Civic Voice President, Griff Rhys Jones, says localism ignores local opinion. The importance of community involvement in the planning system was put under the spotlight on 13th May at a debate of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies when MPs and other interested parties gathered at Portcullis House.
Civic Voice President, Griff Rhys Jones said: "With the localism agenda, what the Government is essentially saying is, we want you to get involved, decide what you want locally, but, oh, for the really important decisions we are going to ignore you and do what we want. I am sorry, but that is just not good enough."
Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP, who also addressed the meeting said: "When talking about neighbourhood planning in the early days, maybe a fault of the Government was allowing people to believe they could do what they want, when in reality it has always been about how things will be delivered, not what would be delivered. However, I do genuinely believe that in twenty years' time, people will look back and say this policy was a real game changer for getting people involved in their local area".
Laura Sandys MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies said: "I was grateful that the Planning Minister and Griff Rhys Jones were able to attend this meeting. I think as a movement we now need to feed back to the Minister our thoughts on how communities can influence the planning system further."
Civic Voice is calling on all communities to submit ideas on how you think communities can have a greater say in the planning system. Send your ideas to email@example.com.