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09/08/2018

Ministers ponder new role for planning in boosting social value

Words: Huw Morris
Community spaces / Shutterstock

Ministers are considering extending legislation promoting social value to planning, regeneration and community asset transfers under a new strategy.

The Civil Society Strategy aims to put people, communities, civic societies and charities at the heart of decision-making on public services.

Its ideas include extending to planning and asset transfers the Social Value Act 2012, which aims to enrich lives and promote a “fairer society for all”.

The strategy acknowledges that “well-meaning” regeneration schemes had “under-achieved” on community empowerment because they were “imposed from outside, and therefore lacked both local knowledge and legitimacy”. It calls for “place-based solutions” that are designed and delivered “with and by the people they are intended to help”.

The strategy also envisages a new generation of citizens’ juries to foster greater community empowerment, improving people’s understanding of how decisions are made, leading to better decisions by authorities.

As part of the strategy the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, alongside the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, will design a pilot programme, called “innovation in democracy” to look at more sustainable community spaces.

The government also pledges to publish updated guidance to help communities take ownership of local assets such as community buildings. The strategy is available here

Image credit | iStock 

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