Communities and local government.“The Localism Act takes power from centralgovernment and hands it back to localauthorities and communities – giving themthe freedom and flexibility to achieve theirown ambitions”
• There are 5 key areas the Localism Act covers:Neighbourhood Community Empowering General Power Housing Planning Rights Local Areas of Competence Councils will be Community able to work organisations Giving power to Enables local creatively to have a fair Local Authority local council to people to meet local chance to bid to has flexibility on improve local influence and needs, without take over land how their services, develop guide the future having to wait for and buildings housing stock their area and of where they agreement from that are meets their need increase their live the central important to competitiveness government to them get things done This is the one we are able to get involved with (primarily) “… local people will have genuine opportunities to influence the future of where they live.”
We believe it will give us the opportunity to make surethat the right amount of homes are built, and whenplanning applications are put forward, they are in thelocations which we, as a village have identified, consulted& agreed on. It will give us the ability to protect andenhance the village with it’s listed buildings, historicsetting, green space, rural nature and diverseenvironment and to guide the future of what we considerto be a thriving community.We hope you’ll agree that it’s worth the effort – we’ll beworking for the future generations!
To us, it’s not only about planning where the houses can go It’s about finding out the facts Thinking ecologically and protecting our wonderful countryside Working out how many houses we’ll really need, how we want the houses to look, to be sensitive to their surroundings and the impact they have on the environment Being realistic when weighing up the positives v negatives, and not ignoring things which are important to all of us Ensuring that we have enough spaces in the schools & doctors to accommodate village growth Maintaining our village identity Ensuring that we don’t have to drive for miles to access services Protecting our public transport Ensuring it’s possible to continue all the wonderful community groups we’re so lucky to have on offer in the village. Looking after people, and trying to make sure that needed services are available to them, somehow.
• Introduction of Localism Bill to Parliament13/12/2010 • First Conference at MVDC to explain the process • First Meeting & formulation of WVF - Is this something we can achieve? Will this benefit Westcott? • Localism Bill given Royal Assent turning into an Act15/11/2011 • MVDC Planning attend our meeting to help us understand the topic 7/2/2012 • Response of our Village Short Survey to establish key issues23/3/2012 • Second MVDC conference on the requirements of the NP24/7/2012
• Today’s presentation & some of the feedback from the village short12/9/2012 survey • Village Full Survey to establish demographics, mix, future needsEarly 2013 • Formulate 2 Groups:- The Forum - 21 representatives from whole community - to receive & digest info, eventually making the policies:-Working Party - gathering info, preparing documents, and drafting the policies • Write the Neighbourhood Development Plan which needs approval from MVDC • Go to the ballot box for the whole village to vote on • Depending on outcome, approval by national planner
Three main reasons for getting involved in the Village Forum at this stage.1. It is much easier to make decisions about how we want our village and our community to evolve, when we are working in a positive frame of mind. What we need, what we want, and what we’d like to happen.2. There will inevitably be pressures from the outside, maybe county, maybe district council pressures in the future, about planning, education, transport, and other services. If we already have a template for the village, we can see not only whether any proposals actually fit what we want, but how we may be able to negotiate to build on the proposals so that in the end we get what we want.3. Not every village is going to bother with a village forum. We have already shown how Westcott can work together, to oppose an unwelcome planning application. If you were a planner, or a council trying to force unwelcome change onto a community in Mole Valley, would you choose one which already had a detailed plan of what was acceptable, or would you opt for a village that hadn’t woken up to its danger? We must let the authorities know that we, the people living in our village, know what is best for its future.
- IT’S YOUR VILLAGE- HAVE YOUR SAY- FILL IN YOUR FULL SURVEY IN 2013- SUPPORT THE SUCCESSFUL EVOLUTION OF WESTCOTT VILLAGE
The Forum will be made up of 21 members, all of whom willbe volunteers, who need to represent different sections of theWestcott community – this way, we can ensure everyone hasa voice. The purpose is to receive and digest information onlocal community demographics, helping to establish villageneeds for the next 10 years and eventually make the policieswhich will guide Westcott forward well into the next decade,in a way we all agree on. Neighbourhood forums will lead thecreation of neighbourhood plans, supported by the localplanning authority. Once written the plan will beindependently examined and put to a referendum of localpeople for approval. It will go to a vote, where depending onthe outcome (50% approval by local voters) it will become anadopted policy which the local council have to use.
There will be a need for another group – the‘working party’ – who will be responsible forcollecting the data which is needed, from all sortsof places – we’ve made a start with the villagequestionnaire (which 10% of the villagepopulation completed). This work will continuewith the Village Survey. There will be lots ofresearch, analysis, and report writing to be doneall of which will be passed to the NeighbourhoodForum for them to digest! – volunteers at theready - please – support your community to dosomething positive for it’s future generations.
We need to represent the whole We are also looking for people whocommunity – otherwise it won’t be are Skill Based with potentially the following skills:possible to take this forward. We will Data researchneed at least 21 representatives from Analysis of datathe community – including: Report writing Commuters Computer input Families Project planning Elderly Experience in planning process Retired Experience in local government Experience in contract/policy Businesses writing Land owners Marketing Homeowners Communications Social Housing residents Conference co-ordination & delivery Private residents Administration Anyone else Public speaking
Are you interested in taking part in:A - The Neighbourhood Forum?B - Working Party?If so fill in a form and hand to a volunteer.