A new best practice guide for local authorities published by Action for Market Towns and Action with Communities in Rural England has been endorsed by Greg Clark MP, Minister for Decentralisation and Communities, who has written the foreword.

“Making the most of Community Led Planning: a best practice guide for local authorities” will be of particular interest to officers and elected members who want to take forward the government’s new Localism measures by building on existing experience and expertise.

Community Led Planning (CLP) already provides the basis for communities to come together to decide their own future, and contribute their own efforts to make it happen. Here in Essex, Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE), the local ACRE member, has been working with communities especially in rural areas to facilitate the production of Parish Plans and other similar Community Led Plans for over 10 years. In this time, more than half of Essex parishes have completed such a plan with many others currently engaged in the process.

“We believe a Parish Plan or other similar Community Led Plan offers a proven way to bring local people together to identify the actions needed to improve life in their community. The process generates impressive rates of participation – sometimes in excess of 80% - and results in actions that are based on sound evidence of what local people need. This new guide offers an unparalleled insight into how community action can be kick-started to take advantage of the new rights that will become available to them through the Localism Bill“ said Nick Shuttleworth, Executive Director of RCCE.

A number of government departments and national organisations have also supported the production and dissemination of the guidance including Defra, the Local Government Association (LGA), Planning Advisory Service (PAS), Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID), the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Community Development Foundation (CDF).

To download a copy of Making the most of CLP: a best practice guide for local authorities, and to find out more about AMT and ACRE, please visit:
ACRE AMT (2011) Making the most of CLP.pdf