I am one of many community leaders supporting and leading a campaign for new legislation that will give real legal powers to communities at a ground roots level through a new Community Power Act.
Covid has shown what amazing things can happen when control is handed down to communities and trust is given for them to make decisions. The pandemic has shown just how powerful and effective community action can be. Now we need to make sure we use this learning to create new systems.
New systems that mean decisions in our communities about land, services or infrastructure is done so with our consultation and our input.
We are calling for Parliament to pass a Community Power Act. This legislation would fundamentally change where power lies in our country.
Rather than politicians and officials in distant centres of power making decisions from afar, local people would have the powers they need to shape the areas where they live. The Community Power Act would make three things happen:
1. Communities would have a legal right to self-determination, meaning that the authorities would need to ensure that decisions about local services and spaces would be made at the ‘most local’ level possible and with the participation of local people.
2. Councils would join together with community organisations and groups to form Community Covenants, or neighbourhood-level power-sharing arrangements. Once these are in place, the government would transfer significant powers and resources to the council, while communities themselves would play a much bigger role in shaping and delivering services for local people and taking control of community spaces.
3. The government would appoint an independent Community Power Commissioner. The Commissioner would hold the government accountable for its performance in upholding communities’ right to self-determination – conducting investigations of government policies, practices and departments and making binding recommendations to put power in people’s hands.
The Community Power campaign ‘We’re Right Here’ have launched their teaser website
Visit https://t.co/vqh9AxRHVP to sign up for updates on the national, community-led campaign
Hopefully there are exciting things to come…