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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Strategic CSR - Localism

The concept of “localism” refers to the process by which decision-making power over local government issues is devolved to the citizens who live in the area and are most affected by the outcomes. The article in the url below reports on a “localism bill’ that was introduced in the UK Parliament at the end of 2010 and represents “the biggest upheaval in the English and Welsh planning system in more than 60 years”:

In essence it will mean communities are able to plan where they most want to see new homes and businesses. There will also be a right to bid to run public services. So instead of losing amenities that play a vital role in the community, such as meeting rooms, swimming pools, village shops, markets or pubs, the bill will give community groups a right to express an interest in running those local services.

In particular:

The government has set up a pilot scheme in which 17 communities across the UK – Neighbourhood Planning Front Runners – will receive £20,000 each to test radical new rights to decide what gets built, where and what it should look like.

In terms of converting ideas into policies:

If the communities’ proposals meet certain basic criteria, do not cut across the local authority’s own policies and are cleared by a local authority inspector, a referendum (paid for and administered by the local authority) must then be held. If the majority votes in favour then the local authority must make the plan.

The bill is on schedule to be passed into law by the end of 2011 (http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/localism.html) and “should come into effect on April 6 2012.