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More Local

More Local logoThrough our Council Plan, we are committed to looking for ways to work in partnership with our communities – something we call being More Local.

This fits in with the government’s Localism Act, which was introduced in November 2011, with the aim to devolve more decision-making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.

The Act places in law a new set of rights for communities, including the community right to challenge, community right to bid and community right to build. More information is available regarding Community Rights.

It also sets out how communities will be able to get more involved in planning for their areas – specifically around creating plans and policies to guide new development.

For more information on the Localism Act and how it affects communities you can read the Plain English Guide to Localism.

Our Council Plan defines ‘More Local’ policies as:

  • embracing neighbourhood working, engaging communities and empowering them to deliver on things that matter locally whilst setting out and delivering on strategic priorities for the district
  • we will work with the third sector, community groups and parish and town councils to devolve services and/or council assets where there is an appetite to do so and look at how communities can influence the way services are delivered

Case studies

Millerground Enhancement Group

A South Lakeland community group has been given a major council funding boost.

A project to restore a Windermere lakeside park to its former glory has received two lots of funding from us worth a total of £150,000.

The Millerground Enhancement Group, led by Windermere and Bowness Civic Society, is looking to transform the 39-acre Millerground site as a spectacular natural asset for residents and visitors to South Lakeland.

The group was successful in receiving a £50,000 grant from our Locally Important Projects (LIPs) fund, and a further £100,000 has been committed from the council’s capital fund.

Funding for the LIPs scheme is raised from the New Homes Bonus, which is money paid by central Government to the council based on the number of new homes built or brought back into use.

The money awarded to the Millerground Enhancement Group will be used for a variety of projects, including improving footpaths and creating a new playground.

The money will also be spent on creating a new picnic area, as well as improved access to the beach and the lake and adding and restoring pathways.

The council is going to work with the project group to develop a plan for the refurbishments, which are due to start in spring 2017.

The Millerground site is owned by SLDC, Rayrigg Meadow Trust and the National Trust and all the landowners are supporting the project, which is also backed by Windermere Town Council.

White Platts, Ambleside

 The ‘More Local’ principle of empowering local communities is nothing new for us.

In April 2011 we worked with Lakes Parish Council to enable the parish to take over the running of three toilet blocks, two in Ambleside and one in Chapel Stile.

This was followed in 2012 by the transfer of a further two toilet blocks to parish council control, in Grasmere and a remaining toilet block in Ambleside. The success of this ‘asset transfer’ then led to the parish council also taking over the management of White Platts recreation ground in Ambleside, which is also owned by us.

We continue to provide an annual contribution to Lakes Parish for the running of the toilet facilities.

 The parish council were able to refurbish the toilets and started charging users to help to cover running costs, and through the partnership working have maintained a key service to support tourism in one of the most visited areas of the Lake District.

Friends of Lightburn Park, Ulverston

The Friends group, working with Ulverston Town Council and Ulverston in Bloom and in partnership with SLDC and Groundwork North East and Cumbria, is adding value to the resources the council is able to provide to enhance and improve Lightburn Park for the benefit of the Ulverston community.

We are supporting the group to undertake consultation and is working with them and the wider community to develop a masterplan on how to fund improvements at the park.

Visit Friends of Lightburn Park Facebook page for more information.

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