There is a long tradition of community action across the country, with local groups who do everything from cleaning up street litter, to running community centres, to investing in small-scale green energy.
In some cases, however, would-be volunteers or social entrepreneurs feel that bureaucracy holds them back – whether it’s bye-laws, health and safety rules, or planning regulations. In some cases, discussion with the council can resolve problems locally, but in others the only way is for central government to take action.
Now, councils, community groups, local institutions and individuals who need central government’s help to get rid of barriers can submit a request through the web at http://barrierbusting.communities.gov.uk Everyone who submits a query, will be given an individual number to track the progress of their request and the contact details of a named person they can talk to from a dedicated team of "barrier busters" – senior civil servants in the Government who will help find ways to let local people take control.
Greg Clark said:
"As a Minister I have a team of Civil Servants to turn my ideas into action. But if you believe, as I do, that most of the best ideas come from people in communities, then I think they should have the help that Ministers enjoy.
"Local people often have brilliant ideas and are keen to get involved in making their neighbourhood a better place. Government rules and regulations should be there to support them – not stand in their way.
"The barrier busting service is there to find practical solutions and give local people’s enthusiasm and commitment free rein. This is about turning government on its head.
"Instead of Whitehall telling authorities what to do, central government will be listening to councils and communities and helping them achieve their own ambitions – whether that’s by cutting red tape, amending regulation to be less burdensome, or creating new local discretion over how taxpayers’ money is spent."
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