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Can you explain what the legal definition of 'community led' is?

0 votes
Recently, the Chair of our Parish council told a group of public participants at a parish council meeting that we didn't understand the term "community led". They have set up a sub-committee to develop an NDO, a large number of the members have a financial interest in the development (including the chair) and about 50% of whom are not residents. When we challenged the Chair about the process not being community led, as we have not been able to have our say, we were dismissed and told that we don't know what community led is. We need to therefore understand what the formal definition of the term "community led" is.
asked by (150 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Essentially  it means local people participating in defining what course of action or what initiatives are to be followed and local people participating in relevant meetings and on delivery.  Community led means residents of the parish, not chums of the chair.
answered by (21.3k points)
+1 vote
Suzanne, I think you’d struggle to find a ‘legal definition’ of ‘community led’ - short of reviewing case files where the subject may have been directly considered and a judgement passed down - and even that could be scenario specific.
Definitions (where a degree of confusion might exist) are generally taken to have the meaning as might reasonably be attributed to them.
Example - it is often argued “what is a tree?”

Well, a tree is what might reasonably be regarded as a tree. That’s the simple answer. The ‘technical’ answer is markedly more complex but that’s kind of irrelevant.
If a group is drawn from the community, maybe it might be coordinated / facilitated by a PC but doesn’t necessarily need to be - then that is a community led engagement.
There’s a shortcoming in frequently seeking definitive ‘legal definitions’ - they often don’t actually exist.
Much better to properly consider, discuss, agree and record the rationale for a course of action rather than try and lever it into a predetermined parameter.
answered by (3.9k points)
Unfortunately, it is up to interpretation. ‘Community led’ as we understand from the PC perspective, is forming a closed group of financially interested people, 50% of whom are not residents; mis-leading the community in a public meeting and then forging ahead with contracting developers and architects (who are members of the steering group, along with the land owners, and their agents) make major decisions that involve massive development on conservation area in a small village, increasing housing stock by 25%.  All we want to an open debate, transparency and visibility,  that is our interpretation of community led. But we do not have the wealth or power for our interpretation of community led to be considered. We can only use the law to protect ourselves, which is why we were hoping for a legal definition, but I understand your point you raise.
Suzanne, I'm a bit confused:

Are you a parish councillor?

On the one hand you say the chair of the PC stated that (presumably) the PC doesn't understand what community led engagement is.

Then you say "when we challenged the chair" - is "we" the PC or members of the community?

The whole point of "community led" - as I interpret it - is that you don't actually need wealth or power.  You just need energy and determination - if you have enough of that and enough people from the community then you present a united front (support or oppose) to the local authority.

If you think your PC is ineffective, just cut them out of the process.

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