More than sixty representatives from local community organisations gathered in Birmingham last week to discuss the latest Community Rights at a Locality event hosted by Birmingham Settlement.
The new Community Rights are part of the Localism Act introduced in 2011 with the aim of devolving more decision making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.
Don Foster MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government was guest speaker at the event entitled ‘Communities Taking Control – Solutions from the frontline’. Other speakers include Steve Wyler, CEO of Locality and Alison Seabrooke, CEO of the Community Development Foundation.
Martin Holcombe, CEO at Birmingham Settlement said, “We had a hugely successful day with input from a wide range of organisations that were able to share their experiences and discuss the challenges they have faced.”
Steve Wyler added, “This was an opportunity to see beyond the legislation and discover how initiatives are actually working at grass roots level. It was inspiring to see how many varied projects are making a real difference in local communities.”
Birmingham Settlement is part of Locality’s West Midlands Regional Action Group and a kickstarter for the national Community Organisers programme.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society visited Birmingham Settlement’s Centre for the Aston Family to speak to our Community Organisers. Also present were individuals from local community groups and some of our Community Facilitators who work to prevent tensions from erupting into more serious civil disputes. The Community Organisers are part of a government funded project to train 5,000 individuals to work in local communities and bring people together. Over a cup of tea and a biscuit Nick heard firsthand from the new cohort of Birmingham Organisers why they wanted to be involved with the programme.
For more info download Birmingham Settlement Press release – Community Organisers – 22.09.11