Skip to main content

Have your say on new community rights to challenge and run local services - closes 3rd May 2011

12 replies [Last post]
kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark today opened a consultation on how revolutionary new rights for communities should work in practice.

The Community Right to Challenge and Community Right to Buy are two key elements of the Localism Bill, designed to hand power back to local people. They will enshrine in law the opportunity for community and voluntary groups to have a greater say over what happens in their local area.

Under the Community Right to Buy, local groups will have a legal right to nominate any vital community asset - including local shops, pubs, libraries and leisure centres - to be assessed for recording on a 'most wanted' list by the local council. The asset could then be listed for five years. In that time, the owner of a listed asset will have to tell the council if they intend to sell, which will trigger a window of opportunity or 'community countdown', giving people time to prepare their business plan and raise the funds they need to make a credible bid before it goes on the open market.

The Community Right to Challenge opens the door to a transformation in the way that local public services are run. It will give community or voluntary sector groups, as well as parish councils and council employees, new powers to challenge and take over a local service. This could include running children's centres, social care services and even improving local transport links. Under the new law, councils must respond to this challenge and consider the positive impact the proposal could have on the community. If the proposal is turned down the council must publish the reasons for this. This new right puts voluntary and charity groups on the front foot when it comes to running public services and has the potential to open up new revenue for them.

The consultations will run for 12 weeks from today, taking views from people, councils and their employees, community groups, voluntary organisations, private businesses and other interested parties.

The consultation documents can be viewed online here: www.communities.gov.uk/consultations/<

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said:

"It's vital that services respond to what local people really want, and give people the chance to do things their way.

"Many voluntary and community groups have outstanding ideas about how they could deliver local services at high quality and reasonable cost, or run the local buildings and businesses that people care about in the best interests of the community.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for them to put the new rights in the Localism Bill into practice - and we welcome thoughts on how."

The Community Right to Buy consultation will consider a number of elements, including:

  • who should be able to nominate land or buildings for the 'most wanted list', and how
  • who should be able to trigger the 'community countdown' and whether community groups should be able to buy an asset during that period, before it goes on the open market
  • what type of land and buildings should be excluded from being put on the list.
  • how long the window of opportunity (or 'community countdown') for community groups should be

The Community Right to Challenge consultation will also consider a number of different options, including:

  • which services should not be subject to challenge
  • what information should be included in an expression of interest
  • how long a local authority has to consider an expression of interest
  • possible reasons for modifying or rejecting an expression of interest

Related publications

http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsstories/localgovernment/1836551<

n/a
kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Challenge: Consultation paper

Summary

This document sets out the provisions being made by Government in the Localism Bill to introduce a Community Right to Challenge. It seeks views on the detail of how the Right will work in practice, which will be set out in regulations. It also invites views on what type of support and guidance should be provided.

Order

  • This publication is only available online - see below to download.

Download

Do you need help viewing file formats<?

Have your say

 <

Alternative formats

If you require this publication in an alternative format (eg Braille or audio) please email alternativeformats@communities.gsi.gov.uk< quoting the title and product code/ISBN of the publication, and your address and telephone number.

Related publications

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/righttochalle...<

n/a
kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Buy - assets of community value: Consultation paper

Summary

This document sets out the provisions being made by Government in the Localism Bill to assist community organisations who wish to purchase assets of community value. It seeks views on the detail of how the scheme should be delivered, which will be set out in regulations. It also invites views on what type of support and guidance should be provided.

Order

  • This publication is only available online - see below to download.

Download

Do you need help viewing file formats<?

Have your say

 <

Alternative formats

If you require this publication in an alternative format (eg Braille or audio) please email alternativeformats@communities.gsi.gov.uk< quoting the title and product code/ISBN of the publication, and your address and telephone number.

Related publications

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/righttobuycon...<

n/a
kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Social workers and sector leaders have told ministers to retain councils' duties to assess and provide social care, in response to a consultation that proposed abolishing them.<

In March, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) outraged MPs<, social work leaders< and peers< when it launched a consultation seeking to slash the duties placed on local authorities, including those in social care.

