We’re Right Here is a campaign led by community leaders calling for a Community Power Act. People’s Health is one of several national organisations supporting the campaign and backing the calls for communities to be given more power to create change.
Community power is part of the solution to the widening levels of inequalities in our society. Communities are best placed to understand the barriers to improving their wellbeing, local area and local economy, and are best placed to understand how these barriers can be tackled locally.
The We’re Right Here campaign is led by seven community leaders from across England who are calling for a Community Power Act. This legislation would shift the balance of power from central government to local people. Over 100 more community leaders are pushing this call for greater power in their own communities across England by holding events and engaging local people.
The Community Power Act has three key parts:
• Communities should have a legal right to self-determination
This would mean all decisions about local services and spaces would have to be made at the “most local” level possible and with the participation of local people. The starting point of tackling inequalities would become our local communities and what powers and resources they need to support community-led change.
• Communities and councils would come together to form Community Covenants
The Act would designate a range of possible “power partners” at the neighbourhood level, building on what’s already there for example: parish and town councils, Neighbourhood Forums, and community ‘anchor’ organisations. Once communities and councils have come together in this way, they would be able to access a range of new powers and resources across local economic development, service provision, community assets, and planning and housing.
• An independent Community Power Commissioner would be created
The Commissioner role would evaluate how the government is upholding communities’ right to self-determination, with statutory powers to conduct reviews, require departments to produce information and make recommendations. They would also have a particular role working with the Treasury to investigate practices and make binding recommendations. And finally they would be responsible for supporting the development of Community Covenants.
External link: https://www.right-here.org