Give locals more say over their communities, Labour MP says
A Labour MP is working on proposals which would give local communities more control over their own neighbourhoods, allowing them, for example, to organise their own rubbish collection services.
Grace Tanamal says locals are often stopped in their plans by bureaucracy and unwilling civil servants.
‘The government is asking more of citizens, in terms of healthcare. I think they should also have more rights,’ Tanamal says in Thursday’s AD.
A year of visiting local initiatives in cities and villages nationwide has convinced Tanamal that local residents already do more to improve their neighbourhoods than she imagined.
She and other Labour MPs want the government to sanction experiments with ‘neighbourhood rights’.
The AD says home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk is likely to agree because he supports giving people more say over their surroundings.
Tanamal wants to give locals three rights: the right to bid collectively to carry out local services such as maintaining green areas for a fee; the right to buy waste land and the right to contribute to zoning plans.
‘This is not a way of making spending cuts,’ she told the AD. ‘If you don’t want to do it, then the government should continue. But you already see all sorts initiatives springing up in areas of high unemployment.’