Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Localism scheme falls flat in county with no responses

08:35 25 April 2014

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles launched the scheme in 2012.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles launched the scheme in 2012.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Government measures launched as a “massive opportunity” for communities to protect vital amenities have received no responses in Suffolk.

None of the county’s local authorities have received any bids from voluntary organisations seeking to takeover services under the Community Right to Challenge scheme (CRTC) since its launch in June 2012.

Introduced as “another leap towards localism” by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, CRTC was intended to transform the way local services are run by opening them up to the voluntary sector, putting control back “at the heart of our villages, towns and cities”.

In Suffolk, however, community representatives claim that while there are many “really active” organisations working across the county, their efforts have focused on protecting threatened services – such as youth groups and libraries – which has left little time to plan takeovers of others.

Christine Abraham, deputy chief executive with Community Action Suffolk, said the response had been “reactive rather than proactive”.

“We’ve got some really active communities in Suffolk who have made great examples of taking on services although they have not gone through the formal process of Community Right to Challenge,” she said.

“It’s not until communities are facing the threat of losing a service that they seem to respond.”

Despite the lack of uptake so far, Ms Abraham believes there is “some real potential” in the scheme and is planning an event later this year to raise awareness about its opportunities.

John O’Connell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said he supported the Government’s drive to make services more efficient through competition, however he questioned whether a “fiddly scheme” was the way to achieve that.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams has defended the scheme as “an important part of the Government’s aim to build a fairer society by shifting power from Whitehall to councils and beyond, to citizens and communities”.

Mr Williams said that nationally more than 30 charities or social enterprises had so far placed bids to run local services, with “many more” being helped to develop ideas.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Yoxford and Middleton primary schools have formed an academy.
Top: Andrew Aalders Dunthorne and Sam Cutler.
 L-R Esther Karaboce, Kaitlyn Geraghty, Maddie Pearce, Skye Coote and Molly Panton.

Two rural schools have turned a chapter in their histories after reforming under a new partnership.

A tablet

A north Essex constituency has the highest spend per head of the population on prescription drugs, according to a recent Government report.

Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

A bottle of wine signed by Theresa May was one of many items auctioned off to raise thousands of pounds for conservation work on Bury St Edmunds’ historic Guildhall.

These are the Ipswich locations which will be launched as part of the Screen Suffolk deal in London.

Christchurch Mansion, Fore Street Swimming Pool and the Town Hall are just a handful of Ipswich’s prestigious buildings set to be opened up for filming as part of the Screen Suffolk deal under latest plans by town bosses.

File picture of a dog walker.

A dog walker bravely fought off two men who tried to rob him in an alleyway.

Awards for medicines management team, pictured at Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG headquarters, Rushbrook House. Left to right, Catherine Butler, Dr David Egan, Louise Hardwick, Katie Allison and Maddie Baker-Woods.

A Suffolk health team whose innovative approach to prescribing achieved a £700,000 annual reduction in spending has been recognised at an awards ceremony celebrating outstanding leadership.

Endeavour House, Suffolk County Council HQ

Suffolk County Council has come under fire after applications for new road safety technology in Bury St Edmunds appeared to vanish into a “black hole”.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24