Setting Local Boundaries and Priorities
In the first phase of Democracy Matters, people told us that setting boundaries and setting priorities are interrelated and that communities should be helped to decide these for themselves.
Each community identified a “natural” and “publicly recognised” physical boundary through a highly participative process. Once boundaries had been agreed, the communities received public and third sector support to develop a multi-year community action plan. An initial Citizens’ Assembly in the community gave the people of Christietown the time and space to agree together the overall approach to transforming their community. Extensive community engagement in Fernshill and The Haven informed community action plans. The plan for each place included the suite of powers each community wanted in order to help achieve their vision. A process similar to Community Right to Buy land was then used to test whether people wanted to establish new decision-making bodies in order to implement their plans.
Q9. What else should this process include to provide new community decision-making bodies with a strong locally agreed mandate?
Q10. Are there ways to ensure new bodies are still wanted – for example by making them time-bound and subject to renewal ballots?