What we want
We are calling for Parliament to pass a Community Power Act. This legislation would fundamentally change where power lies in our country.
Rather than politicians and officials in distant centres of power making decisions from afar, local people would have the powers they need to shape the areas where they live. The Community Power Act would make three things happen:
- Give communities a legal right to self-determination. This would mean that the authorities would need to ensure that decisions about local services and spaces would be made at the ‘most local’ level possible and with the participation of local people.
- Create Community Covenants between communities and councils. These neighbourhood-level power-sharing agreements would give community organisations and local people access to significant new powers which would enable them to play a much bigger role in shaping and delivering services and to take control of community spaces. Once agreed, central government would also be required to transfer more powers and resources to the local council.
- Establish an independent Community Power Commissioner. The Commissioner would hold the government accountable for its performance in upholding communities’ right to self-determination – conducting investigations of government policies, practices and departments and making binding recommendations to put power in people’s hands.
The We’re Right Here campaign team currently consists of community leaders from across England, and the Community Power Act that we’re calling on parliament to pass would for the most part impact on England only. We are, however, eager to explore how we can work with others to build the movement for community power in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – and we would encourage community organisations and individuals from across the UK to sign up to get involved in our campaign!