Localism bill to save pubs?

14/12/2010

The Daily Mail reports that residents are to get radical new rights to take over pubs and post offices to save them from closure.

Next week, ministers will announce new powers will give communities enough time to put together a plan and raise funds to run local amenities if they are threatened with closure or sale.

Libraries, gyms, pubs, post offices and shops can be nominated and put on a ‘local assets’ list under a new community rights measure in the Localism Bill to be unveiled in Parliament on Monday.

Voluntary groups and charities will also have the right to put in bids to take over the running of local services, if they think they can do a better job.

Local Government and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: ‘For too long people have been powerless to intervene when resources like local pubs and post offices – often the heartbeat of communities – disappear from their areas.

‘The community rights measures will put control back where it belongs – with the people at the heart of our villages, towns and cities.’

Communities will also be given more rights to bid for the running of local services normally carried out by councils. The move puts charities and voluntary groups in pole position for running public services.

Local authorities will be forced to set out their reasons for any rejection of outside bids and consider the ‘positive impact’ that a charity or voluntary group could have in running more services. The measures form part of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ vision, where voluntary groups will step in to roles traditionally carried out by government.

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said: ‘Voluntary and community groups already successfully provide services including education, social care and tackling worklessness.

‘But there are many more groups who have been locked out or passed over in favour of the same old way of doing things. 
‘The new rights intend to level the playing field and make it easier for voluntary groups to move from the sidelines to centre stage when it comes to delivering services.’

Next week’s Localism Bill will also reform the planning system, to give 
residents a greater say over developments on their streets.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337597/Locals-new-rights-save-pub-post-office-closure.html#ixzz184K2Td17

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