Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has set out a new draft strategy for consultation today to give people in every local authority area a greater say on how public money is spent by 2012, including exploring for the first time using 'community kitties' for projects to fight crime and tackle obesity.
Empowering communities and local democracy
19 March 2008
In a major speech on empowering communities she called on local authorities, community groups and the public to give their views on expanding plans for participatory budgeting across Whitehall including policing, health and youth services giving people a greater say over the issues they most care about.
Inline with todays announcements Hazel Blears has called for contributions to the new Empowerment White Paper launching an online public discussion forum. The White Paper, due out in the summer, will outline Whitehall's ambition to give communities a stronger voice in local decision making and the delivery of local services, and communities are being asked to contribute their opinions on how government can change for the better.
Blears has launched the introductory document Unlocking the Talent of our Communities outlining the ways local people can have their say on four key issues:
How to improve deprived areas through regeneration and promoting work and enterprise
How to encourage active citizenship and revive civic society and local democracy
Improving local public services
Strengthening local accountability
Launching the document Hazel Blears said:
"There are so many lessons to be learned from the views and opinions of British communities, on issues as far reaching as climate change and childhood obesity. That is why I want to hear from the Great British public about what we can do, and what they can do, to reinvigorate the grass roots of local democracy, to encourage active citizenship, and to enable people to connect with their local leaders.
"I want to see people getting out there, getting involved, changing the things that matter to them and having their opinions heard, and I look forward to hearing thoughts on how we do that."
More information can be found here:
Unlocking the talent of our communities
New consultation to give people greater say over local spending
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