Handing power to the community

Community ward budgets are set to be introduced as part of a cross-party initiative to take decision-making out of the Town Hall and devolve funding to local areas across Croydon.

Each councillor will be allocated £2,000 to be spent within their ward, with £3,000 for each ward councillor in New Addington and Fieldway, where there are fewer members.

The programme is designed to be a borough-wide pilot that shapes how the council can further devolve decision-making and fiscal responsibility.

It will give ward members greater freedom to work with communities on the priorities that matter most to residents.

Each ward will have a dedicated web page for members to use for the promotion of local issues and to engage with people in the community.

Other avenues will also be explored, such as social media, the appointment of community connectors, crowd funding and community panels.

On Monday, 22 June, cabinet is being asked to recommend the proposals to full council for approval.

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council

“Croydon’s one of the most diverse boroughs in London, and we understand that there are different needs and issues within each community.

“This council has already made a strong case for devolution of powers from Whitehall to local government, and we feel this applies within our borough as well.

“By devolving funding and delegating powers to our communities, we can better address the priorities of our residents and enable them to have a greater say over what they would like to see happen in the area they live.

“We’re delighted this has cross-party support, and that we can build on the many great examples of community success stories in our borough.”

Councillor Jamie Audsley, Labour member for Bensham Manor, said: “For me, community ward budgets are all about giving greater power to local councillors and, in turn, the communities they are working closely with.

“They’ll provide much-needed resource to resolve local issues in a far faster and more effective way than asking for the solution to come from the centre of the council.

“They’ll also improve accountability as local people will be able to judge how their councillors involve them in decision-making and making changes – a good thing for local politics

“They should enable us to better develop and support communities to take action themselves.”

Councillor Steve Hollands, Conservative member for Kenley ward, said: “This is an opportunity for ward members to be able to respond directly to residents rather than go through a longer process via the Town Hall. It should be a lot quicker.

“We’d be looking to work with residents’ associations within the ward, and it’s another opportunity for residents to be involved and see the results of that.”

2015-06-16T08:48:20+01:00 June 16th, 2015|Recent news|