Lobby govt and benefit town

TOPSHAM people have a chance to lobby the government to give the city council more power in running its affairs.

TOPSHAM people have a chance to lobby the government to give the city council more power in running its affairs.Using the Sustainable Communities Act (SCA) people can ask the government to devolve powers to local councils and communities.The requests can vary from a change in legislation, a transfer of responsibilities from one public body to another, a new national policy or an amendment to current national policy.Such requests include using planning or by charging a pub company for the environmental damage their practices are causing, which could lead to easier expansion for small brewers and more local jobs.Businesses could also be helped by asking for the ceiling for rate relief for small businesses to be raised by increasing the eligible rateable value.The Act is about changing which organisation has the power and associated funding to do things.It is not about central government providing any more funding.People wanting to use the Act will need to make a request to the city council. This request will then be considered by a panel of local people and if they, and the council, think it would be of benefit to the community it is put forward to the Local Government Association (LGA).The LGA has been chosen by the government to screen all the requests as it may be that requests on similar themes come forward from different communities.The first proposals will be considered by the government in July and will need to be with the LGA by May.Anyone who would like more details on the Act and the process for making a request should go to the council's website www.exeter.gov.uk/sustainablecommunitiesFor a full explanation and more examples of how the act could be used visit www.localworks.org

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