Evesham Observer Article

I expect the Coalition Government will be remembered for two things in particular - driving down the deficit to strengthen our economy, and handing power back to local communities.
Both are topical and both are important, and next week the Localism Bill goes before Parliament for its second reading so I wanted to make sure that local people understand what the changes mean for them.  That’s why I have just written to all the Parish and Town Councils in my constituency to highlight some of the key measures. 

I attach huge importance to the Bill and believe that it really will make a great difference to local people.  I hope that it will reassure people living in Evesham and the Vale that their voices are important after years of being told what to do by Whitehall.   

The bill will shift power from central government to local communities.  It will establish powerful new rights for local people and communities and will give local people the opportunity to hold their local authorities to account more effectively.   

The legislation will help build the Big Society by radically transforming the relationships between central government, local government, communities and individuals.

The bill contains a package of reforms that will see the planning system revolutionized, communities given control over housing decisions, councils greater power and freedoms and powerful new rights for communities established.  

For councils the Bill will fundamentally change their freedom to act in the interest of their local communities.  Rather than needing to rely on specific powers, a new legal power will give councils the legal reassurance and confidence to innovate, drive down costs to deliver more efficient services.

We can look forward to a year where power is but back where it belongs – with the local community in Evesham and the villages of the Vale.  

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