Your Rights Under the Local Government Act 2000
The Local Government Act 2000 covers a number of issues regarding local government policies and procedures. In terms of its direct correlation to members of a local community, the Act places a greater emphasis on the need for local government to improve the social wellbeing of communities across the whole spectrum, including addressing the needs of teenagers and younger children residing within the community in particular.
How This is AchievedThe aim is to devise a strategy which promotes and improves the economic, social and environmental prospects of a local community by creating partnerships between other bodies and local organisations. By working together a community can be developed that all residents can be well served and proud of.
This can be achieved by the coming together of local authority departments that are responsible for areas such as housing, education, social services and leisure to work in partnership with the likes of the police, health services and other independent organisations and private businesses that all have a vested interest in the success of a local community.
Creating a VisionIt’s important that, as residents, you have the right to have your say with regards to the sort of decisions which the above organisations might reach. Of course, these organisations will make their well-intended decisions in an attempt to improve the community in which you live, but it is vital that they listen to the local community at grass roots level. It is your right as a resident to be able to articulate your own thoughts and ideas with regards to any needs and priorities you have, as well expressing your own aspirational ideas for what you want your community to consist of. In essence, it’s the coming together of all the public, private, community and voluntary organisations in consultation with local residents who can achieve these aims for you.
On a Broader LevelAlthough not directly related to you as residents, the Local Government Act 2000 is also aimed at making your local authority more accountable for its actions, and for it to adopt an ethical framework for things like the conduct and accountability of council members, as well as introducing a national standards board and adjudication panel to deal with internal disciplinary issues and complaints. All these implementations would have no direct bearing on residents themselves but there would inevitably be indirect benefits as a result.
One of the more radical proposals which came out of this Act was to move away from the old traditional ‘committee-type’ model when it came to decision making matters, and to select a more executive model containing a cabinet of ruling party members, possibly including a directly elected ‘mayor’, subject to a local referendum being held.
Basically, in this transformation and shift of power from central to local government, this Act enables local authorities to have more power in terms of how they manage their finances. This should mean that they have more freedom and flexibility to spend money on resources which will directly benefit the citizens of their local community, as the resources can be targeted at specific projects and initiatives which the whole community can benefit from as a result.