Tuesday, 1 January 2013

How you can help, become a supporter

Recently the government have been trying to make it easier for communities to get involved in their local affairs and have recognised the need to engage people in what goes on in their villages, towns and cities. The new bill which aims to give communities more power and say in local matters is called the Localism Act and it ties into David Cameron's idea for for a Big Society. Despite being a government document its really interesting and worth a read (not boring I promise!), and for people who feel jaded by workings of government and red tape in local councils it might even restore your faith in them a little bit for the future ;)

One of the elements of the bill is the Community Right to Bid scheme, which allows community groups to apply to their local council and have a building in their local area added to a list called an "Assets of Community Value" list. This means that when the building gets sold the community group who made the application get 6 months to put a bid together to buy it. The Community Right to Bid does not guarantee that the community group will necessarily be able to take on the building but it does help groups like ours get a head start against big companies with money to buy big assets like pubs.

I am in the process of applying to Bromley council to get the Royal Bell added to their list of Assets of Community Value and (thankfully!) we don't need to be a fully fledged organisation with proper legal status to do it. However, we do need to prove we have at least 21 people in the local community (defined as those living in the borough of Bromley or in a neighbouring borough) who want to see the building taken on for the community by the community, and to carry out the aims as defined by the community groups goals.

We have received a huge amount of support for the Bromley Arts and Community Initiative already but Bromley Council formally need names and full address with contact details to be counted as a supporter. If you'd like to back the project (you won't have to do anything other than have your name added to the list) then please send me your name, address and contact details (email or phone number is fine). Just email amanda.c.hone@gmail.com or visit the Facebook page and send a direct message that way.

Every name counts and the more people we get on board the better case we'll be able to give to the big decision makers, so every single person counts. Thank you very much people, I'll

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