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Thanet wind farm1

Local enterprise partnership W for Kent, Greater Essex and East Sussex given go-ahead, 28 October [1]

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Kent Green Party delighted by the news that EoN is abandoning its proposed new coal fired power station for Kingsnorth in Kent, 20th October [2] "This is an important first step towards getting the carbon out of the UK's energy future. Reducing energy demand through efficiency, and investing in microgeneration for homes, offices, schools and hospitals must be coupled with larger scale renewable energy projects like the London Array Wind Farm. We can meet our energy needs by being a lot more efficient in our use of energy, and making use of a variety of renewable energy technologies." Steve Dawe.


Abandoned Boat
Government finds Dungeness in Kent not suitable as site for new nuclear power station, due to concerns over the impact of a potential station on important habitat sites [3]
Park116
Preparing for half term? 150 FREE autumn downloads and activities to keep the children busy and happy :O) http://ow.ly/2TWS5 from WoodlandTrust on Twitter
Tonbr1

Funding for new outdoor gym secured for Tonbridge, 28 September 2010 [4]

Tonbridge and Malling residents will soon be able to enjoy a new outdoor gym in Tonbridge Sportsground thanks to funding of more that £12,000 provided by the Local Strategic Partnership.

Outdoor gyms are designed to provide extra facilities and opportunities to improve the health and fitness of the local community and to encourage visitors to socialise. Anyone will be able to use the facilities at Tonbridge Sportsground but the equipment will be designed with the needs of older people, particularly those aged 60 and over, in mind.

The funding has been awarded to Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, which will build the outdoor gym as part of a wider package of improvements to recreational and youth facilities at the sportsground.

Cllr Martin Coffin, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure, Youth and Arts, says: " This is excellent news, people of all ages can just stop as they walk past and give the Gym a go. This Gym will be great fun, and into the bargain it helps get fitter!"

The outdoor gym at Tonbridge Sportsground is expected to be completed by spring 2011.

Whitstable harbour
Whitstable, in Kent is the best performing “home town”, according to survey, scoring an impressive 92.1. on diversity scale, September 2010 [5]
Library1
Delivering Library Services for the Future (Oxfordshire and Kent)

Two large counties are using the opportunity The Future Libraries Programme provides to develop a new long term model for library services provided in rural counties. The model will need to substantially and permanently reduce the cost of provision, while retaining those features which are valuable to customers (good stock, access to information, community spaces and knowledgeable staff). The new model will need to deliver library services fit for purpose in the 21st century, including extensive online services such as e books, e loans and social networking, as well as provision that draws on Big Society principles of locally driven and community based activity. [6]

Canopy
Kent Free Trees Scheme offering individuals and organisations up to 25 native trees each. Closing date for applications is 30 October 2010.
SDC10175
2010 budget, focus on the South East, June 2010
Wiki

The rise of citizen-run websites

"We see networks such as these as part of a fundamental shift towards conversational democracy," Kevin Harris, Networked Neighbourhoods, June 2010 [7] Edemocracy expert Andy Williamson from the Hansard Society thinks it is time that politicians sat up and took notice.


Communitylogo

Rural watchdog urges councils to involve communities in public spending decisions, April 14, 2010

Trials of a new way of involving local people in public spending decisions have been so successful that the Government's rural watchdog, the Commission for Rural Communities, now wants more rural local authorities to adopt participatory budgeting. [8]

The Participatory Budgeting Unit, supported by the Commission, the National Association of Local Councils and Action with Communities in Rural England, has been working directly with several communities in rural England to develop and pilot participatory budgeting. Participatory budgeting pilots have been running in Cornwall, East Devon, Herefordshire, the Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Northumberland and Somerset.

The pilot schemes stemmed from an inquiry, held in 2008, to explore why rural people often feel unheard and excluded, and what redress was possible. Among the issues pinpointed by the inquiry were that some rural people feel they have less influence on public spending decisions than their urban neighbours and that their priorities are, therefore, overlooked.

Crispin Moor, Executive Director at the Commission: "The pilots have proved highly successful, so much so we are now recommending the approach to other councils serving rural areas. ... We now have practical examples of people deciding local priorities and allocating resources across a wide range of services including community safety schemes, health awareness campaigns, parish footpaths and much more. This approach can bring communities together, help people understand the complexities of public budget-setting and deliver public services which better meet local needs."

Phil Teece of the Participatory Budgeting Unit: "I believe that participatory budgeting has huge potential in the local (parish and town) council sector and I expect its use to continue growing in the next couple of years. It can bring communities together and strengthen the voice of local people and councillors in shaping how money is spent on the services they receive." / Participatory budgeting UK SCA

100px-Westminster Palace, Houses of Parliament, Whitehall, London

MPs see positives of hyperlocal websites, March 2010

"Hyper-local blogs and websites can offer a valuable service to local communities. Their greatest qualities are their interactivity with their readership and the exchange of local information and discussion that they facilitate. ... Hyper-local websites can potentially also be good for maintaining local identity and can provide healthy scrutiny and discussion of local democracy and local issues, which is to be encouraged." [9]



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References

  1. communities.gov.uk, 28 October 2010
  2. Kent Green Party, 20th October 2010
  3. decc.gov.uk, 18 October 2010
  4. [http://www.tmbc.gov.uk/cgi-bin/buildpage.pl?mysql=3822 Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council press release, 28 September 2010
  5. Reimagine your High Street, September 2010
  6. culture.gov.uk, 16 August 2010
  7. news.bbc.co.uk, 11 June 2010
  8. Commission for Rural Communities, News Release, (PDF) CRC 04/10, 18 February 2010
  9. House of Commons, Culture, Media and Sport Committee - Fourth Report, Future for local and regional media, March 2010.