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Monday, 22 December 2008

From Area Panels to Community Assemblies

7 new Community Assemblies will replace the current 12 Area Panels.

For Darnall, this will involve changes to the current boundaries. The relevant Community Assembly area will consist of 4 complete wards: Manor Castle, Arbourthorne, Richmond and Darnall.

Each Community Assembly will have a staff team of 5: A Community Assembly Manager with overall responsibility for the Assembly; a Planning and Performance Officer who will help to develop a Community Plan and ensure that services are adapted to local need; an Assembly Officer who will ensure good communication and consultation with local residents and groups; a Safer Neighbourhoods Officer who will work closely with the Police; and a Team Support Officer. Staff for these teams are currently being recruited. The Assembly will also be supported by a team of people from other services and partner organisations.

Community Assemblies will differ from Area Panels by having greater influence on how council budgets are spent in the area, and by deciding how local services will be provided to meet local needs. Councillors will have more power to make local decisions, based on the views of residents. The Assemblies will use public meetings as well as more innovative events and methods to reach local people. These will include Assembly Roadshows in each Ward and 2 way communication via Assembly websites.

The new Community Assemblies will come into being in May 2009.

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