Responding to the consultation, which closed yesterday, the College of Social Work said social workers were "mystified" by the proposals. "They argued forcibly that social work-related duties had emerged over years of democratic debate and that any repeal would leave vulnerable people and the community at large at great risk," it said.

Matt Dunkley, president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, also backed the retention of duties. He said they provided the levers and accountability for directors to fulfil their role on vulnerable children.

In a letter to communities secretary Eric Pickles, Dunkley said: "It is not the duties which are superfluous or burdensome, but the weight of guidance and regulation associated with them."

The Adass chief argued the guidance could restrict directors who tried to meet their responsibilities creatively. He called for a final decision on any changes in children's social care to be made after Eileen Munro reported on her review of child protection next month<.

Social workers were also concerned about the possible abolition of duties to carry out child protection investigations or to accommodate children whose families cannot support them, said the College. These were essential for ensuring children's safety.

In addition, they opposed removing any duty to assess adults who may need community care services or for approved mental health professionals to consider requests for mental health assessments.

According to the College, social workers believed the abolition of these duties could lead to the transfer of current statutory functions to the private and voluntary sector. "Local authorities were given these duties to ensure a co-ordinated and holistic response to people in need, while independent sector organisations usually focus on a more limited remit," said the College.

Meanwhile, the Disabilities Charities Consortium, which comprises seven major disabled people's charities including Mencap and Scope, said the DCLG exercise itself failed to explain the functions of the duties.

"As a result people are being asked to decide whether some duties should be repealed without understanding the implications," the consortium said.

It added that the consultation was "a waste of resources" because of Munro's review and the Law Commission's review of adult social care law, which is also due to report next month.

Related articles

Fears Pickles' consultation might dilute social worker role<

MPs furious over Pickles' social care duties consultation<

Government could abolish all council social care duties<

Abolition of social care duties 'would be illegal'<

Reduction of social care duties will be fought 'tooth and nail'<

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/04/26/116723/Pickles-told-t...<

n/a
kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Professor Eileen Munro has released her final report. Professor Munro has conducted the wide ranging review into frontline child protection practice, concluding that a one-size-fits-all approach to child protection is preventing local areas from focusing on the child. SCIE is mentioned in the report and Amanda Edwards, our Deputy Chief Executive, says: “The report is a powerful reminder about the experiences of children, the role that social workers play and the reasons that people are so committed to being social workers. We're very pleased that the report is recommending that the Government require Local Safeguarding Children's Boards to use systems methodology when undertaking Serious Case Reviews.” See below for information on two free events on the SCIE systems approach to serious case reviews.
- Find out more and read the full Munro report<
- Learning together to safeguard children: developing a multi-agency systems approach for case reviews<

 

n/a
kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Care services minister Paul Burstow has delivered an ultimatum to primary care trusts that are hogging money intended for social care.

Last year the government set aside £2bn of the NHS budget to be spent on social care, which was then divided between PCTs.

Responding to accusations from delegates at Community Care Live that some PCTs were not doing this, Burstow said: "Every single primary care trust is meant to transfer that resource [to local authorities]. If I hear of examples of it not happening I will deliver them a swift kick to make sure it does."

<

He said PCTs were mandated to invest this money with councils in social care services.

He also gave his strongest indication yet that the government is working towards creating the post of chief social worker.

"I think the chief social worker idea could help to raise the profile of social work in public policy right across government," Burstow said. "It could be a hugely powerful way of elevating the profile of social work."

Earlier this month, Eileen Munro's long-awaited report on reform of child protection recommended appointing a chief social worker to span children's and adults' services.

Burstow had previously said the government would consider the creation of such a post if Munro were to recommend it.

Today, Burstow said it was now important to decide what the role would entail. He said the dynamic between a social work leader within government and a College of Social Work outside government needed to be understood before the post was created.

