Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Empowerment Champion ?

A press release from Hazel Blears MP the Secretary of State for Communities
has hailed High Peak Council along with Nottingham City Council as been
'Empowerment Champion's' for the East Midlands Region due to there existing
'pioneering' work at encouraging people power.

The two councils will now work with other areas of the country to show
empowerment in practice; sharing the lessons they have learned and helping
others to revive their local democracy through twinning programmes and
regional empowerment road shows.

The reason for these Empowerment Champions is tackle the current perception
that according to the 2007 citizenship survey only 37% of local people feel
they can influence decisions in there local area, with High Peak been chosen
due to the work on area forums.

The council's as part of an action plan been put together by the Government
will have access to part of a £35 million pot, to back the delivery of the
action plan and help make empowerment a reality in every community.

How this will work in practise and whether there will be any change to the
current structure to see the reality of local decision been made, without
the need for reference back to the council's executive remains to be seen
but the details within the action plan could bring a number of benefits to
'empowering' local residents in having more of an effect on their local

For more information on the scheme and action plan go to the People and
Participation.net (http://www.peopleandparticipation.net), a new website
that has been launched by the governmetn as part of this scheme to help
people across the country influence Government decision-making, in addition
please let me know your views if you have attended one of the area forum
meeting, as to whether you feel it has helped you influence the decisions of
the council.

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