McIntyre, T. and Halsall, Jamie (2011) Community governance and local decision making: Paper presented to the 'Diversity and Convergence: Planning in a World of Change' Conference. Local Economy, 26 (4). pp. 269-284. ISSN 0269-0942

Since 1997 there has been a shift in how local government is run. Today central government directs more power to local government. Community governance is the key policy driver in helping people and organizations to become more effective at improving communities. These new powers have given local authorities greater involvement in decision making for citizens. Recent government policy on Community Governance Reviews has been aimed at revitalizing civic renewal and encouraging citizen participation in local decision making. Central government has sought to encourage this by devolving powers to encourage the creation of more parish councils, particularly in urban areas. Hence central government views parish councils as a governance structure that can achieve civic renewal, pride and more involvement of citizens in decision making within communities. The aim of this paper is to explore whether the devolving of power from central government to local government, with regard to carrying out reviews on the creation of parish councils, has led to more local decision making. This paper uses Horbury, in West Yorkshire, as the case study example.

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