Related articles

College: Chief social worker must cover adults and children<

Burstow moots chief social worker post for England<

Government backs Munro plan for chief social worker role<

Osborne finds £2bn to help social care weather council cuts<

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/05/18/116835/cc-live-bursto...<

n/a
anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Select Committee report on localism and Government response

On 9 June 2011, the parliamentary Select Committe on Communities and Local Government published its report on localism, including measures in the Localism Bill.

The report states:

  • The Government has not produced a compelling vision of what its imagined localist future will look like and the functions and responsibilities of the players within it. Greater clarity and certainty is needed.
  • Localism should not be adopted purely as a way to achieve reductions in public sector costs, for it is unclear whether it will be able to deliver this in the short term.
  • There is not universal support for the idea that central government should retreat entirely from local affairs, allowing accountability to local people to replace performance monitoring from the centre. In particular, organisations representing vulnerable, marginalised or minority groups argue that these sections of the community need protection that cannot be provided by the current mechanisms of local democratic accountability.

Click here< for link to report

On 23 September, the Government published its formal response to the recommendations and conclusions set out in the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on localism.

Click here< for link to Government response

http://www.edf.org.uk/blog/?p=11862<

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

The Communities and Local Government Committee held an inquiry into the Government’s plans for localism and decentralisation of public services. The report was published on 7 June 2011.

<
 <

News

Publications<

Title Date published
3rd Report - Localism< 09 June 2011
3rd Report - Localism - Volume II < 09 June 2011

 

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-sele...<

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

The Government's flagship Localism Bill was published on Monday 13 December 2010. Running to 406 pages, with 207 clauses and 24 schedules, it is an extremely significant piece of legislation which looks to devolve decision-making powers from Whitehall to communities and their local democratically-elected representatives.

There are seven parts to the bill:

  1. Local government – including a General Power of Competence for councils, new arrangements for governance of local authorities including directly-elected mayors, amendments relating to standards and pay accountability proposals.

  2. EU fines – giving ministers the power to require local authorities to make payments in respect of EU fines.

  3. Non-domestic rates – including discretionary relief on non-domestic relief, automatic small business relief, and the cancellation of back-dated non-domestic rates.

  4. Community empowerment – including local referendums, council tax referendums, and community rights to challenge and to buy.

  5. Planning – including the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies, the use of the Community Infrastructure Levy, new powers for neighbourhood planning, and new rules for nationally-significant infrastructure projects.

  6. Housing – including powers to discharge homeless duties, tenure reform for social housing, abolition of the Housing Revenue Account subsidy and reform of housing finance.

  7. London – including new housing and regeneration functions for the GLA, powers to set up Mayoral Development Corporations, and GLA governance issues. Find out what you can do to help lobby on the bill – this area is for member councils only.

This page will keep you up to date on the progress of the bill, with links to debate summaries, LGA briefings, and amendments as they are made.

http://www.local.gov.uk/localism-bill<

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

An updated ‘Plain English Guide to the Localism Act’ was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government in November 2011.

The document describes the main measures of the Localism Act under four headings:

  • new freedoms and flexibilities for local government
  • new rights and powers for communities and individuals
  • reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective
  • reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally

Click here< for details

http://www.edf.org.uk/blog/?p=14904<

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

The Communities and Local Government Committee held a short inquiry looking at the implications of localisation being applied to aspects of the welfare system.

In particular the inquiry considered the impact of changes to council tax benefit, housing benefit and the discretionary elements of the social fund, particularly as they relate to local authority administration. Among its concerns the Committee noted:

  • the possibility of a postcode lottery if the discretionary social fund is localised.
  • potential inadequate funding because there is no requirement to ringfence funds.

The report was published on 13 October 2011.

Government's response

The Government responded to this inquiry in January 2012. You can view this from the link below.

More information

http://www.disabilityalliance.org/localisation.htm<

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture
anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Communities across Europe taking ownership of local services and initiatives.

http://www.itsourcommunity.eu/policy-report<

X