Localism Bill: why it matters to Norfolk

Currently passing through parliament is a bill that has the potential to provide everyone in this region with the opportunity to shape their communities and neighbourhoods for years to come.

The Localism Bill aims to shift power from central government and firmly place it into the hands of those actually impacted by decisions about how our cities, towns and villages develop. It is arguably the piece of legislation that enables many of the ideals behind The Big Society to become a reality.

Anyone living in our region knows that we are lucky to live in such a special, diverse area.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that some of our communities are struggling, with small businesses going to the wall and shops and community services falling by the wayside.

The EDP believes that, if used appropriately, the Localism Bill could be the first step in ensuring that each of our communities has its own unique flavour and is able to thrive.

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Starting today we are launching a week-long series looking at the different aspects of the Localism Bill. We will look at the pros and cons of each aspect of the bill in the hope that our findings will be taken on by the government as it passes through the house.

And we will also aim to prepare people so that when the bill becomes reality, they are geared up to make the most of this opportunity.

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Our illustration shows a Norfolk Utopia – the Norfolk we would all like to see, where our shops, pubs, libraries and community centres stay open, small businesses don't have to fold and everyone takes an interest in decisions that will directly affect the place in which they live. We may never get to this position, but it is worth a try.

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